Christmas Ornaments, Tree Skirts, & Stockings, Oh My!

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The holidays are in full swing and if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to get out those boxes of decorations and go to town! If you are looking to freshen up your decor, here are some new favorites to peruse.

ORNAMENTS

Bottle Brush Ornament - Baby Fox + ScarfBaby Fox Bottle Brush Ornament

Every tree needs a cute animal ornament – love his plaid scarf!

Foiled Bell Ornaments Set of 3Foiled Bell Ornaments

Set of Three Heart OrnamentsBirch Heart Ornaments

Marbled OrnamentGold Marbled Ornament

Faux Quartz Starburst OrnamentFaux Quartz Starburst Ornaments

Double Glass Sphere Ornament: Double Glass Sphere Ornament

Bottlebrush Wreath Ornaments

Paint-Your-Own Ornament Kit

These peg doll ornaments are so sweet and the possibilities are endless!

TREE SKIRTS

Christmas Hex Tree Skirt: Hex Tree Skirt

Quilted Velvet Tree Skirt, Ivory: Quilted Velvet Tree Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirts | Minted: Snow-Covered Woods Tree Skirt

Minted now carries tree skirts and the best part is, they are reversible!

Stitched Linen Tree Skirt: Stitched Linen Tree Skirt

Design, DIY & Home Improvement blog focusing on hunting for your own personal style… on any budget "Hunted Interior": Christmas Tree in Urn

Skip the tree skirt completely, and try this tutorial by Kristin at The Hunted Interior!

STOCKINGS

<div>Hand-cut reverse felt applique stocking on velvet.</div>: Symmetry Stocking

Black + White Check Stocking: Plaid and Stripe Stockings

Love all these colors and patterns from Schoolhouse Electric!

White Christmas Stocking, White Stocking, White Christmas Stockings, White Stockings, White Matelasse Stocking: Matelasse Stocking

Chunky Knit Striped Christmas Stocking Red by LaurenAstonDesigns: Chunky Knit Stocking

19" Flower Wool Felt Stocking, Green: Flower Wool Felt Stocking

Happy decorating!

Feature Images via Schoolhouse Electric!

Shop Small & Support Local Businesses!

Here’s a list of local shops to consider while out shopping this weekend, throughout the holiday season and anytime throughout the year! Some of these shops even offer free delivery to the St. Louis area – good to know!

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Circa Boutique:  A clothing and gift boutique in downtown Belleville, IL and also Edwardsville, IL! The shop also offers candles, artwork, and custom jewelry!

City Sprouts:  A one-stop, super cool shop for babies and kids featuring amazing clothes, eco-friendly toys, designer diaper bags, and modern nursery furniture and decor.

Fable and Lore:  Hand-crafted, infinitely wearable jewelry for the modern free spirit.

Future Ancestor:  A curated home decor shop specializing in handmade goods, vintage furniture, and unique gifts.

Left Bank Books:  The oldest and largest independently-owned full-line bookstore in St. Louis. They offer a full-line of new and used books, gifts, cards, magazines, toys and services.

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Lemon Gem:  This brand-new kitchen store is set for its soft opening this Saturday, 11/26. It will offer the basics – pots, pans, spatulas, spoons, bakeware, aprons, kitchen gifts – from a range of well-known brands to local artisans. The shop will also feature a community cookbook library – how great is that?!

124 West Jefferson, Kirkwood, Missouri 63122

Moonbeams:  Located in the heart of Kirkwood this shop offers a variety of gift and home decor items that are truly unique and often one-of-a-kind!

Union Studio:  An independent and locally owned shop featuring a thoughtful, classic collection of St. Louis artists’ hand-crafted goods and fine art. Every item they sell—clothing, housewares and fine art—is handmade by nearby artists, our neighbors.

Urban Matter:   Home furnishings & gift shop featuring local makers, curated treasures & made-by-hand goods for both men & women.

Zee Bee Market:  Curated handmade & Fair Trade products from around the world – plus coffee, chocolate, tea, more. Their hand-crafted baskets are a personal favorite!

What are some other local gems that I missed – let us know where you like to shop in the St. Louis area.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING & HAPPY SHOPPING!

Home Sweet Home

As a designer I know the impact an environment can have on those living in it. So when I came across an article about Home Sweet Home, a St. Louis non-profit, in the Ladue News I knew I had to get involved. Next week many of us will gather around a table with family and friends and give thanks for the things in our lives that mean the most to us so I thought this would be an appropriate time to share the organization and my experience with you.

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ABOUT HOME SWEET HOME

Home Sweet Home is a local organization, based in midtown St. Louis, that works with case managers at partner agencies throughout the St. Louis region to provide clients access to new or gently-used furnishings and basic household items. The majority of the people they serve are veterans, those who are homeless, and survivors of domestic violence looking for a new start. This October they celebrated their first anniversary and in that short time they have served over 140 families in need in St Louis and St. Louis County.letter

“Just wanted to update you and your staff. And say thank you for all the work you do for us and the community. Home Sweet Home is a godsend and you and your staff are angels. My dad started to tear up when we brought the furniture in. In this day and time, when the world wants to take, I just want you to know that you guys gave me and my dad a home. Continued success and may God’s blessings continue for you and your families. This Marine is forever grateful. Semper Fi.”

HOW IT WORKS

Once referred by their case managers, clients are able to shop in their warehouse to select all of the furnishings and household items they will need for their new residence. All items are then packed, delivered and installed by Home Sweet Home volunteers. Their mission depends on furniture and household donations(they will come and pick up your items), volunteers(to help clients shop, pack, install, organize) and monetary donations.collage-1

“In order to effectively address homelessness in America and impact a long-term solution to this problem, people transitioning out of homelessness need help with stability. At Home Sweet Home, we believe part of that stability comes from establishing a first home stocked with the necessities for everyday life. Part of maintaining a home is usability and affordability. We can help make taking the first step to stable home life comfortable and accessible.”

MY EXPERIENCE

After reading the article and visiting their website, I contacted Betsy Reznicek, Executive Director at Home Sweet Home, to see how I could get involved.  On October 7th, I got the call! The client was a military veteran with a 4 year old daughter. Due to her work schedule and relying on public transportation she would be unable to come in and select her items. I was asked to come in and make the selections on her behalf then participate in the delivery and installation. Making the selections at the warehouse was an eye opening experience. While some of the clients they serve are in need of a few items this family was literally starting from scratch. When we arrived at the apartment for the install, it was completely empty except for a sleeping bag on the floor that the mom and daughter had been sleeping in together. That day we set up beds with linens and pillows, stocked the cabinets with plates, cups, and utensils, and arranged a small sitting and eating area. It doesn’t seem like much but to this family it was everything.12510406_485528648301571_1819704498813117248_n

I can tell you the entire process of loading the furniture at the warehouse to completing the install took no more than 2 hours. I can not tell you how many times the mom thanked and hugged each of us nor can I adequately express the emotions I experienced seeing her daughter jump into her very own bed with a pillow. I volunteered to make a difference in someone else’s life. I never expected the experience to make such a difference in mine.

 

If you are interested in learning more about Home Sweet Home, their volunteer opportunities and upcoming events, please visit their website or Facebook page.

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Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Menu!

Looking for some new recipes to elevate your Thanksgiving Day menu this year? I’ve got you covered! Here are some recipes that are sure to leave your guests craving more and begging you to share the recipes.

Caramel Churro Chex Mix

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It’s always a good idea to have a few snacks on hand. You may want to make an extra batch of this one because it looks too good to resist!

Arugula, Pear & Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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My sister-in-law made this last Thanksgiving and everyone loved it.  It’s the perfect mixture of flavors and also a great way to balance out the heavier dishes.

Roasted Green Beans with Balsamic Browned Butter

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If you only choose one recipe from this whole post to try, you HAVE to make this one!  This is another recipe my sister-in-law made last Thanksgiving and it was so delicious. Browned butter makes everything taste so yummy.

Easy Paleo Gravy

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This simple recipe substitutes cauliflower for flour.  This secret ingredient makes for a thick and creamy gravy.

Step up your flavor game with these easy butter recipes; one sweet and one savory.

Whipped Cinnamon Pumpkin Honey Butter

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Spread this on your rolls and use the leftovers to spread on your bagels and toast the next morning!

Homemade Herb Butter

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Try adding a little of this to your mashed potatoes, turkey and pretty much anything else on your plate.

Garlic Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan

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This recipe looks so simple and so tasty.

Thyme-Scented Squash Gratin

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Choose squash over potatoes for your gratin this year.

Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings

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This seems like a fool-proof recipe that even a non-baker (me) could pull off. What’s better than a variation of apple pie à la mode?

Sparkling Clementine Thyme Cocktail

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I love having a special cocktail for guests at my holiday parties. This is almost too pretty to drink! It looks so refreshing and festive.

Good luck with your planning and hopefully you’ve been inspired!

What is your Thanksgiving Decorating Style?

You would think as an interior designer my house would be perfectly decorated for fall and the Thanksgiving holiday.  I LOVE fall but I struggle to fully embrace the season until the weather and my surroundings start to reflect the transition. Thankfully fall weather has finally arrived in Saint Louis and my motivation kicked in! That is until I pulled out my fall decor and was totally underwhelmed with what was in front of me. After an hour of trying to make it work I decided it was time to reinvent my holiday decorating style. Sounds easy, right? What I thought would be a quick glance at Pinterest turned into 3 hours of my life that I will never get back! I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed but also super inspired by the different takes on the traditional Thanksgiving decor. Here are a few of my favorites…..

SHABBY CHIC

A MODERN TAKE

NATURAL ELEMENTS

COASTAL

MAD FOR PLAID

BLUE AND WHITE

JEWEL TONES

I would love to know what your Thanksgiving style is! If you need help discovering yours, contact us to find out about our Holiday Decorating Services.

Need more inspiration? Stop by our Thanksgiving Decor and Recipes page on Pinterest!

Holiday Design and Decorating Service St Louis

Saint Louis Artist – Chad M. Lawson

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GET FAMILIAR

Chad M. Lawson is a true creative soul living and working in downtown St. Louis! Chad is best known for his beautiful abstracts done on salvaged wood doors and his mixing of oils and acrylics to create unique textures and movement. Painting on a hard wood surface can pose quite a challenge but he has mastered the skills to do so. Each piece of art is striking, layered, and begs the viewer to take a closer look!

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BE INSPIRED

Chad finds inspiration in literature and music. Part of his process is to work on a few pieces at a time while listening to a specific musical artist or genre. The type of music influences the intensity of each stroke. One day he might add strong graffiti-like elements while listening to hip-hop and the next day add precise, delicate lines while listening to his favorite cellist.

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The sankofa symbol is another important element of his work. Based on a mythical bird with its feet firmly planted forward and its head turned backwards, sankofa signifies the wisdom in learning from the past to ensure a strong future. You can see elements of this symbol in several of his works (see below)!

 

SHOW ME MORE

Want to see more?! Chad currently has pieces on display at the Cortex as well as Whitebox Eatery! Be sure to visit his website to see more of his amazing creations.

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Chad is currently working on a collection investigating the journey and challenges within the adoption and adoptee narrative.  The collection features the adding and subtracting of layers, movement, and color in the search for identity, be it past or present. This work will be revealed at his February 2017 show.

Chad is also writing a book on growth for both ones art and building lasting relationships with clients. He draws on his over twenty years of curating his own work and others, with what would these days be called “pop-up” shows. Chad started doing this in the mid 1990’s in Miami, then St. Louis, and San Francisco. The book will also contain advice and questions for both new and established artists to help them better structure their time, finances, and resources. Be on the lookout for it early next year!

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Photos from my studio visit with Chad!

Viewings by appointment only.

chadmlawson@gmail.com | www.chadmlawson.com | @chadmlawson

Sherwin Williams 2017 Color Forecast

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Every year I look forward to Sherwin-Williams ColorMix, hosted in St. Louis, at KDR Designer Showroom. This event is the official unveiling of the projected color trends for the upcoming year. I was so inspired by the presentation I thought it would be fun to share the 4 palettes with you and show you how to accomplish each in your own home.

NOIR

It’s among our most precious commodities: night. We’re craving a refuge from urban streetlights and glowing screens, space to turn our gaze inward and recharge the spirit. Mindful melancholy is fueling a new romanticism marked by medieval patterns, revived customs and bittersweet beauty. The Dutch masters knew the secret: dark hues set a dramatic stage for sensuous luster. This palette is rich with vine-ripened fruits, Nordic blues, moody neutrals and golden yellows.

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HOLISTIC

Sustainable design and radical transparency are the new standards. As our daily transactions move further into the cloud, acquiring experiences is becoming preferable to buying more things. “Doing good” is the new looking good, and it’s taking the form of “voluntourism,” healing retreats and eco-travel. We’re in pursuit of an elusive ideal: a fair luxury. The roads of this journey are lined with arctic neutrals, blush rose and wild browns.

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INTREPID

The virtual and the real are blurring in the form of seamless commerce and “office anywhere” collaboration. Impatient for social and political change, we’re reinventing ourselves first. Identity has never been more fluid. “You do you” is the mantra of a generation primed for self-expression, cheered on by their own #squad and tossing aside old categories. There’s a feisty energy to our present moment, arriving in fiery tones and vibrant, kimono colors.

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UNBOUNDED

Global immigration is redefining borderlands, national identity and our sense of coexistence. We’re all citizens of the world now. Brands are becoming more purpose-driven, communities more connected. Design is adapting to more diverse populations. Overconsumption is, well, over. We’re more likely to invest in the best we can afford — crafted and customized — and then keep it forever. Global consciousness is a mural painted in earthy mustards, ocean blues, corals and mud.

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All room scene images and content courtesy of Sherwin-Williams.

Visit Schaub & Srote on Pinterest to view our boards dedicated to each palette.

Choosing The Right Countertop

Selecting the correct countertop material is one of the most important decisions in your kitchen or bath project. With so many materials available today it can be overwhelming when it comes time to make this selection. In today’s post we explore some of the most commonly used materials and the expectations associated with them.

GRANITE

Granite is, by far, the most popular material specified in kitchen and bath remodels.  It is a strong, durable and long lasting material. Granite is scratch-resistant, and when sealed, impervious to stain, heat and water.  Slabs are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Granite requires sealing at the time of installation and over the life of the material, typically once a year.

QUARTZ

Quartz countertops are a man-made product consisting of almost 90% quartz, making it an extremely durable non-porous material perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.  It does not require sealing, will not chip or crack and is stain and bacteria resistant. Quartz is available in wide variety of colors and patterns. In general, it is more expensive and not as heat tolerant as granite.

QUARTZITE

Quartzite is sandstone that has been subjected to heat and pressure due to tectonic compression. This resulting material is hard, dense and extremely resistant to abrasion and chemicals. Quartzite, like granite, does require sealing at the time of install and over the life of the material, typically once a year. This hard working material comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns and is idea for kitchens and bathrooms.

 

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MARBLE

Marble is a relatively hard material composed mostly of calcite. It is highly resistant to heat, cracks and breakage, however, marble is very porous and susceptible to staining and etching.  Marble is best used in areas where it will not be exposed to chemicals, citric or acidic substances. Even with the use of a sealer, clean-ups should be handled immediately. If you are in the market for a kitchen countertop and want the look of marble I suggest looking at a quartz or quartzite product that will give you look of marble and the performance of a granite without the maintenance and upkeep.

BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOPS

Appearance is the number one reason people select wood for their countertops. It adds natural beauty and warmth to any kitchen and works well with several design styles. There is considerable maintenance required to keep your wood tops looking like new. Proper sealing is a must to ensure a non-porous surface and protect the tops from water damage. Wood is much softer than other materials typically used in a kitchen so scratches and dents are inevitable. Additionally, your wood top may require sanding and refinishing over it’s lifetime depending on use.

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CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS

Concrete countertops offer a wide range or colors and finishes and are lightweight and durable. Concrete is naturally very heat resistant but also porous so a sealer is a must. The use of a sealer on your tops may cause discoloration if hot pans or pots are placed directly on the surface. Imperfections in the surface are a common occurrence due to the molding process and after time hairline fractures may occur. Concrete is gaining popularity in modern and rustic designs and works well in kitchens and bathrooms when properly maintained.

STAINLESS STEEL

Stainless is already the go-to countertop material in most restaurants. And for good reason – they perform amazing! They are non-porous, resistant to water, heat, stains, mold, bacteria and other household germs. Additionally, you can place hot pots and pans directly on top them with no worries. However, stainless countertops will scratch and dent and tend to show smudge marks and fingerprints. If you can live with that they are suitable in any application.

 

 

 

 

A Subtle Take on Fall Decor

The St. Louis summer heat has finally subsided and fall is in the air! I tend to want to curl up on the couch with a book, blanket and a scented candle around this time of year! I was inspired by Arhaus to share some quick tips on how you can make your home feel cozy during these cooler months.

WARM COLORS

Everyone first thinks of orange as the go-to fall color. However, I tend to lean toward neutrals and muted colors. Olive green, plum, golden yellow and warm metals are some favorites as well.

Maeve 99" Upholstered Tufted Sofa in Como Olive:

James Floor Lamp | Arhaus Furniture:

LAYER UP

As the weather gets colder, we tend to add on layers:  a blazer, scarf, etc. The same goes for your home. Drape a chunky throw over your sofa and keep a few extra in a textural basket nearby. Another idea is to layer a plush shag rug over a jute/sisal rug for a soft feeling underfoot.

Luxe Ivory Faux Fur Throw | Arhaus Furniture:

Sheepskin Small Wool Throw In Linen | Arhaus Furniture:

TEXTURE

Now is the time to introduce some heavier textiles into your space.  Velvets, cable knits, faux fur and hide all add interest and warmth.

Tapete Plum Chloe Velvet Rectangle Pillow | Arhaus Furniture:

Grey Hair on Hide 19" Square Pillow With Suede Back | Arhaus Furniture:

BRING THE OUTDOORS IN

Simply placing a deer shed atop a stack of books, displaying a dish of mini gourds or acorns and sticking some freshly cut ginkgo stems in a vase can go a long way.

Genuine Elk Antler | Arhaus Furniture:

Birch Tree 3" X 4" Pillar Candle | Arhaus Furniture:

FALL INSPIRED LIVING ROOM

What is your favorite way to incorporate the fall season into your home? Do you prefer a subtle look or do you embrace the season with full force?

Everything Fall

It is officially fall and today we are going to celebrate my favorite season!  I love everything about fall- the smells, the tastes, the decorations, the clothing and the events. When I think of fall I think of the smell of freshly fallen leaves, all things pumpkin spice, rustic elements rich in textures, dressing in layers and days spent at the pumpkin patch or winery and nights around a bonfire. I am so excited to share some of my favorite fall must-haves with you and hope this gets you in the mood to embrace the season!

THE SMELLS

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Leaves by Bath & Body Works

With notes of crisp red apple, golden nectar and warm clove spice this candle is sure to fill your home with the scent of Fall.

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Sea Salt Caramels by Samara & Mila

This handmade soy candle, “a sweet base of vanilla, maple and sea salt with creamed butter and silky smooth caramel”, sounds good enough to eat!

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No. 28 Pumpkin & Clove by Simpatico

Available locally at K. Hall Studios this scent is described as “sun warmed pumpkin blended with earthy and aromatic cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.”

THE TASTES

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Pumpkin Chai Latte

Homemade S'more with chocolate and marshmallow

S’mores

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Black Walnut Pumpkin Bread

THE DECORATIONS

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Wreath | Vignette | Plate Setting

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2016-09-232 Chrysanthemum | Burlap | Deep Purple Rose | Pumpkins & Gourds | Antler | Mercury Glass Jars | Hydrangea | Pheasant Feathers | Leaves | Sunflowers | Lanterns

THE CLOTHING

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THE EVENTS IN OCTOBER

Weekends at Eckert’s

Eckerts has something fun for the whole family. Their Pumpkin Jamboree is a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday in the beautiful autumn weather. This outing includes wagon rides, live entertainment, pony rides, a petting zoo and some fesival food favorites. They also have a Haunted Hayride and a Bonfire rental in the evenings. The hayride is a family friendly nighttime journey through the orchard with ghoulish surprises! Also offered is a Bonfire experience. Eckert’s has private bonfire sites available for rental that accommodate up to 40 people and include straw bale seating.

Ottertoberfest at the Zoo

The St Louis Zoo’s answer to Oktoberfest. Boasted as part German biergarten part outdoor classroom,this family-friendly spin features games, and activities centered around river otters.

Soulard Oktoberfest

The 2016 Soulard Oktoberfest is definitely happening. It will be held October 21-22 at Soulard Market Park. The announcement was just made last week when Soulard business owners came together after financial problems prompted the events board of directors to cancel this years festival. This will be the 13th year for the celebration. Click HERE for a link to the announcement.

Hermann Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is held every weekend of October in Hermann, Missouri. Visit the restaurants, shops, wineries and museums and enjoy a weekend full of food, beer, wine, music.

Twilight Tuesdays

This popular free concert series is held every tuesday evening at the Missouri History Museum. Picnic baskets, beverages, lawn chairs, blankets and pets are welcome. The concerts typically start around 6. Be sure to visit the Family Zone from 5:30-7:30 for face painting, make-and-take craft projects and a magician.

Best of Missouri Market

The Missouri Botanical Garden is transformed into an outdoor market the first weekend in October every year. The Best of Missouri Market features Missouri’s best crafters and food producers offering baked goods, handcrafted items, flowers, herbs, and custom jewelry. Live music and plenty of kid friendly activities are included.

Featured Image by JFM Photography