Lantern Fairy Garden

Gardening, Outdoor Decor, Weekend DIY

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The Vintage Hanging Lantern is a staff favorite here at Willard&May. Its whimsical qualities add an extra dynamic to any fairy garden. Make your fairies fly when you hang this lantern!

For this example: we added river rocks for a foundation. To add a soft quality, we put some moss over the rocks. We then arranged some mushrooms and a friendly gnome.

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The Classic Wood Lantern makes a great starting point for a portable fairy garden. It comes in three different sizes, so you can pick which one will work best for your project!

For this example: We started with a simple, shallow blue pot for the base. We added river rocks for a nice contrast. To top it off, we placed some fun fairy garden accessories in the center of the pot. Continue reading for some awesome suggestions on what plants you can get from your local garden center for your fairy garden!

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Above are the different sizes the wood lantern comes in. You can create a simple garden with a fairy or two or add a classic look to your outdoor living space. These lanterns have doors to allow ease of use.

If you are looking for some greenery to add to your garden, below are a couple of suggestions from our resident horticulturist:

  • Nerve Plant (Fittonia)
  • Golden Clubmoss
  • Air Plant
  • Miniature Ferns
  • Baby Tears (Soleirolia)

Let your creativity flow with these fun DIY fairy garden lanterns!

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Read and Relax

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Summer is the perfect time for lounging outside with your favorite book, and what is more relaxing than reading in a hammock? Luckily our Relaxation Hammock is available to you for only $29.00! To help you get out of your reading slump, our staff has come up with a list of great reads. Enjoy!

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George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series has become a big hit on TV and in our office. Be prepared to get lost in a complex world that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of landscape plants, then Michael Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants is the book for you!

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For the tenderhearted person in your life, Paw Prints in the Moonlight by Denis O’Connor is the purrfect book to curl up with. It is a whimsical tale of a man and his pet cat who form a heartwarming friendship.

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We also would suggest a great classic; The Hobbit  by J. R. R. Tolkein. Recently made into a blockbuster film, this book follows a timid hobbit on his quest to help restore the homeland of a clan of dwarves.

These next two suggestions come from our co-worker, Nick:

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“I just read The Martian by Andy Weir the other day. It’s about an astronaut who is accidentally left on Mars without any functioning communication equipment, figuring out how to survive with the resources and equipment he still has. It’s a fun book that hangs on to your attention, and fits right in with any classic marooned on a desert island story….except the desert island is IN SPACE.

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Earlier this year I read Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House and its sequel Blandings’ Way. These are about a 1940s New York advertising executive who decides he wants to escape the city and build his dream house out in the peaceful countryside. Unfortunately for him, building a house is much more involved (and expensive) than he ever anticipated. I grew up watching the Cary Grant movie, so it was a lot of fun to finally read the book, especially because I did so while my parents were building their new house.”

 

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If you’re interested in YA reads, the final installment of the Shadow and Bone (The Grisha) trilogy by Leigh Bardugo was recently released. Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising take you through an epic journey of a teen orphan who discovers a gift she never knew she had. There is plenty of action and adventure packed into these novels, and they are definitely page-turners.

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Finally, if you’re looking for a book that holds a historical feel, mystery and romance; check out one of Milwaukee’s own authors. Jenny Benjamin’s book This Most Amazing tells the tale of a young woman who is about to leave to teach writing in Italy. It is an excellent story of love and enlightenment.

Take some time for yourself this weekend! Pick up a good book and enter a different world.  Happy reading!

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The Birds and The Bees

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Header In order to get the beautiful blooms we do each year, flowers need to be pollinated by our friendly neighborhood bees. Contrary to popular opinions, bees are very important in our ecosystems and are not a pest. There are over 4,000 different species of bees in the United States, but we are mainly going to focus on the Mason Bee and the benefits of bees everywhere. Mason Bees do not live in a hive and work for themselves. Male Mason Bees do not sting and female Mason Bees only sting if they’re threatened. This is what makes them a good neighbor to have in your garden; they will pollinate your flowers but not pose any threats. A good way to attract and keep these friendly pollinators is to keep a Mason Bee Home close to your garden. MasonBee Another important pollinator is the hummingbird. These small, beautiful birds are so smart that they will remember every flower and how long it will take to get a full meal from it again. Most plants depend on hummingbirds to pollinate them. Hummingbirds pollinate flowers by brushing their forehead and face on each flower while drinking nectar. A hummingbird will, on average, visit around 1,000 flowers a day. The most popular way to attract these fast-moving beauties are hummingbird feeders. Check out our cute hummingbird feeders and add one to your yard! Hummingbird   Let us know what your favorite type of pollinator is!

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Entertaining with the Perfect Spritzer

Outdoor Party, Store

With the winter that some of us have had, it’s hard to believe Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner! As long as the weather continues to cooperate and you have off work, it’ll be the perfect opportunity to kick off the season of outdoor entertaining.

What’s better than a warm sunny day filled with outdoor games, grilling and relaxing? A fizzy drink to sip all day long! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite refreshing spritzer recipes and thought we’d share… just in case you wanted to try something new at your next get together this summer.

(Source Tasty Kitchen)

Watermelon Spritzer from Tasty Kitchen
This one is great for when you have that watermelon, fruity craving!

  • 2.5 pounds Fresh Watermelon (seedless If You Can Find It), Rind Removed And Cut Into Cubes
  • 3 whole Lemons (seedless If You Can Find It), Juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 2 cups Chilled Seltzer Water (more Or Less)
  • 6 sprigs Lemon Balm Or Mint, For Garnish (optional!)

  1. Place the watermelon, lemon juice and honey into a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Strain the mixture into a large bowl, pressing the juice out of any seeds or pulp that remains in the strainer.
  3. Pour the juice into a large pitcher and chill until you’re ready to drink.
  4. Serve with a splash of seltzer water and lemon balm or mint, if using.

Green Tea & Ginger Spritzer from Newport Natural Health
Green tea and ginger are always a great duo, plus they are both so healthy for you!

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup raw organic honey (you may substitute a bit of the herbal sweetener stevia, if you prefer)
  • 6 green tea bags or 6 ounces of green tea leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bottle of your favorite unflavored sparkling mineral water
  1. Combine water, honey or stevia, ginger, and grated lemon peel in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a slow boil. Cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat. Add the green tea bags or tea leaves (inside a tea ball), cover, and allow to steep for another ten minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Remove tea bags or tea ball. Add lemon juice and stir. Pour into a container with a lid (preferably glass rather than plastic) and place in the refrigerator to chill.
  4. When tea mixture has cooled, pour about 1/2 cup into a glass of ice. Fill the glass with sparkling mineral water, and enjoy a refreshing, healthy drink!

Star Spangled Spritzer from Apron Strings Blog
Why not carry the patriotic spirit into the drinks with this red, white and blue deliciousness.

  1. Place a few strawberries, blueberries and chunks of pineapple in a glass.
  2. Muddle the fruit by mashing it with a wooden spoon or muddler (if you have fancy barkeep type equipment).
  3. Toss in some ice cubes and bits of the aforementioned fruits.
  4. Pour in a favorite ginger ale or lemon lime soda.
  5. Sip on your veranda whilst lounging in a swing or Adirondack chair, fanning yourself with a paper fan southern belle style. Ok, that last step is optional. But so fun.

Let us know which one is your favorite, or if you have a great spritzer recipe of your own to share! PS – Need a few outdoor living accessories to spruce up your outdoor space before you invite people over? Check out our firepits, grilling accessories, lighting decor and more on Willard and May!

Happy Memorial Day!

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Spring is Almost Here!

Birds, Gardening, Gifts, Store

Most of us are extremely sick of this winter, but don’t worry, winter can’t last forever! The cold is just grasping on and sticking around longer than normal, but fear not, Spring is almost here… you can already tell since daylight seems to stick around a little longer each night!

Everyone here at Willard & May is really excited about spring coming up! Here are our top reasons why we enjoy Spring:

1. The weather is warming up, finally! Be sure to watch the temperatures rise with these cute & stylish thermometers.

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Herb Pattern Thermometer – $10.00

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Blue Blossom Ceramic Thermometer – $24.24

1172Froggy Thermometer – $11.00

2. The birds are returning to the yard, so get out your bird feeders and bird houses! Use this modern bird feeder; a great addition to your yard. Bring back the song of the birds!

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Modern Bird Feeder - Only $20.00

3. You can scratch that garden itch by starting your seeds indoors or by planting herbs or annuals. Check out these small leaf-patterned pots on a tray, there is nothing quite like the vibrancy of new spring leaves. A great way to cheer you up after this long harsh winter we have had!

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3 Elm Pots on Tray – $13.00

There are so many great reasons to love Spring! Tell us what you love about spring – we’d love to hear.

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It’s Not Too Late!

Gifts, Store

So it is officially last minute shopping for Valentine’s Day! Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Check out our Willard & May gift cards that are sent directly to your email (or your sweeties email) for that perfect surprise! You don’t even have to wait for shipping or anything! How great is that? You can thank us later when you won’t be sent to the dog house this year! giftcard

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Don’t worry we won’t tell your Valentine you shopped last minute!

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Perfect Entryway

Curb Appeal, Outdoor Decor, Pin Inspiration, Store

Looking for some change in your home, but don’t know where to start? Well how about your entryway – inside and outside! This is the perfect way to impress your guests and family as it is the first thing they see when first stepping foot into your home. It doesn’t take much to turn your front door and entryway from a stark and dull space to an inviting place for everyone who comes to your home!

Here are some great ideas and items you can use to spruce up your entryway, making that great and lasting impression on your guests!

lights Light the way – As people walk up to your entrance you want to be sure that they can visibly get to it so make sure to light up your walkway as well as your entryway! You have several options: chandeliers, sconces, lanterns, etc. Willard and May has a great selection of different lanterns and lighting options to help brighten up your entryway!

knock Knock Away – When people arrive at your front door give them something fun to knock on your door with! Willard and May have some great door knockers! Go check them out!

doormats Stomp the Ground – To keep all the dirt from tracking into your house, make sure to have a doormat to catch all the debris keeping your house tiding and clean! Check out some of the Willard & May Doormats!

bootrack Keep it Clean _ It’s a great idea to have storage for shoes so be sure to have a shoe rack to keep everything organized! Check out Willard & May’s Boot Rack and Scraper!

star-hook Hook it Up – It’s a great idea to have hooks for your guests coats so be sure to have plenty! Check out Willard & May’s Star Iron Hooks! (Source: Pinterest)

stool-chair Set it Down – Make sure you have a stool, table, bench, or chair to have nearby making the space look cozier and lets taking off those boots so much easier! Check out Willard & May’s Stool/Table! (Source: Kapstok)

chalkboard To Do List – Use Willard & May’s Organization Chalkboard to write down whatever you may need to remember! This great chalkboard is great indoors and outdoors!

key-hider Locked Out, Keep it Hidden – Hide your house key in a fun way with these great Animal Key Holders from Willard & May!

By creating a functional entryway, you will make your life less chaotic and become organized with style! Check out the rest of our great items to create the perfect entryway at Willard & May! We’d love to hear what you think or what you’ve done to spruce up your entryway or let us know your ideas in the comments below!

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The Sweetheart’s Guide

Gifts, Pin Inspiration, Store, Weekend DIY

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. That slightly annoying, yet awesome holiday! It lets you eat as much chocolate as you want, bake up something sweet and celebrate LOVE! That means it’s time to start thinking about what to get your sweetie (or you can always treat yourself)!

Thinking of what to get that special someone can be tough because of course it has to top last years gift! So to help you out, we’ve got some great ideas for that special someone in your life! If you’re single that doesn’t mean you and your friends can’t exchange gifts :)

Here are a few quick and easy gifts to treat your sweetie:

Breakfast in bed, is always a good start to Valentine’s Day! Who doesn’t love breakfast in bed? It’s a no brainer, that is simple, sweet, and tasty! Our serving trays are perfect for this!
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(Source: La Vie En Mode)

Bake up something sweet and cook their favorite meal! One way to a man’s heart is with food, so why not bake up some goodies to go along with his favorite meal! Or even better make the meal together! martha

(Source:Martha Stewart)

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(Source: Las Recetas de la Felicidad)

One of the most common gifts for Valentine’s Day are flowers. Why not change it up? Instead of getting a bouquet of flowers for your sweetie, treat them to one of our Amaryllis Flower Kits that can last a lot longer than a normal bouquet of flowers!

valentines-dayYou can find these styles of flower kits and many others at willardandmay.com [1. Amaryllis Red Lion in Red Polka Dot Pot, 2. Amaryllis Red Lion in White Polka Dot Pot, 3. Red Sparkle Chilled Hyacinth Grow Kit, 4. White Sparkle Chilled Hyacinth Grow Kit, 5. Chilled Hyacinth Grow Kit, 6. Amaryllis in Woven Sea Grass Gift Kit, 7. Raspberry Amaryllis in Dark Sea Grass Planter.]

We hope you find our sweetheart’s guide full of Valentine’s Day ideas helpful! You can check out more great Valentine’s Day gifts at Willard & May. We’d love to hear what you think or what you’ve done to treat your sweetie or let us know your ideas to pamper your loved ones in the comments below!

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Beat those Winter Blues

Outdoor Decor, Store

It’s nearing the end of January and it seems to keep dragging on with the blustery weather. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring and to plunge into summer (just like this cute little turtle)! turtle Use these great cobalt blue items to liven things up a bit in your outdoor garden or check out our last post about winter rejuvenation inside your home! It’s a great feeling after this long winter we have been through! wm-winter-blues With these vibrant colored items from Willard & May, you’ll be sure to beat those winter blues. Help get yourself out of that winter funk and ready for the spring! We’d love to hear what you think, let us know your ideas to help with beat the winter blues in the comments below!

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Winter Rejuvenation

Gardening, Gifts, Store, Weekend DIY

Every year around this time is the time to start putting away all of those Christmas decorations you put up. So since it’s January and the month of new beginnings, we thought it would be fitting to share some tips to rejuvenate your house this winter:

  • CLEAN & ORGANIZE! After you take down your Christmas tree and pack away all of your Christmas decor, clean and let those windows sparkle! With a clean house it makes rejuvenating your home a breeze. Cleaning gives you a fresh slate to work with. While cleaning, get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year. If you haven’t used it in the last year, it’s very likely that you still won’t use it this year –  make some more space for things you actually use!
  • Consider a new layout! Changing a room’s layout can make a huge difference + it’s free and simple. The new layout can also create a better traffic flow than before. Is everything that’s organized in the most beneficial location? If not, it’s time to make the move!
  • Instead of putting your usual decor back in its original spot, find a new place for it. Change it up — that’s what January is all about!
  • Make some updates! Now is the time to update an old piece of furniture whether it’s painting or reupholstering a chair. These little things can make a huge difference!
  • Mix it up. Take things from your bedroom and swap them with decor in the living room! Make things interesting and see your decor in a whole new light!
  • Tray Chic: Use trays to corral smaller items together. They are perfect in the living room, for instance,  to group candles with a floral accent. Or perhaps you could place one in the bedroom to display your perfume. You can find trays at Willard & May that are perfect for any of these examples and more!
  • With winter reaching most states, it’s gloomy, snowy, and nothing really grows. Which makes Willard & May’s Faux Forever Terrariums great for rejuvenating your house and bringing in some greenery. Willard & May has a variety of different terrariums to choose from and you can even customize them yourself!

wm-refresh-colorYou can find these refreshing items and many others at willardandmay.com [Clockwise from top to left: Forever Terrarium-Grass | Forever Terrarium-Square | Forever Terrarium-Cylinder | Forever Terrarium-Bubble | Forever Terrarium-Large Bubble | 3 Elm Pots on Tray | Colorful Sleek Lanterns ]

With these tips, your house is sure to have a fresh and rejuvenated feel. Help get yourself out of that winter funk and ready for the spring! We’d love to hear what you think or what you’ve done to rejuvenate your living space — let us know your ideas to help with winter home rejuvenation in the comments below!

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