Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas From the Heart of the Home

This weekend is my favorite weekend of the whole year.  Not only do I get to celebrate Thanksgiving but I also get to bring out the Christmas decor.  This morning it is snowing ever so lightly and I am taking full advantage of the holiday spirit.  I found this Susan Branch Christmas from the Heart of the Home book at a thrift store years ago.  I like to re-read it every year and I started it just this morning.
I am sitting in my comfy chair, sipping on a nice hot mug of peppermint hot chocolate.  I've got my little silver tree lit up beside me and I am in my Christmas PJ's.   And of course, the Christmas music is playing in the background.
Across the room from where I sit is this magical scene.  My beautiful mantle is decorated in Christmas colors and our tree is all lit up and decorated.  I decided to use all of my ornaments this year and have a colorful tree.  Most of the ornaments on my tree were made for me by my grandma.  Since this is our first Christmas without her, these ornaments mean even more to me.   
I am picking out which things from this book I will try out this year.  I absolutely adore this book and all the wonderful ideas she has.  The illustrations and stories just add to the merriment of it.  There are recipes for appetizers, drinks, side dishes, main dishes, desserts and even a recipe for the dogs too!  I am so glad I found this book and bought it.  It has quickly become a tradition that I love and will continue! 
I am truly in the Christmas spirit already and am looking forward to the holidays this year.  I have a few things on my bucket list that I can't wait to check off!  I have a good head start and have so much more to do.  Good thing I have an amazing husband who lets me do some crazy things and goes along with all of my wild ideas! 
I hope you are getting in the Christmas spirit too!

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  Spotted these wild turkeys last weekend in an apple orchard and just had to snap a photo of them.  
The winner of the Scentsicles giveaway is #3-Nana Diana!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rustic Evergreen Wreath & Giveaway

By this time next week, I will have all my Christmas decorations out and on display.  But today, I only have one Christmas decoration out and it is only because I just made it this morning.  We are a fake tree household around here, but I love and miss the smell of a real tree.
I have always loved the look of a real evergreen wreath and since I have so many pine trees growing all over my property, I thought I would try my hand at making a wreath.  It's very rustic but the smell is what I am really going for! 
I just bent a wire hanger into a circle, clipped some pine sprigs from the trees and attached them to the hanger with twist ties.  I added a sparkly red bow to the top and hung it on my vintage gate in the living room.  The smell is already filling up the room! 
I love the way it looks on my vintage gate and I can't wait to decorate this little corner of the room the day after Thanksgiving.  

If you too are a fake tree household and want to bring in the smell of real pine, you can make a wreath like me or you can get some of these nifty little ScentSicles that will help you scent your tree with the natural smell of pine.  
You can enter to win your very own 3 pack of these Snowberry Wreath ScentSicles for your holiday trimmings by leaving a comment on this post. You have until Thursday morning (Thanksgiving Day) to enter.  If you are looking for more scents and other incredible Christmas goodies, visit Tree Classics to see all that they have to offer.  Visiting their site will surely put you in the holiday mood!
This giveaway is only open to US Residents.  Winner will be sent a 3 pack of ScentSicles and will be responsible for sending their address to Tree Classics.  Good luck everyone!

*This giveaway is now closed*

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Be Brave Baylee

Not too long ago, I stumbled upon a story about a 15 year old burn victim who was crowned Homecoming Princess by her fellow classmates.  I was immediately sucked into Baylee's story and followed her Facebook page-Be Brave Baylee from that day forward.  I looked forward to reading the updates every evening and found myself thinking about her and praying for her on a regular basis.  On Sunday, when they posted that Baylee was being taken off of life support, my heart sank.  I so badly wanted to be able to follow her journey to recovery, no matter how long that took.  And last night, when they posted that Baylee passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, the tears were unstoppable.  I cannot even begin to imagine all that her family has been through or all that Baylee had to endure.  So many times we hear that things happen for a reason, but this tragedy just makes no sense.  I find myself thinking about her non-stop today and I am amazed by all the people that her life touched.  In the 4 months since her accident, she has gained tens of thousands of people praying for her every single minute of every single day.  Although I do not know her or her family personally, I feel like I know them just from what they have shared.  And I share just a small portion of their pain but know that in heaven, Baylee is no longer in pain or suffering.  Sometimes when I am frustrated that everyone around me is having babies except me, I just remember that things could be a lot worse.  I think of Baylee who won't get to fall in love or have a wedding or have babies, and I remind myself to be thankful for having a life.  Baylee, I know that your life was cut unfairly short and in the end you suffered so much pain, but you have touched so many lives and made so many people better just by sharing your story with us.  Heaven is indeed rejoicing with you now there.  Rest in peace beautiful girl.  You have touched my life and for that, I will forever be grateful!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

My bare minimum Fall decorating

Moving in the middle of my favorite season-Fall-means that I haven't done much Fall decorating and that makes me sad.  So today I did just a tiny bit of decorating so that I could be happy!
This crate was a thrift store find that I painted white.  I knew these brown bottles would fit perfectly in it and I just added some pine cones, red mums and a little burlap banner to it.   Now my mantle is a little more festive and fun.
I found this Thanksgiving table cloth at a yard sale this summer and was glad when I remembered I had it.  It fits perfectly on my table when there are no leafs in it.  The cornucopia napkin holder and salt & pepper shakers are the perfect centerpiece. 
A wreath my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago for my birthday is on my front door to greet any guests. 
And this little vintage fruit crate has an assortment of pumpkins in it.  The little picket fence piece behind it is the perfect touch for a sweet outdoor vignette.  I think the scattered leaves and pine needles just add a bit more charm. 
So there you have it, my bare minimum Fall decorating.  I better start looking for my Christmas decorations now so that I am ready to get them all up the day after Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Finally, a house of our very own!

You may have noticed that I haven't been around much lately.  I have a good reason, I promise!  We bought a house!  Four years after I was laid off and we had to sell our house in a short sale, we finally have a house that is all ours.  We've been in the process for about a year and after a lot of disappointments and no-go's, we signed on October 20th.  We aren't all the way unpacked but I still wanted to share our new house with you.
I love my big kitchen and all the counter space and cupboards.  I also got a pantry and a bar.  We have plans to paint the cupboards, re-finish the counters and put in a new floor.   
We gained about 100 more square feet including this little bonus room next to the kitchen.  However, I lost major closet space and have no where to store my towels right now.  I am thinking of ideas as to how to store them.  Right now they are hanging out on the couch in this room. 
I also got a lovely new dining room with a built in hutch!  My dining room table looks perfect in here and we will be painting the chairs eventually.  It also needs a pretty chandelier.  I can't wait to host a dinner here soon. 
Our living room is small and cozy and I love the natural light.  The dogs love having all these windows to look out of. 
I wanted to decorate a little bit differently than our last house just so it felt new.  Cody says everyday it feels more and more like our home. 
Our house sits on an acre of land and is lined with pine trees.  We've been working all weekend to clean up leaves and pine needles.   
We have a well and a septic tank.  The water is a little stinky so it will just take us some time to figure out what we need to do to fix it.  Having our own home with property and a well and septic is really new to us but we are loving it!  
We will be painting the outside of the house in the spring.  Deciding what color to paint it might be the hardest part! 
Cody absolutely had to have a shop and this shop is so big and perfect for him.  We have room to park our camper and with all the pine trees, it feels like we are up in the mountains.  Can you see that little shed?  That will soon become my craft room! 
Cody is making the deck into an outdoor kitchen.  Sitting on the back porch is so peaceful.  We are looking forward to having people over to enjoy it with us.  And look who we have right out back!  These cows are intrigued by the dogs and I love having them right next to us.  Though we aren't deep in the country, it definitely feels like we are! 
We have so much more unpacking, decorating, painting and organizing to do.  I promise to show you more as we get it done!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Rest in Peace Molly

My parent's had to put their fur baby down last night.  Her liver was causing her problems and when my mom looked in her eyes, she knew Molly was ready to cross over the rainbow bridge.  As soon as I answered the phone last night and heard my mom's voice, I knew what was happening and I broke down in tears too.  This year has been a rough one for our family when it comes to loss and this just added more heartache.  
Molly was 13 years old and lived a long, wonderful life.  She was buried next to my brother's dog Muttley and will always be remembered.  We love you and will miss you Molly Marie.  Rest in peace my sweet, furry, chocolate sister.