Christmas Home Tour | 2016

Hello lovelies! Can you believe its almost Christmas? Like how fast did this season go? I am finally here today to share a little Christmas home tour with you. I’m especially excited this year because it is officially my first time hosting a family holiday at our house.  My parents are in the middle of building a new house and are living in a small apartment, so their place was not an option for our large family gathering.  I happily volunteered to host it at our house and I’m so excited, a bit stressed, but still excited to have everyone over.  I wanted to share with you all a little bit of how I decorated this year. Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite drink and enjoy! 

Christmas Home Tour  
Christmas Home Tour

Christmas Home Tour

Christmas Home Tour

We got a fake tree this year, that I actually bought from my sister. I like how big and full it is, but I definitely missed having a real tree.  Next year I think I’m going to attempt to flock it myself because I just love the look of flocked trees, but not the price. My favorite thing on my tree is the JOY banner that I made a few years ago. I try to incorporate it somewhere every year and this year it fit nicely on our tree.  

Christmas Home Tour

Christmas Home Tour

 

Christmas Home Tour

 

Christmas Home Tour

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I made this skinny “fresh cut trees” sign by hand the other day.  It’s just a skinny scrap board that I painted white with a green border and then I stenciled the letters with some stencils that I had. I hand drew the trees on each side too.  I think it turned out pretty cute, for being a quick handmade project.  I added some strands of berry to my natural wreath to dress it up a little bit. 

Christmas Home Tour
Christmas Home Tour

You can check out this post to see my shelves all decked out for Christmas but there is a little peak here too.  I just added some white and red garland to the mantle along with the stockings. I really want to have all matching stockings but I’m going to wait until after Christmas to hopefully find a good sale. 

So I didn’t get too crazy this year. Just a few touches here and there in the living room and dining room, which are our main living spaces.  I have been really attracted to white and gold and red this year as you can see.  I repurposed a lot of my same decor because it can get pretty expensive buying new stuff each year.  I try to go right after Christmas when a lot of stores discount their stuff way down. 

Well thats a small little update I have for you today. I’m off to planning for the busy weekend ahead! 

Check out some Christmas home tours from a few years ago herehere & here. It’s actually kind of funny looking back that far when I first started blogging. 

 

xoxo

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8 Traditions to Start this Holiday Season

We have been listening to a lot of Christmas music on the radio lately.  Our favorite local station 102.5, it’s normally the Christian station but between Thanksgiving and Christmas they are all Christmas music all the time.  They are a listener supported radio station, so there are no commercials, even better! But the other night we were driving home from the store and they were talking about all the different traditions that people have around the holidays and it got me thinking about all the traditions we had growing up and the ones I would like to create for the future for our family. 

I feel like as the years pass the memories of the gifts given will fade but the ones of the traditions you created will last.  If you are a young or old family I think there is always room for a new tradition.  Here are some that I thought of that would be fun to start this year.  

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8 Traditions to Start This Holiday Season

Cut down a real Christmas tree

This is a tradition that I remember fondly from my childhood.  We would always go the day after Thanksgiving to our local tree farm and hunt for a real tree. The farm we went to had real live reindeer and free hot apple cider.  We would bring the tree home and blast Christmas music while we decorated. 

Adopt a Family

There are so many people who are less fortunate than you all year round and the holidays can be especially hard for some families.  Wouldn’t it be so great if you could help a family during this time of year? You could get in touch with your local church, community center, or ask some of your friends on Facebook if they know how to get in touch to support a local family.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a whole group of people to join in with you? We do this at my office and it feels really good to help a family in need.  I think this is also a great way to teach your children the power of giving. 

Christmas Cookie Bake

I shared some pictures from this years Christmas cookie bake and I think this is one of my favorite traditions during the holiday season.  One because we get together with some family members that we don’t see that often, and well…cookies. But seriously its been such a fun tradition that Patricks family has included me on, and I like extending that tradition to my family. 

Christmas Pajamas

Ok I am totally going to start this tradition with my family.  I’m pretty much obsessed with matching pajamas and you don’t even want to know how much time I spent looking for girl and boy matching pajamas online this weekend. Wouldn’t it be so cute for Anika and Vince to have matching jammies on Christmas Eve? Umm thats a yes in case you were thinking about it.  

Christ in Christmas

After all, Jesus is the reason for the season. A wonderful family tradition could be setting up the nativity scene. I set ours out already, and every day Anika and I talk about everyone who is in the nativity scene and the story of Christmas.  I know Baby Jesus shouldn’t technically be in the manger yet, but I think it is a great way for her to learn about why we really celebrate Christmas.  

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Christmas Village

Collecting a Christmas village is a great tradition. My grandmothers both loved setting out their villages each year and had a wonderful collection. My sister and I have been passed down the collections and each year we enjoy setting up the village because it brings back special memories of our grandmothers.  

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Sometime around Christmas buy someone’s meal for them.  My in-laws do something like this and I think it is so special. They go to a restaurant and pick someone who they think might deserve a free meal. You never know someone story, it could really make their day, week or year.  But doing it anonymously makes it even more special. 

Christmas Lights

Just driving around your neighborhood and looking at Christmas lights can be a magical thing. This time of year can be so busy.  And a lot of times I feel like we are rushing from one place to another.  I think just taking the time to drive around with music on or off in your car and look at Christmas lights can help you slow down and appreciate the time you have with your loved ones.  You shouldn’t have any electronics because you will be driving so you can give your full undivided attention to just being in the moment.  I have seen some cute Christmas light scavenger hunts before too if you want to make it more fun! 

I think having traditions is so important for families, especially children. It gives them a sense of belonging and makes the season even more special.  It’s really not all about gifts.  

What traditions do you have with your family? 

 

xoxo

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traditions to start with family holiday season

 

Fireplace Makeover Part Two | Built in Shelves

img_5771Ahh you guys! I’m so excited to be here sharing with you today our finished makeover in the living room. I shared last week how we updated our mantle by painting it white.  I can’t believe how much doing that one little thing brightened up the whole room.  I have always wanted built in shelves in my living room beside my fireplace, but it always seemed like a dream.  I got a quote to do it a few years ago and it was almost $1000, so yea I definitely put that on the back burner.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I realized my brother could totally do this for me. He is a great carpenter and has been slowly updating his girlfriends cabin and he builds furniture all the time.  So I asked him if he would be willing to tackle this project with me and he happily obliged!

He did such a great job and I’m so happy with how well they turned out.  And he’s so awesome, it only took him like 6 hours to complete the install.  His girlfriend and I painted the wood the day before to make the install easier (thanks Dana for all your help!)  Ok lets see a little before and after action first. 

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What a difference, right? They help brighten up the room even more. And I have already had so much fun decorating them.  They are dressed up for Christmas and I’m sure they will change often.  I set up my Christmas village this year and I think its so cute. It might not be the most popular thing to do as far as design goes, but it has a special meaning to me and brings me memories of when I used to help my grandmother set up her village each year. I also love how intrigued Anika is with it. She loves to pretend with the people in the village and moves them around all the time. It makes my heart smile to see how much she loves it, the way I did when I was little.  

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Fireplace built-ins

 

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So there they are, friends! I’m so in love with how they turned out.  What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments. 

I hope you all have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving! 

xoxo

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4 Gift Christmas + Toddler Gift Guide

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Hello lovelies! I hope you all had a great week. I wish I was sharing the second half of our fireplace project with you today, but sadly that will have to wait until Monday. I need time to finish decorating and to take pictures. Since I leave for work when its barely light out and come home when it is dark, it makes it hard to get good pics for you all and I want to give you the best, because I love you all so much.

4 Gift Christmas

So I have seen this idea before from a few different people and I always thought it was something I wanted to try when I had children. The concept is that you basically give your child/children 4 gifts each for Christmas and it consists of something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. 

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This is from one of my all time favorite bloggers, Emily at Jones Design Company

I love this idea. I think it really helps you be intentional with your gift giving and teaches your children to be more grateful for the gifts that they do get.  Plus there are so many gifts that are given by other people like grandparents, aunts & uncles that there is definitely no shortage.  I know Anika is still pretty young to get the concept, but I think it will also help me restrain myself from buying her all the things. 

Toddler Gift Guide

As most of you already know, I love a good deal, and Target, and shopping for my little one. So I have rounded up a little shopping guide for your littles! Can you believe its already Black Friday next week? 

I used to be one of the crazies that goes out in the middle of the night/early morning to find the deals but over the past few years I have hung up my hat on that adventure. Now I stay in the comfort of my own home in my PJ’s, by the light of my Christmas tree and shop.

Target is my favorite place to shop for well, everything, but especially for Anika.  I like their toy selection because its not too overwhelming.  Have you ever been in a Toys R Us? Yeah…talk about crazy.  I put together a little guide of some things that she wold love. So if you have a little one around 2 years old you might want to check some of these out and cross some items off your list!

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. This is not a sponsored post by Target, I’m just sharing because its my favorite, but if you make a purchase from one of my links I may be paid a small commission. See my disclosure policy for more information.

 

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Pillowfort Teepee

How cute is this teepee? These are so popular right now and kids love them. Anika’s cousin has one and its so fun to watch them play together in it. We usually try to stick with gender neutral patterns and colors for bigger toy items like this, because you never know if you will have more children someday and you won’t want to have to re-buy something because everything is hot pink or purple.  I pretty much love everything in this Pillowfort Collection at Target.  

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Kids love small things. I think its because they fit so well in their little hands and they are easy to play with and take places.  These little people sets are great for imaginative play!


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Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Set

Whenever I get the broom out to sweep or the duster Anika has to have one of her own to help me.  Its so cute when she tries to help sweep the floor but I think she would love something like this that is more her size and manageable.  And we just love anything Melissa & Doug.

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Pocket Dolls

These are so fun! They are like paper dolls but wooden, so more sturdy and they have magnets so you can  change their outfits. I remember playing with paper dolls as a little girl, I hope my little girl loves it too. 

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Baby Doll Jogging Stroller

Every little girl needs a stroller for her dollies.  

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Aquadoodle

These are fun, and the best part is that they can only color on the mat and it just uses water. No mess on your couch, or walls or carpet! 

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Play Kitchen

 We have this actual kitchen and Anika loves to make me food and do the dishes. We got this for her first birthday and its really good quality, it took a while to put together but is so worth it.  We got pink because that was the only color in stock at the time, but if I had to do it over I would get white. 

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Nesting Box Blocks

Kids love stacking, and putting things inside other things, these blocks are a great idea for little ones.  These also help with learning animals, shapes and the alphabet! 

So now the best part… Target is having 10 days of deals and their first day is 30% off TOYS!  It’s only good tomorrow 11/19 with the PROMO CODE PLAY.  You can also use your Target Red Card to get an additional 5% off and shipping is free when you spend $25.  I just signed up for a Red Card (debit card) and I don’t know what took me so long! 

AND don’t forget to use your Ebates to shop too because you could get an additional % cash back.  

So, are you one of those people who fights the crowds for a good deal? Or sits home and shops online like me? What are you buying the toddler in your life? Let me know in the comments! 

xoxo

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Friday Faves + Christmas Pillow Roundup from Amazon Under $20

Happy Friday! We made it to the weekend, friends.  This week felt like it was so long and never going to end.  I have been super busy at work and like I shared in my coffee corner post, Anika has not been sleeping well since the time change, but I feel like that’s going to change this weekend…maybe…fingers crossed.  

I wanted to drop in quick and share some of the things that I have been loving lately. 

Favorite Bite

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Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna

My sister in law made this recipe a few weeks ago when we were at their house for  Halloween and it was so good. I attempted to make it on Monday when we had a girls night and I actually pulled it off.  It was so good and everyone loved it (or at least they said they did in order to not hurt my feelings).  If you love butternut squash I totally recommend it. 

Favorite Outfit

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 I saw this on Pinterest and immediately felt cozy and warm. These Sperry rain boots are so cute and that sweatshirt looks so soft and fuzzy.  

Favorite Color

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I can’t get enough of this burgundy color. I bought this bag at Target before our trip to Colorado and I just love it so much.  This neutral loving girl even bought a pair of leggings in this color, thats how much I’m crushing on it. 

Favorite Room

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I have been dreaming about built-ins around my fireplace forever.  And this weekend…my dream is finally coming true. I can’t wait to style them and share them with you all. 

 

Favorite Decor

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Do you guys ever shop Amazon for home decor? It doesn’t seem like the first place you would typically go, but they actually have some cute stuff. A little searching is all it takes. I rounded up some of my favorite pillow covers for you all. These pillow covers are all super cute and all under $20, most even under $10! 

Well thats my round up of favorites for the week. Leave me a comment about what your are loving lately.  I hope you all have a great weekend and feel free to stay in touch with me on Facebook or Instagram

xoxo

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10 of the Cutest Holiday Photo Card Ideas

Can you believe it’s only 51 days until Christmas? I know, it’s was just Halloween and we still have Thanksgiving to look forward to, but if I don’t start thinking ahead to my holiday photo cards, they just won’t get done. Last year I created our own cards and I plan to do that again this year. It was really easy last year because we had just taken family photos so I had a great picture of the three of us together that I could use. Here’s last years photo-

 

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This year I haven’t scheduled a professional photo shoot yet, and I don’t really know if I’m going to. But I still wanted to round up some inspiration for my cards this year.  There are so many cute ideas out there. I’m still toying with the idea of just showcasing Anika in the card, or if we will do a whole family photo, or maybe a collage of photos throughout the year. I just don’t know yet, but I am definitely saving some of these for inspiration. I hope you find some inspiration as well. Click the image to be taken to the original source.

10 Cute Holiday Photo Card Ideas

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Aren’t these all the cutest photos you’ve ever seen?  The littles with the books? I mean come on, I can’t even handle it.  I also really love the cozy coup with the tree on top. And the matching jammies get me every.single.time.

All these photos really has me thinking about ideas for our card this year. I better get started!

Which ones are your favorites?  Do you have your card planned yet? Leave me a message in the comments below!

xoxo

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Happy Halloween | A Different Kind of Fun

Hey guys! I just thought I would share a little snapshot of our weekend. Most of our weekends really aren’t this eventful but it was Halloween weekend so I thought I would share with ya’ll a little bit of what we were up to.  I also like to share these things as a way to look back and remember because let’s face it, life is cray and goes by so fast. That’s what my little blog is here to do for me, be a remembrance of this season we are in.

We got together with our close group of friends on Friday to kick off the weekend. All of my friends have had little girls within the past 2 years and they are all pretty close in age.  So you can just imagine what our get togethers are like.  Anika is the oldest and the youngest is 5 months.  We attempted a picture of each of them in their costumes and surprisingly we were able to get a couple good shots.

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Anika, ohh my sweet little girl. She is such a strong willed little girl and she’s not even two yet. I can’t imagine what her threenager or teenage years are going to be like.  But I don’t think I would have it any other way. She does still have her sweet moments, but if she has her head set on something, thats that.  We fought for a few days about her not wanting to wear the costume I made for her.  I put my blood, sweat and tears into that Elmo costume and I’ll be darned if she doesn’t wear it, at least for long enough to get a picture.  (ok maybe that was a little dramatic, but I really did enjoy making the costume for her). Thankfully she finally agreed to wear it and ended up liking it.

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On Saturday we went to visit my sister & brother in law who live about an hour away.  They have the sweetest little boy, Vincent.  I just cant get enough of him and neither can Anika.  They are so cute together, I can just see the trouble they will be getting into when they are older.  And I already know my child will be the instigator, sorry in advance Kayla & Tony.

 

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Spending Halloween weekend like this makes me think back to what our Halloweens used to look like.  I love Halloween, its one of my favorite holidays next to Thanksgiving and Christmas, because obviously…food.  We dressed up every year and went out to a bar or a party and it was always so much fun. I shared a post a few years a ago about Halloweens past if you want to check out some of those costumes. Our husbands- then boyfriends, really got into it as you can tell.

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But it got me thinking. Halloween just doesn’t look the same as it used to. We are all married now, and most of us parents.  So there is less time to think of a creative costume, less of a chance to go out and honestly less of a want to to do those things.  This year has probably been my most favorite Halloween weekend in a long time.  This is the first year that Anika really got the idea of trick or treating and seeing her walking up to houses so excited to get candy just melted my heart.  I had so much fun hanging out with our family and friends watching our littles be little that I didn’t even think about what I would or could be doing for Halloween. Maybe its because I was away from my little girl for a few days or I’m just sappy, but I have been feeling like life is going by way to fast and I just want it to slow down.  I want to take it all in as much as I can and be happy in the moment with my little family.

Now, thats not to say that we will never dress up, or never go out again because I’m sure we will and that is still something that I love to do. But for now, I’m perfectly content living through my daughters eyes and showing her what life is all about.  Choosing to be happy and making the most of every day. Sorry for all of the sappiness but thats where I’m at right now.

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween doing whatever makes you happy.

 

xoxo

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A Touch of Fall

Hello! Just thought I would drop in and share a little fall tour of our house.  Over the past year or two I have tried to keep things simple around here when it comes to fall decorating and decorating for the seasons.  I like to try and incorporate things here and there that mix well with my year round decor and since its pretty neutral, thats not too hard to do.  Not to mention, it can be hard decorating around an almost two year old and all the toys.  My goodness, the toys, who knew someone so small would require so much stuff? And truthfully, she would be fine just playing with the remote control if thats all we had. But what kind of parent would I be if I didn’t have toys for her?   Anyway, lets get to the fall decor.
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fall table decor

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fall shelf

I love decorating that little shelf for different seasons.  Like I said, I don’t go too crazy with the fall decor but just a touch here and there. I might not be able to control myself when it comes to Christmas though.

xoxo

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Holiday Gift Tags {Free Printable}

So… I totally forgot to schedule this post earlier, it kind of got lost in my drafts. Sorry for the delay, but if your like me you probably haven’t wrapped all your gifts yet. And if your really like me you still have some to buy, nothing like the last minute eh?

I created these gift tags just for you, for free and for fun!

Free Gift Tag Printable

All you have to do is download / save the PDF file below and print them out.

Free Gift Tag Printable

(it might direct you to another page of mine, but just click the link again on that page and it should work)

Happy Wrapping!

Rustic Gold Christmas Tree

I worked so hard on our Christmas tree this year and it is by far my most favorite tree ever!!! I enjoyed every last minute of it too. I watched a little Christmas Vacation while Pat was hunting and it was just the best time ever. Yes I know, I’m weird.  Pat FINALLY agreed to getting a real tree. So we headed out to our local tree farm to hunt for the perfect tree. treehuntingMy brother rents a house on the tree farm so he and his adorable girlfriend joined us. I totally made Pat hold my hand for this picture too.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed some pictures of our tree already, but here are some more up close and personal details.

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This years theme for the tree is rustic and gold. I’m sure you are shocked lol.  I just cant help myself.

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I used a lot of natural accents this year. I brought out my burlap ribbon that I made for last years tree and since this one is a little bigger than my old skinny tree I had to cut a few more rows.  I used some lace ribbon as garland along with the few strands of popcorn garland that I was able to salvage from last year.

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PicMonkey Collage

I stuck a few decorative twig balls that I usually keep in a vase, in random spots on the tree. When my granny passed away in January we went through her things and I took pretty much all the gold ornaments I could find. That’s where those little birds and presents came from.  I did not buy one ornament for this tree, I mostly used what I had, things that I have gotten as gifts and some hand me downs.  The best time to buy ornaments is after Christmas when most stores have them for like 80% off.

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And that my friends is our rustic gold Christmas tree this year.

What do you think?

Do you have a theme for your trees? Or do you just do the same thing each year?

I would love to hear from you.

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//Holiday Cheer\\ //DIY Showoff\\//Inspire Me Please\\//Christmas Extravaganza\\