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


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. 






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.  


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.  


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.  

Anonymous Giving

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? 




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. 



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.  




Fireplace built-ins



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! 





4 Gift Christmas + Toddler Gift Guide

4 gift christmas

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. 


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.



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.  

Little People HouseLittle People House

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!


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.


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. 


Baby Doll Jogging Stroller

Every little girl needs a stroller for her dollies.  



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! 


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. 


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! 









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


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


 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


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


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


Affiliated shopping links (top to bottom)1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11

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



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.

Photo 21

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

Photo 12

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.

Photo 15

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.

Photo 9.1

rustic gold christmas tree

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\\


Joy Banner {DIY}

Hey Hey Hey! Happy Wednesday, hope your all having a great week, don’t worry only a few more days until Friday then its the weekend!! We are hosting an ugly Christmas sweater/white elephant party at our house on Saturday and I have been busy for weeks trying to get the basement in shape.  We have the drywall guy coming tonight so fingers crossed, we can get that done before Saturday.  I cant wait to show you all the progress we have made down there with the craft area and closet that Patrick built.

You may have noticed from the post about our Christmas Mantel & on our home tour the other day this sweet little JOY banner that I made. Well, in case you were wondering where I got it or how I made it, this post is definitely for you. And guess what! It’s sooo easy. Here’s a step by step process for you.


3 book pages



Twine, string or ribbon

Craft paint & brush

Stencil {I actually just free handed my letters)

Ruler or straight edge

Elmers Glue & Glitter [ optional & not pictured]

{Step 1}

Gather Supplies

{Step 2}

With a pencil, draw a line from the bottom corner of the page diagonally to the center. Repeat on the other side so it  looks like a triangle. Cut out the bottom triangle so it looks like image 3.

{Steps 3 & 4}

Free hand or stencil your letters on the center of the page.  Color it in with your paint and set aside to let it dry. I decided later that i wanted to add some glitter around the edge of the letters. To do this, I traced the letter with white Elmers glue and sprinkled glitter on the glue.

{Step 5}

Once everything is dry its time to attach it to your twin, string or ribbon. I fold over the top of the page about a 1/2 inch down and glued it to the backside with the string in between. This still lets me move the pages along the string if I need to and they stick in place pretty well when I want them to.  Next you hang it where every you like! I hung mine on my mantel between our two stockings and I love how the lights from the Christmas tree or above the TV hit the glitter just right and its super sparkly and festive!

Joy Banner 5 steps

christmas mantel 2

See, like I said, super easy! What do you think? Will you try making one?

I feel like I want to make banners with all different sayings now. How cute would little mini ones without letters be for garland on your tree?

Have a great weekend friends!

//Holiday Cheer Link Party\\ //Inspiration Exchange\\//Inspire Me Please\\//Christmas Extravaganza\\

Christmas Home Tour 2013

Happy Monday Friends! I hope you all had a wonderful relaxing weekend. Patrick and I spent our weekend at a conference in the Dells.  He was nominated for an award for being a young achieving farmer.  One of the many reason I love him so much is because he is such a dedicated and driven person. He is always thinking and dreaming, which is something I really admire him for.  We had a great time and it was nice to have a little mini getaway before all the stress, hustle and bustle that the holidays sometimes bring.

Today I’m here to share a little tour of our home decorated for the holidays.  There are so many home tours being given around the blogsphere and I love it every year because there is just so much inspiration and there are so many talented people. Well, I will stop talking and let you take a look around.  Enjoy!



Photo 6

One of the many perks to marrying a farmer is that he brings me random finds from the barns or old houses they buy. He recently found me this antique picnic basket, so I thought it would be cute to add some birch logs and lights to it. Its super cute at night when its glowing, it adds the perfect amount of  ambiance to the entryway.

glass cloche

Photo 1 (1)

No Christmas season would be complete without some mistletoe.  I strategically placed it by the front door so all guest can be greeted properly.


christmas dining table _5

christmas dining table _3

christmas dining table

christmas dining table_2

I bought this antique sled at a show this fall and thought it would look perfect on our dining table.  I added a few ornaments to the dough bough along with some red beads and its totally festive! I could leave this up all winter long.  Which for us is usually until April!

christmas dining table_4

Christmas chalkboard collage

Photo 98


Last year I came up with this super simple display for Christmas cards. So far we have only received one, but I’m sure more are coming.  Its basically a piece of ribbon that I hang on the cabinet with some 3M hooks and clothespin the cards to it. Super simple!  And again I had to change up my chalkboard wall.

{Living Room}

Photo 4


Photo 74

Photo 75

Photo 81



I brought in some natural greenery from the bushes outside and stuck it in some old milk glasses. I love free decor! piesafe_3

Photo 1

Here is a great bokeh shot of our tree. I plan to have a whole post about our tree because I’m pretty much obsessed with it.

2013 Christmas home tour

And that’s a wrap! Thanks for stopping by our 2013 Christmas home tour.

You can check out last years tour here. 

Have a great week!

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//Inspire Me Please\\//Christmas Extravaganza\\

Christmas Mantel

Yesterday I told you all I was in full Christmas mode and my friends I’m afraid its still going. Today I’m joining a great link party that some of my favorite bloggers are putting together.  They are hosting a party for everyone to share their Christmas mantels so that’s what I’m sharing with you today.  Now, lets see what I put together this year! (p.s. I had to take most of the pictures at night, sadly because I leave for work while its still pretty much dark and get home at dark this time of year)

christmas mantel 4

This year I stuck with a gold, white and red theme.

christmas mantel 2

I bought this swag at a Christmas antique show that I went to and stuck my deer antlers in the center. I made this JOY banner, stay tuned for the super easy tutorial on that!

christmas mantel 3

christmas mantel 7
Here is a little sneak peek at my Christmas tree, this is definitely my favorite tree to date and I cant wait to share it in more detail with you all soon!

Christmas Mantel 1


 Christmas Mantel 2013

Well there you have it friends, a little glimpse of the Christmas décor going on around our house.  What do you think? Check out a bunch of other awesome mantels that I’m sure are linked up at the Holiday Cheer Link Up.  

-Linking Up-

//Inspire Me Please\\ //Feathered Nest Friday\\

Christmas Craft {Music Page Wreath}

Hi Friends! I am in full swing Christmas decorating mode here. This week I’m going to share some crafty Christmas ideas with you and they all include book pages. Today’s project is a spin off of a project I made last year and that was my DIY music page wreath. It is a pretty simple project that takes about a half hour. So get your supplies ready, turn on your favorite Christmas movie and enjoy!

Supply List-

1 Styrofoam  wreath form – I buy them with a coupon at JoAnn’s and usually cut them in half so I have 2 wreaths for the price of 1

5-6 Pages from a book or music book. For this project I used sheet music.  I found the book for about .50 at a thrift store.

Hot glue gun

2 Pine Cones & ribbon (optional)


Take your first page and accordion fold it going the long way (hot dog style)

Then fold that in half and glue the two ends together. You should have something that looks like a fan.

Music Page Collage

Repeat those steps until you have about 5 folded pages, or enough to wrap around your wreath.

Glue the bottom of the folded pages to your wreath form until the whole form is covered.

On another music page trace a spiral starting in the middle working your way out.  Cut out the spiral and roll it up from the end to the center.  Glue the end to the center of the spiral so it looks like you have a flower.
[ Here is a great tutorial with better visuals]

Glue the flower to the middle of the wreath where the ends of the pages meet to close the hole.

I also tied some ribbon around two pinecones and hung them from the middle flower.

Photo 2-2

Photo 3-3

For now I just hang it up on the refrigerator, but I’m sure it will eventually find a new home.

So there you go, super simple and fun! Check back tomorrow for another paper craft project.

Linking up // City Farmhouse \\//Its Overflowing\\