Festive Napkin Folding Ideas That Are so Much Easier Than Expected

The art of napkin folding may seem intimating at first glance, but it’s a surprisingly simple way to elevate your dining room decor. Whether you’re hosting the entire family for Christmas dinner, cooking a Valentine’s Day meal at home with your partner or looking for a fun way to enliven your weekly Sunday supper, we’ve rounded up easy napkin folding ideas that will add a DIY touch to your table.

Get creative by straying away from formal place settings. Instead, use creative napkin folds to hold silverware or turn a traditional table napkin into a playful creation (keep scrolling for bunnies, turkeys and fish). As you browse these easy-to-follow ideas, you’ll find fall foliage and floral bouquets that make the perfect Thanksgiving place setting, as well as Christmas trees, candy canes bows and elegant star shapes for the ultimate holiday table setup. If you’re brainstorming for spring or summer, we’ve got you covered there as well.

While most of these ideas require a square cloth napkin, we’ve sprinkled in a few paper napkin folding ideas — which is a more affordable option if you’re working with a lot of place settings. Once you’ve settled on an idea, you’ll be impressed by how quickly you get the hang of a folding technique. The best part: a few of these tutorials can be completed in less than one minute.

The Right Way to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker So It Keeps Brewing

Single-serve coffee makers, like Keurig, have made it super easy and convenient to brew a perfect cup of joe. But it’s just as easy for many folks to overlook that these machines need regular cleaning and descaling to work their best. It takes more than refilling the water reservoir and popping in a new K-cup to keep a Keurig brewing — and to keep it free of the mold and bacteria that can grow when you neglect it. When it comes to routine maintenance and cleaning, think of your Keurig as you do other home appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and traditional coffee makers. Not only will regular cleanings extend the life of your appliance and protect your health, they’ll also keep your coffee tasting great every day.

We asked Carolyn Forté, Executive Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care & Cleaning Lab, for advice on how to maintain your go-to morning machine. Start by stocking up on the cleaning essentials recommended below, then follow the timeline for how often you should clean every part of your coffee maker.

graphic of keurig with different parts labeled showing when each should be cleaned on blue background

How to clean a Keurig weekly

Ideally, it’s best to wash the removable parts of your machine on a weekly basis, especially if you use it daily.

What you’ll need:

  • Dish soap
  • Sponge or cloth
  • Dish towel for drying

Instructions:

  1. Unplug the machine.
  2. Remove the water reservoir, lid, drip tray and K-cup holder.
  3. Pop out the filter, if any, from inside the reservoir and set it aside.
  4. Wash all parts in warm, soapy water.
  5. Rinse the parts thoroughly and towel dry everything except the interior of the water reservoir. Let the interior air dry to keep from depositing any lint from your towel inside.
  6. Wipe down the machine’s exterior surface with a damp sponge or cloth.

The Biggest Kitchen Design Trends for 2023, According to the Pros

When designing your dream kitchen, it’s important to balance timeless features with playful colors, patterns and textures that reflect your personality and design aesthetic. You may not want to remodel your kitchen each and every year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t creative ways to keep your space feeling fresh and modern. We spoke with interior designers and kitchen experts who shared their top kitchen trends for 2023, touching on everything from cabinet colors and kitchen lighting ideas to design styles they’re loving.

At this point, 2023 is just around the corner and these design experts are looking ahead at trends and styles that will define the new year. For kitchen countertops, they’re seeing both natural and expressive stones. For paint colors, the pros are loving dusty greens and blues, as well as soft hues like terracotta and natural browns. But, don’t worry: bold patterns are not out. As you scroll, you’ll notice a surge of gold hardware — but matte black and brass are sticking around as well.

Swap out your backsplash tile (dare we suggest something vibrant), add a fresh coat of paint to your kitchen island or layer in handmade artisan details — all of which can be completed in a few hours. As much as we love a hot trend, we’ll leave you with this message from interior designer Kate Lester: “Focus more on what the space needs and less on what is ‘trending.’ Doing what’s best for your space never goes out of style!”

Adding Outdoor Storage To Our Kitchen Porch

I’ll start this post with a confession: I resented our kitchen porch when we finished it last fall. Resent is a strong and, admittedly, strange word to use for a porch. But I’ll explain it later on in this post. The good news is that I no longer harbor any ill will toward it. In fact, it has become one of the spaces I’m most grateful to have in our smaller home. Especially after some functional additions that we’ve made to it over the last year since you saw it.

I love this space so much, that I’m actually writing this post from it right now. Call it Method Blogging. I’m fully immersed in my character.

A Kitchen Porch Renovation Recap

You can read a full post of this porch’s previous updates, but the quick version is: this used to be a porch off of our bedroom, which had 8 glass doors leading outside (yes, eight whole doors in one room). We closed off two of the doors that led to this porch, which you see in the photo below (which also created a wall for our bed). Then we swapped that black window for a door that connects this porch to our kitchen.


Before photo of kitchen porch area with brown siding



Taking this from “unused bedroom porch to “heavily used kitchen porch” has been a complete game changer. We love that this update created a quick path from our driveway to the kitchen, which makes bringing in groceries a whole lot easier.

You can see below how we park our car just outside the gate beyond this porch. There are still parking spots for guests in the front yard (they get to walk up our pretty front porch and enter into the sitting area, which feels nice for people visiting), but this

Holiday Gift Ideas For The Whole Family!

Did Christmas come early this year? Nope! But our annual gift guides did (by a smidge, at least). So, without further ado… let’s dive into the 3 categories that we cover every year, which are all here in just one post:

  1. Gift Ideas for Grown-Ups
  2. Gift Ideas for Kids
  3. Gift Ideas Under $12.99

2022 Holiday Gift Guide Main Image Collage



It’s probably helpful to mention that nothing was sponsored/gifted in order to get into this guide. If something’s in here, we just genuinely love it (and in many cases, already own it and can vouch for it). Each list also includes some things that we plan to give a friend or family member this year, and a few things we’d love to receive (wink, wink – please consult this post, John).

Quick note: There aren’t just gifts that are under $12.99 on the last gift guide. For example, there are 4 gifts that are under $12.99 on the kids list as well (prices are based on whatever they were at the time of writing this).

Gift Ideas For Grown Ups

Here’s what we’re loving this year, either because it’s something we have already bought and loved, or something we’re getting this year for friends & family (or hoping to find under the tree ourselves 😉


2022 Holiday Gift Guide For Grown Ups Collage



1. Peas In A Pod Necklace ($33+)

You can customize the color, count, and metal finish of these cute pendants, which would be great for a mom or grandmother!

2. Cloud Mug ($22)

The shape and color of this fun modern mug would be a nice anchor to a coffee, tea, or hot cocoa themed gift. Heck, you can also just fill it with candy or cheese.


Holiday Gift Ideas For Grown Ups Items 1 Through 3



3. Chunky Heel Boots ($43)

I bought these boots in khaki recently & love them! They’re SO