December 28, 2012

two thousand twelve recap

As the year comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to take a look back and see what's been happening around here.  I started this little blog in May 2012 and I didn't tell anyone about it until sometime in June.  I wasn't sure if I would keep up with it or if anyone would actually read what I wrote.  And I can truly say that it has been lots of fun and such a talented, positive community.  So I am beyond thankful to everyone would reads, comments, follows, and to fellow bloggers who have highlighted my projects and been so encouraging.

So here are ten favorite post over the past 6 months.  So view the full posts, click on the title.

  thankful tablescape

Looking forward to what the new year brings!  Thank you all so much for reading!

December 27, 2012

have u recovered

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  Ours spanned over several days ~ we had three Christmas celebrations and two birthday celebrations.  My son's birthday is on the 25th and mine is the 26th.  It was filled with great memories.  We got back home yesterday and we've been doing a little organizing and cleaning up, but still lots of time playing, eating and enjoying our time off together.  Here are a few pictures from some of our Christmas events...

How was your Christmas?  Have you recovered?

December 21, 2012

christmas around our house

1.  silver and gold vignette
2.  diy pinecone cluster & chalkboard christmas tree
3.  boxwood mantel & our christmas tree
4.  craft tape in lieu of ribbon for wrapping gifts
5.  celebrating Jesus' birth and welcoming santa too
6.  diy christmas banner
7.  be merry strawberry butter cake

Here's a look back at all the Christmas decor, projects and recipes that have been happening around our house this holiday season.  I wrapped my last gift last night, so besides making a couple of Christmas treats I'm ready to relax, enjoy and celebrate Christmas. 

have a beautiful day

December 20, 2012

cherish the season


Cherish the Season...

When I created this card, I didn't realize exactly how much these three little words would mean to me this holiday season

I hope to savor all the little things and enjoy our precious family time together

One of the greatest gifts we can give this holiday season is...each other

Merry Christmas and

Cherish the Season

December 19, 2012

dear santa

When I saw this Santa's Magic Key poem, I knew I wanted to create something similar in our home.  Because we have a fireplace, we have always told the kids that Santa comes down the chimney, so instead of doing the magic key, I decided to create a letter to Santa relating the same message.

In our home we celebrate the birth of Christ and add the whimsy of Santa too.  To help the kids remember what's important about Christmas, we will be including this letter to Santa along with his cookies.

The letter reads:

Dear Santa,
Thank you for coming to our house tonight.
We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Thank you Santa for the gifts you bring.
Thank you Lord for everything.
Merry Christmas,
Grant, Becky, Preston and Lyla

It's short and sweet, yet provides an significant message that the kids can understand.

Happy Holidays


December 18, 2012

silver and gold vignette

Every time I go into a store this holiday season, I am immediately drawn to the silver antiqued glass mercury pieces.  Because my mantel decor was very simple with boxwoods and a neutral palette, I decided to decorate this buffet in my dining with some pretty shiny pieces.

The decor is a mix of old and new.  I've had the gold ornament tree and the ornaments for several years now.  The antique mercury tree I picked up from Pottery Barn earlier this Fall.  I recently added the large hurricane candle holder from Home Goods, and the tall candlestick and smaller votives are from World Market.  I added some varying heights by placing the votives on glass candles sticks.  I love how shiny and glam it is when I enter the front door.

Merry Tuesday

December 14, 2012

December 13, 2012

be merry cake

be merry cake
{strawberry butter cake}

  1. Duncan Hines butter recipe cake mix (don't forget the ingredients on the box to make the cake)
  2. Large pack of strawberries
  3. Cool Whip - 1 large tub
  4. Sugar
  • Make cake as directed
  • Divide into two round 9 inch pans and bake as directed
  • Flip one cake upside down on the dish that you will be serving it on
  • Cut strawberries into thin slices (leave 4 of the prettiest strawberries out to use for the top of the cake)
  • Place strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle slices with lots of sugar and mix well
  • Place sugar strawberries slices in refrigerator while you start to layer the cool whip on top of the first cake
  • Place a layer of strawberries on top of the cool whip for filling (avoid placing strawberry slices on very edge, so that the juice will not seep down the sides)
  • Next, layer more cool whip over the strawberry filling
  • Add the second cake on top of filling
  • Cool whip the top and sides of the entire cake with a thick layer
  • Finally place the 4 remaining whole strawberries (or other decorative topping) on top in any design you like!

{original recipe from Desiree @ Chic Coastal Living - i modified it to one cake mix & one large tub of cool whip}

I've shared this recipe before, but this time I changed it up a bit for Christmas by adding red M&Ms to make a cheerful polka dot cake.  You can check it out with the strawberries on top here.

Merry Thursday


December 12, 2012

celebrating seven

This past weekend we celebrated Preston's 7th birthday!  He's birthday is December 25th, so we usually do an early December birthday party. 

This was one of the easiest parties we've done.  I have absolutely nothing creative to share with you, but I do have one happy almost 7 year old boy :) 

I think this is the first birthday party that I did almost nothing for except send out evites :)  It was all bowling and arcade related, and all we had to do was SHOW UP!  Such a great, stress-free birthday party ~ perfect for a very busy December!

Have an amazing day!

December 11, 2012

oh christmas tree

This year for our Christmas tree we changed things up a bit. First, we changed the location.  Last year our tree was in our foyer, which was pretty, but a little uncomfortable on Christmas morning sitting on the cold, hard tile opening presents.   I love having it next to the fireplace (yay for colder weather, so we can fire it up) in our family room.  This is the space where we gather most.  It opens to our kitchen and the seating is much more comfortable for opening presents :) 

As far as decorating, we only put lights and ornaments on the tree this year.  In the past, I put beaded garland and ribbon, but decided to skip all that this year.  I also used to do an all white and gold tree, but this year we have every color and every kind of ornament including Christopher Radko ornaments, popsicle-stick-kid-made ornaments, glass angels, feathered swans, plastic ballet shoes, etc.  It makes it special for the kids to see the ornaments hanging on the tree that they created and to look back at all the ones we have collected, inherited, and received over the years.

The last thing I changed about our tree was the top.  For years, a fluffy white and gold angle graced the top, but this year I used gold berry clusters to finish off our tree.
What about you ~ how do you decorate your Christmas tree?  Has it changed over the years?
Merry Tuesday!


December 10, 2012

chalkboard christmas tree

After seeing some super cute chalkboard Christmas trees floating around, I decided my chalkboard need one too :) 

I'm really enjoying it next to my pinecone cluster!

Have a terrific day!

December 7, 2012

kitchen cabinets painted & hardware installed

Switching gears a little today from Christmas posts, back to a quick kitchen update.

We finally finished installing all our kitchen cabinet hardware and couldn't be happier with how the kitchen is turning out!
And a quick before picture:
And after paint and new hardware:
You can go here to see the paint process.  Next on the agenda is the lighting.  I've narrowed it down to three choices, but I'll need help deciding :) 
Here's a breakdown of our mini kitchen makeover:
install hardware
new lighting (replace 3 small pendants with 2 larger pendant lights)
replace backsplash

Merry Weekend!

December 6, 2012

Tiny Prints

One of my favorite parts of the Holiday season is receiving our family and friend's Christmas and Holiday cards in the mail.  I have used Tiny Prints for many years designing my Christmas cards, and their cards are truly top in both style and quality.  Tiny Prints' Holiday Collection is a beautiful assortment of cards with many designs, fonts, layouts and colors.  There are many personalizing options to make your cards extra special and it's a perfect way to help remember this holiday season.  The possibilities are endless and there is definitely something for everyone! 

I've rounded up some of my favorite festive cards from Tiny Prints.


I spent one evening cozied up by our tree, listening to Christmas music creating this special card for my family's 2012 Christmas card.

Tiny Prints really makes it easy to sit down and quickly design a beautiful, high quality card capturing your memories.  If you're looking for the perfect holiday card that will leave a lasting impression, go check out Tiny Prints' Holiday Collection

And they are graciously offering...

A Sitewide Sale: 25% off Any Order!
Code: DEC25 
This promo starts on Friday 12/7/12 and Expires 12/9/12

Enjoy!  Merry Thursday!!