Tag Archives: Better Homes and Gardens

Spring Gardening Tips & Tricks

Today I'm discussing spring gardening tips and tricks. I've been scouring my favorite publications, and I thought I'd share what I've been learning.

Hi Everyone! I’m Nicole, Annette’s web-manager. I am back today to discuss spring gardening tips and tricks. When Annette talks about the fruits and vegetables she grows in her garden, I am always inspired. So, this year my husband and I are getting a head start on a garden of our own.

We actually pulled out the Farmer’s Almanac and did quite a bit of research about not only what grows in the spring, but what grows in Georgia. So far, we’re set on planting okra, peppers, and squash (mostly so I can make stuffed squash blossoms).

Today I'm discussing spring gardening tips and tricks. I've been scouring my favorite publications, and I thought I'd share what I've been learning.

I’ve been scouring Pinterest along with some of my favorite publications, and I thought I would share a little bit about what I’ve been learning about spring gardening. Consider this post a great starter resource that combines Martha’s knowledge with Real Simple’s ease.

Today I'm discussing spring gardening tips and tricks. I've been scouring my favorite publications, and I thought I'd share what I've been learning.

Tips and Tricks for Spring Gardening

  1. You can start planting carrots, radishes, and spinach now without worrying about that last lingering frost. Apparently these veggies can withstand light freezing temperatures, but make sure to cover them if it gets too cool out.
  2. Spring is also a great time to plant potatoes. They might be a fun item to plant around St. Patrick’s Day! I love red potatoes, and I am already dreaming of whipping up Annette’s Ligurian Pesto Pasta with green beans and red potatoes.
  3. At home soil tests can tell you a lot about what you’re working with. Martha recommends taking several samples and then using your discoveries to apply different fertilizers.
  4. Remember your zone. It will help you know when and what to plant.
  5. Don’t forget to prep your garden tools and gloves. Besides actually locating them all, remember to clean them all. You can use soap and water and give them a good scrub. Toss those old garden gloves in the washing machine, or simply buy new ones all together.

Is anyone out there a master gardener? I would love to hear your tips!

xo, Nicole

Images by Deborah Whitlaw Llewelleyn & Annette Joseph

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Hot off the Press: AJS Workshops are Making Headlines

Over the past few weeks, it has been thrilling to see my workshops getting so much awesome press. I feel like I’ve been walking on cloud 9! AJS Workshops & Retreats have been featured in some of the world’s top publications. We’ve been in Stylist Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, and even VOGUE. Yes, Vogue. See a few of our features for yourself below.

Over the past few weeks, it has been thrilling to see my workshops get so much awesome press. I feel like I've been walking on cloud 9!

Vogue: 5 Retreats for Harnessing Your Creative Spirit

Over the past few weeks, it has been thrilling to see my workshops get so much awesome press. I feel like I've been walking on cloud 9!

Better Homes & Gardens: Creative Class

Over the past few weeks, it has been thrilling to see my workshops get so much awesome press. I feel like I've been walking on cloud 9!

Hey Mama: How I Got My (Creative) Groove Back

Over the past few weeks, it has been thrilling to see my workshops get so much awesome press. I feel like I've been walking on cloud 9!

Stylist Magazine: How Making a Cup of Tea Became a Photo Opportunity

Over the past few weeks, it has been thrilling to see my workshops get so much awesome press. I feel like I've been walking on cloud 9!

Darling Magazine: 4 Things That Zap Your Creativity on Instagram

With AJS Workshops on the radar of so many people, I’m anticipating the remaining spots to sell-out quickly, and I’d love it if you were there with me. Join me and my team in our first summer at The Fortress. We’ll learn together, grow together, and eat and drink together. What are you waiting for?

There are only SIX spaces available for each workshop, and some are already sold out. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to travel, explore, and learn.

If you have any questions, be sure to email me at annette@annettejosephstyle.com, and in the meantime, wait for posts and updates on stylephotoworkshops Instagram account.

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How to Make Guests Feel at Home – Holiday Entertaining


Not only do I like to entertain guests around my table, but I also like to have guests stay at the house. Both here and in Italy, I have a houseful during holidays, and of course, all summer long on the Italian Riviera.

Making your guests feel at home is an art form. The secret to entertaining is to always make your guests feel special. Be gracious, be kind, and be caring, and your guests will always feel welcome and at home. There are some easy tricks that make visitors feel really special.

Here are a few easy ways to make guests feel at home that I’d like to share. I love tricking out our guest room with little extras.

Trick out the guest room:


  1. Make sure the sheets are soft, well laundered, fresh, crisp, and pretty.
  2. Place flowers, books, and magazines on the side table.
  3. Put out a brand new scented candle, and don’t forget the matches.
  4. Have plenty of pillows and blankets in the closet.
  5. Place a couple of bottles of water in the room.
  6. Make sure you go over how the television works.
  7. Show guests where the temperature controls are, especially if guests are on a different floor from where you are.

Trick out the bathroom:

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  1. Place fresh soap in the shower/bath.
  2. Put out plenty freshly laundered towels, lots of them.
  3. Put out some fresh flowers.
  4. Have a basket filled with extra toothpaste and tooth brushes.
  5. Have a hair dyer on hand.
  6. Have shampoo and conditioner in the shower and make sure they are filled.
  7. Hang a freshly laundered robe available for guests to use.

Have snacks and food available in a self serve situation:


  1. Make your kitchen available for guests to help themselves.
  2. Have plenty of fresh fruit in a large bowl on the counter in the kitchen.
  3. Have a self serve coffee station. I personally love a Nespresso machine in the guest room or kitchen for guests to make themselves a cup in the morning.
  4. Cookies are a nice touch.

The most important tip is to check out the guest room and the guest bath before your guests arrive. Make sure you have everything on hand for guests. Once guests depart, don’t forget to replenish. Everything should be full, fresh, and attended to in your guest room. It’s just like running a hotel; the most important thing are the details. Your guests will be comfortable and happy, and that’s what it’s all about. Happy Holidays and enjoy of all your house guests.

Photos from Better Homes and Gardens 

Styled by me, Photography Rob Brinson, Edmund Barr

Kitchen Photo from Coin Cafe Pour La Masion

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key areas to organize in your home

bdf36a6284d151777e404f9f85058725 Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had a fabulous time celebrating. I had an amazing New Year’s Eve. I was on the Today Show sharing last minute party ideas in the morning and at home with my husband drinking champagne and eating steak frites while watching Casablanca that night. You can check out the Today Show video here.

It’s resolution time! I know many of you will vow to become more organized so I wanted to share some of my best tips with you. I am crazy organized, it’s just how I am so I love helping those who are more challenged in this area because it clears your mind to have an uncluttered space. My biggest tip is to start small. This is always the way I start…

Even the smallest of organizing projects can launch you into a full-on organizing frenzy. In order to keep from being overwhelmed I like to pick one project per week. It’s totally doable and will make a huge difference in your home which will trickle into the rest of your life.

First things first, identify the areas of attack. Let’s go room to room, shall we?

1. Kitchen – check your pantry for expired items and toss accordingly. You will be surprised how quickly your pantry clears out. If you make it a regular practice to toss and check labels your pantry will stay organized. This is also a great time to throw out things that are unhealthy, high in calories, or processed. Clean up your pantry and clean up your diet. This will be hugely helpful if you’re following along on my 21 day juice cleanse. 101751139.jpg.rendition.largest 2. Closet – I like to go through my clothes and purge every 3 months. If you are starting fresh in January with a closet purge, start with reorganizing your jewelry. These display cases are fantastic. I found them in a closet I styled in New Orleans. I loved that the homeowner paired down her collection to only the things she wore regularly. I find that the Container store has some great jewelery storage solutions, I personally love the pocket style storage bags. b87976cd217d13c2a2da2411a2dd8a5d 3. Home office – I work from my home, as many of you do. This is an on-going trend, more and more people are working from home these days. With that being said, staying organized at home is even more important. An organized office makes for an efficient work place. I styled this office for my dear friend Erika Ward for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. As many of you know by now from the behind the scenes I post, as a stylist it is sometimes my job to create spaces with the homeowners for a story. In this case Erika had a great home office, but she and I tweaked it for the shoot. We added this organizational wall. It was a pretty easy fix using IKEA elements, washi tape and some chalk board paint. 25d8e6e1d8a133ec2cc08822949c9202 5. Laundry room – I don’t know about you, but I love a well appointed laundry room. Sometimes this is the easiest room to effectively change. Storage bins and baskets on an added shelf might be all you need. Something decorative like a small piece of artwork makes this work space feel pretty. You want a great place to fold laundry, especially if you’re like me and you spend an awful lot of time there. A quick and easy fix is to color coordinate some pretty soap and laundry products. There are so many available now at any store like Target and Mrs. Meyers detergents and cleaning supplies are some of my go-tos. It makes for instant design and it’s functional too. I also love using galvanized bins from Pottery Barn. Trust me, they will last forever. 9d9abe5ad0059feb2062fcc58ffa91be I would love to hear about your projects. Use the start of the year to challenge yourself to organize your home and create peaceful and beautiful spaces to live in. All the best for 2014, make it a good one. xx

all images styled by me and photographed for Better Homes and Gardens Magazine


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Weekend Project: Spruce up your Guest Bath!

bhg One of the things that is most important as a host is making your guests feel at home. There’s still time to spruce up your guest bath this weekend before the arrival of all your holiday guests. In January’s Better Homes and Gardens special organizing issue I show you how.  While you’re at it check out the entire issue for more organizing ideas and projects! bhg_0002 bhg_0003 Here are some simple solutions to cut down on clutter.

Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear about any last minute projects you tackle before your loved ones show up on your doorstep!

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