DIY Cute Candy Centerpieces

Finley’s birthday is this week and I wanted to make sure I made her feel special! One thing she loves? Pink! Another? Candy! Mom and I had fun crafting these candy centerpieces for Finley and I know you will too. As usual with our DIY’s and How-To’s: it’s easy peasy!

Candy Centerpieces

What you will need:

  • Tall candlesticks. Make sure it is wide enough and sturdy enough to hold the lollipop filled ball. We painted ours with hot pink Amy Howard paint. Available at Lauren Nicole Home of course.
  • Assorted ribbons
  • Round floral ball. We got ours from Hobby Lobby and chose the bigger version!
  • Tootsie Roll Pops or Dum Dums
  1. Trim the bottom of the round floral ball so that it can stand up on it’s own. We trimmed ours with a kitchen knife and it was pretty easy.
  2. Insert candy lollipops into floral ball until it is fully covered. It takes a LOT more than you think. I think we bought a total of 10 bags for these 2!
  3. Place decorated ball on top of candlestick.
  4. Tie ribbons around the candlestick for additional decoration.
  5. Tip: if you are worried about the floral ball falling off the candlestick, use some hot glue to make sure it’s in place.


Of course we had to try out the lollipops to make sure they were tasty…


Here we go! I love how Mom’s nails match our pink theme we’ve got going on.


Olivia likes to join in on the fun and Clover was having fun on the back porch. :)


After it’s full of lollipops, place on top of the candlesticks and VOILA!


We tied this ribbon around to add some pizzazz. Recommendation: don’t buy ribbon with glitter. I am still cleaning that up!


We love these so much! We can envision different candies and colors for other occasions too.

Do tell: Do you craft for birthdays too? If so, please share pictures and ideas!



Make Your Own Trifle Bar for Under $15

We had a lot of fun with this one, y’all! With the upcoming July 4th holiday around the corner, we decided to do a make-your-own trifle bar for the festivities. And guess what? All for under $15.00!

Trifle Bar

One of our favorite summertime desserts is Strawberry Trifle. It’s made of layering angel food cake, vanilla pudding, strawberries and whipped cream. We usually do 3 layers and it’s the perfect summertime snack.

We wanted to play around with different trifles to show you and couldn’t decide which, so we decided: let’s do a trifle BAR! Perfecto. This way guests and party-goers can experiment and try different combinations. In hosting events and parties, we’ve learned that people like to “play” with their food. This trifle bar is so much fun!

Here’s what you will need:

  • Angel Food Cake, cubed
  • Cookies, cut into small chunks
  • Brownie, cubed
  • Assorted fruits – we chose different berries
  • Cool Whip or Whipped Cream
  • Vanilla pudding mix
  • Nutella
  1. Chop/cube your angel food cake, cookies and brownies and arrange in a platter.
  2. Display your fruits in 3-4 different bowls and set aside.
  3. Take 1/3 of the whipped cream and stir in half a box of vanilla pudding mix. Pour into bowl. Take another 1/3 of the whipped cream and stir in 1/2 cup of Nutella. Pour into bowl. Lastly, pour remaining whipped cream (plain) into a bowl.
  4. Place mason jars or any clear bowls at the front of the buffet and let people start assembling!


Simply place the ingredients in the following order: 1) cakes/cookies/pies. 2) fruits. 3) whipped topping trio.


This chalkboard sign gets SO much use in my home. It is perfect for this Trifle Bar too!


To make the Trifle Bar 4th of July ready, we bought some inexpensive stars at Hobby Lobby and placed them around. You don’t have to go overboard on holidays…just do a few smalls touches and it’ll seem festive!


In addition to the small stars on toothpicks, we also pulled out these star-napkin rings that we’ve had for ages. I knew I kept them for a reason! :)


This serving set is p.e.r.f.e.c.t for the whipped topping trio. We love the hammered pattern and color of this set!


Trifle Bars are perfect for parties and those picky eaters who may not like chocolate or vice versa.


No one would know the angel food cake, brownies and cookies are all store bought! And don’t you love this platter? It’s festive with stars and stripes!


This trifle bar is so much fun and can be “winterized” with stone fruit and spice cakes. You could even make this more summery by adding in different ice creams! The possibilities truly are endless.


Remember, everything you see here, including all serving pieces and accessories, is available at our store: Lauren Nicole Home. Comment below, give us a call (877-583-0355) or email us ( if you are interested!

Do tell: Do you love trifle? If so, what is your favorite combination?

Looks We Love: Celebrity Kitchens

Hiya! Recently, we’ve spent some time celebrity-stalking. But not like you are thinking…we’ve been stalking their kitchens and homes instead. AND, it’s all been online. :)

Take a look at some of our favorite designs and looks from Celebrity Kitchens!

Looks We Love Celebrity Kitchens

Gwyneth Paltow’s open and airy kitchen. Have y’all checked out her lifestyle website? Click here if you want to take a look. She has great recipes and fashion.

Gwyneth-Paltrow-Chris-Martin-House-of-Windsor-kitchen source

Can Cameron Diaz’s kitchen be any more showstopping? Wow, that green. Beautiful.

Cameron-Diaz source

We love Ellen Degeneres, so of course: we love her kitchen. The storage above the island is gorgeous and genius.

ellen source

Billy Joel’s kitchen is open and perfect for entertaining. I wonder if he’d let us throw a party there (or crash his party)?

billy joel source

You can’t mention celebrity without Kim K and Kanye West. We adore their Italian-inspired kitchen.

kim k source

Do tell: Which celebrity kitchen is your favorite?

An Inside Look: Lakeside Master Bedroom

We are so happy you enjoyed last Friday’s “Inside Look” into the beautiful lakeside retreat family room. Today we are showcasing the master bedroom. It’s one of our favorite rooms EVER and let us tell you why…

Lakeside Master Bedroom

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Who would not want to wake up to this beautiful view and light filled room? This lake house is a place of peace for my clients so I wanted to give them a luxurious master retreat.

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I selected a neutral color palette but kept it interesting by combining rich textures and various patterns in the textiles of the space. And the upholstered bed with the dark wood frame brings warmth to the space.

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Lake living embodies a relaxing lifestyle so this cozy corner is the perfect spot to curl up with a book or magazine in the afternoon. And you know me, a touch of floral goes a long way in any space.

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Remember, sometimes simplicity is everything. Do not feel like you need to go color crazy, neutral can be just as beautiful.

Do tell: Are you a fan of neutrals?

How to Not Work Too Much on Your Vacation

We are so excited to be heading to the coast soon for our annual vacation with the family! Over the years of being a mom, interior designer and business owner, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade in order to have a good vacation.

Now, you may be thinking, “It’s not that hard to have a good vacation. It’s VACATION, silly!” Well, here’s where I am going with this. I want to talk about how to have a good vacation without working too much and how to plan activities for your family that makes everyone happy (including mama).


How to NOT Work Too Much on Vacation

If you know me, you know that I am constantly on my phone, checking in with my team to see the status of a project or reading emails. Being that social media is everything and everywhere and that we are all so “available” all the time, it can be hard to unplug and unwind. It’s my habit to pick up the phone and work. That’s how I’m wired.

However, I know how very important it is for my family and my own good: to relax and soak in all things vacation. Here’s how I do this:

  • I check in with the office once a day (as hard as that is for me) and at a certain set time each day. For example: 11am to Noon. I will call the office and get an update to make sure all is good.
  • I only check emails once a day for a certain period of time during that time frame I’m talking with the office.
  • I trust my team. I have my automatic email on stating I’m on vacation and a truly amazing team that will help!

How to Plan a Kid-Friendly AND Parent-Friendly Vacation

Okay, so we covered how to unplug and get away from working. Now, I want to talk about the kiddos. Here is what I do before I head to the beach (or on the way down) to plan ahead of time that both Finley and Campbell AND Chris and I have fun on vacation.

  • Look up activities for rainy days. As much as I love playing board games with the girls, being stuck inside for 8 hours is not fun for any of us. I look up a few activities around the area that could be good for that rainy day or just a day we don’t want to hang by the beach. For example: aquariums, museums and water parks.
  • Plan at least 1 adults-only (or parents only) activity that you do with your spouse. Fortunately, my parents come along and will gladly babysit the girls for 1 night so that Chris and I can do a date night. It’s important to take time alone with your significant other so that both of you can recharge together!

Do tell us: What are some of your tips to truly unplug during vacation?

What We’ve Learned From Our Dad

Happy Father’s Day! We are so grateful for our dad’s today and every day. Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad. We decided the best way to honor our amazing dad’s on Father’s Day is to showcase what they taught us. Lessons from our dad

We gathered up a few people from the Lauren Nicole Designs team to share.



“My dad taught me all about hard work and being independent. He grew up on a farm, so he taught me those skills and the homegrown values that come along with being raised in the country.”


“My Dad taught me so many things but the top 2 I can think of: 1) Your name is your brand- work hard to make sure everyone who hears your name associates it with excellence and a job well done. 2) How to make the most delicious carbonara in the world!”


“My Father has been my idol since I was a little girl in pigtails. He has taught me some of life’s greatest lessons. One of which I value the most: I have him to thank for my strong work ethic. He showed and taught me to work hard no matter what the job or task requires, no matter how big or small, no matter who is asking.”


“My Dad is a huge part of my life. He taught me 2 key phrases that are always with me-Attitude is Everything and Think Positive. It is also because of him that I now say HEY how are you doing? to EVERYONE I meet, waitresses, guys at the car wash, people in the grocery store, he has never met a stranger and while that embarrassed the life out of me as a teenager, I now find myself doing the very same thing! Thanks Dad!”


“My daughter’s father is so patient, calm and caring. His unconditional love for her is amazing. Even though it’s just the beginning of her life, you can tell he is going to be an amazing dad.”


“My Dad has always been such an incredible role model and hero to me. The most important lesson: you don’t have to be the smartest in the room, you have to be the hardest working. The harder you work in life and love, the luckier you get. You make your own luck by working hard. He is one of the hardest working people I know and I’m always trying to make him proud!”

We are so thankful for you, Dad!

Do tell: what have you learned from your dad? Or how your husband is with your children?

Our Vacation Essentials

We are headed to the N.C. coast in a couple of weeks for a week-long vacation and I cannot tell you how very excited we are! This is funny: Finley thinks we are going to the beach FOR her birthday because her birthday happens to fall on one of the vacation days. :) She’s too cute!

When we go on vacation with all of our dogs and our girlies (not to mention that I always over-pack), we have the car FULL of essentials. Here are some of my favorites…

Vacation Essentials

The perfect beach bag, preferably one that has ample room for all our stuff.

beach bag

Cute Coverups, hmm…maybe I should take this one from the store. :)


Sunscreen and lots of it (I’m talking 70 SPF)

Vinnebago, to keep my Prosecco or white wine cool for a LONG time


LipLidz, for beach/poolside sipping


Lotion, because who goes anywhere without lotion.

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Candle for the beach house we rent: we want it to smell like HOME!

Do you love what you see? Remember, all of these and MORE are available at Lauren Nicole Home. Come visit us, give us a call or email to learn more! We ship anywhere and everywhere. :)

Do tell: What is on your “must-pack” list when you go on vacation?


How to be the Perfect Hostess: Pop In Visitors

It’s happened to all of us. We sit down with our glass of wine, dogs in our lap, ready to watch the latest House of Cards episode AND then we hear a knock on the door.

Surprise: unexpected visitors!

This doesn’t necessarily have to be a stressful thing. We are constantly having people flow in and out of our house with installers, Campbell and Finley’s friends (and moms), neighbors and unexpected work meetings.

Perfect Hostess Pop In Visitors

Here are our tips to always be prepared and welcome for unexpected guests.

1. Be welcoming.

Nothing makes guests feel more uncomfortable than seeing YOU stressed and uncomfortable. Be gracious and welcoming to them by saying “how glad you are they stopped by.” There is no reason to apologize if your home isn’t as clean as usual, simply pick up a couple of items, for me that is dog toys and Barbies, and stash them in the closet. These guests are coming by to see you NOT to worry you or be an inconvenience. Let go of your perfectionism and have fun by focusing on being a good hostess.

2. Be prepared with a stocked pantry.

We always have pita chips, crackers and nuts in our pantry. Additionally: we make sure to have cheese on hand (because I love it) and dips from the store. An easy snack to prepare when guests pop in for a visit: a cheese tray! Simply place your pita chips on a tray,  your nuts in a cute bowl and slice cheese to accompany the pita chips. AND of course, we always have plenty of wine on hand that can easily be poured for friends and visitors.

Go the extra mile and have a stash of cocktail napkins. You can use them for everything! When you put out cocktail napkins for guests, it officially turns the festivity to “welcoming.”

Hostess 1

3. Light a candle.

Candles immediately set the mood and gives the air a festive feel. Major bonus points: they make our home smell delicious too. One of our favorite candle brands is Rewined Candles. We always have a few in our closet because we are constantly burning them.

4. Have a stocked gift closet

This may seem unnecessary at first, but we are telling you: having a stocked gift closet can save you so much time and stress. We are going to do a whole post on the “gift closet” but in the meantime: just make sure you have simple and small gifts available to give people if it’s appropriate when they stop by. Some of our favorites: candles, lotions, wine in a cute bag, cocktail napkins, truffles or chocolates, the list could go on and on.

Hostess 2

Don’t forget, we have lots of gifts and entertaining essentials at Lauren Nicole Home!

Do tell: What advice do you have for welcoming pop-in visitors?

An Inside Look: Lakeside Family Great Room

Happy Friday! We are very excited for the weekend, especially because it is my daughter Finley’s 5th birthday party with all of her friends. Stay tuned for more on that later! :)

Something else we are excited about? This beautiful Lakeside Home. We had the opportunity to design this house a few months ago and thought it would be fun to walk you through the designs of our favorite rooms.

Lakeside Family Great Room

First up: The Family Great Room

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This great room is the first room that you see when you walk in this home so it had to be a WOW! With the tall ceilings and stunning lake views I kept the decor neutral in color and played up the natural textures to bring lake living inside!

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Comfortable seating in a lake home is a must. And this sofa not only performs but looks fabulous too. And perfect to get cozy by the fire!

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Accessories were key in this space as they truly put the finishing touches on such a lofty room. When you have a second story space be sure to address the upper walls as well. Doesn’t everyone need a giant elk in their living room?!

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This room boasts plenty of seating, a view for days, beautiful textures and patterns all to create a comfortably elegant space to kick back and enjoy lake living at it’s finest!

Do tell: What is your Great Room like?

Our Favorite Sangria Recipe

The days are getting longer and hotter…so that means we are spending more time outdoors. We love to sit out on our patio with a cold drink and watch the girls play in the backyard. Our version of a perfect summer drink has to involve wine, fruit and be refreshing. Enter our favorite Sangria!

Summer Sangria

Our Favorite Sangria Recipe

  • 1 cup pineapple juice (unsweetened if possible)
  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tart apple, sliced
  • 1 bottle Riesling
  • 1/4 cup Triple Sec
  • 2 cups Sierra Mist or 7Up, chilled
  1. In a large pitcher, combine the pineapple juice, orange and lemon slices and mash gently with wooden spoon to crush the fruit.
  2. Add the wine, apple slices and Triple Sec.
  3. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  4. Just before serving: add Sierra Mist or 7Up. Serve over ice.

Here are some of our favorite photos from our Sangria Session. :)


We have all our ingredients ready and even posed for a picture! :)


The first step was mulling the fruit with the pineapple juice. It makes the flavor so citrus-y and delicious!


Here I am enjoying the sound of pouring wine a little too much…


AND Clover’s wondering what is going on.


Final step: pouring some delicious 7-up to add fizz.


The taste? Delicious and refreshing: perfect to enjoy on our patio.


Remember, this pitcher and glasses are all available at our store: Lauren Nicole Home. Comment below, give us a call (877-583-0355) or email us ( if you are interested!

Do tell: do you love Sangria as much as we do?


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