Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!

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Wishing you all every joy of the season this Christmas from our house to yours!



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Favorite Free Christmas Art

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I’m back for a quick round-up of my favorite Christmas art that you can print from your computer and immediately frame on your wall.  ‘Cause at this time of the year…everything needs to be quick right??  At my house right now, if it isn’t quick, it isn’t getting done. 

Without further ado:

1.  The Graphics Fairy. 

100 Free Christmas Images


I’m sure many of you know of her already and all the fabulous free vintage goodness that can be found on her site, but it is just so awesome that I can’t not remind folks about it.  : )


2.  This Chalkboard Art

FREE Christmas Chalkboard Printables at Nest of Posies[1]


So cute, and just a click and a print away!

3.  This Free Printable Giftwrap


(via liagriffith.com)

Now, I know this isn’t really technically art…but I think any of these would look good printed and put in a chunky white frame!  And while you’re on her site, check out her free printable woodland gift tags!!  I know I’ll be printing out a few of those sweet babies.  : )  Talk about talented!

4.  This Hand-Lettered-Look Verse:

Free Christmas Printable — Unto You Born This Day

(via shewearsmanyhats.com)

So pretty!

5Bright and Colorful!


(via sassywifeclassylife.com)

She also has one with a little more traditional color palette too!  This one fits a little better with my living room though.  : )

I’m sure there are many other great sources out there too!  Do you have any favorite free art this Christmas?  Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A House is not the Most Important…

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We found out today that some good friends lost nearly everything they owned in a house fire this morning.  Thank God the whole family made it to safety, but it really drove home to me how really unimportant and trivial our possessions are.  They made it out with the most important things they needed…each other.  It could have ended very differently.  I am sure it is very difficult to lose everything (especially, as a mom, to lose photos and keepsakes of the kids—I cannot imagine!!) and the foreseeable future will be challenging with Christmas coming on and the huge task of rebuilding a home.  But I know they are incredibly thankful that it was only the house that burned to the ground! 

(via Etsy)

I know I can be easily obsessed with all things house—making it pretty, picking paint colors—worrying when chocolate gets on the couch—etc.  This was a good wake-up call for me to realize that all those things I can easily get caught up in are only superficial.  Sure, a home is so much more than four walls and a door…a home is a nurturing place (and I’m sure this family misses their home greatly tonight!), a place of comfort, and so much more.  And I have no intention of ceasing to make our home more “homey” and beautiful for us and our guests.

But making your house beautiful at the expense of your family?  Not important enough. 


(And I’m not even talking anything serious here…just painting when one should be making snacks, ogling Pinterest instead of reading stories, eating breakfast with the kids while checking email.)


Wishing us all a Christmas season centered around who lives in our homes and around Who is coming.  : )


For those that may be concerned about this family, their immediate needs have been met and I know many (myself included) are waiting to find out how they can help in the upcoming weeks and months as they rebuild their home.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Christmas Living Room


Well, I have finally done a little bit of decorating in our home for Christmas!



I know a lot of the blog world is already decorated, but we traditionally start putting up decorations a couple weeks before Christmas and finally get the house completely decorated (well, at least as decorated as it is going to get!) a couple days before Christmas.  Then we leave it all up for at least a few weeks after Christmas. 

This year since the music room has french doors I am toying with the idea of making that our “Christmas room” and perhaps even cover the panes in the doors and open them dramatically Christmas morning for the children to rush in and see their presents under the tree.  Hmm…I don’t know if I could be that disciplined however!!  It would be a magical memory-maker for the kids though…can you just imagine the anticipation???  Ahh, to see Christmas through the eyes of a child again!


Back to our living room—since our new jute rug arrived on Monday I was able to deep clean the room before putting it in there, and then today did a little more to Christmas-ify it.  I generally stick to simple because I am lazy BUSY and after Christmas I don’t really enjoy taking everything back down again.  I went out in our yard and snipped some free greenery (which is so exciting to me because this is the first time we’ve had evergreens in our yard!!) and spread it around a little until it looked pretty.  : )



(This dresser was actually the first piece of furniture I ever re-finished!  My mom bought it when I was a teenager at an auction (I think??) and I stripped it and re-finished it again back then.  My mom had it in their farmhouse bathroom until this year when they gave it to me for my birthday!!)



My husband and his dad cut some slices of wood a few weeks ago when they were clearing out some brush on our property…I love the natural elements!  I thought they looked vaguely like a tree when I stacked them so I deemed it appropriate for the holiday.  ; ) 




Our oldest and I cut some paper snowflakes and strung them along with some ornaments on good old acrylic yarn and I looped it over the curtain rods for a little extra something. 




The whole room…




The star is from Ikea and it is one of my favorite decorations (besides the sentimental ones).  It lights up and is especially pretty at night!




Oh…and here is the new rug in it’s natural element.  I’m still really liking it!




Now that I’ve got the ball rolling hopefully I’ll start on the rest of the house.  : )

Monday, December 9, 2013

A New Rug

I am just a leeeetle bit excited today!!  This morning my husband showed me a tall rounded package leaning up against the sidelight on our door (basically covering it).  Not only was I glad that the UPS man arrived and left without getting stuck in our driveway (we have a good sheet of ice and snow on our sloping driveway!) but also because that package was our NEW RUG!!!!!
(Just indulge me for a moment.  I have never bought a big huge new rug before!!)
I got it in one of the Black Friday sales that was happening around the internet.  It is from RugsUSA and though I am a little leery of them due to some sketchy pricing practices (Sheena alerted me to this and yep, it is true!!  I checked and rechecked for a few months on the prices for this very rug just to see!) it was the best deal I could find on a rug like this.  I looked in brick and mortar stores and around the web and it was definitely a good deal.  Most of the rugs were way out of our budget or too small for the space I want to put it in.  It came with no problems at all and I reeeaaaallly really like it so we’ll see how it holds up to three little kids!! 
This little guy was only too happy to try the rug out…
It is BIG.  At least to me…it is 8’X10.5’ I think.  The natural jute is gorgeous and it is actually soft!  I was pretty worried that it would be rough and scratchy but it isn’t at all.  I anticipate some shedding both on clothes and on the floor but to me it is no biggie.  I’m excited to add this to our living room!
(Speaking of which, I’d better get cleaning in there so I can put the rug down!)  : )

Monday, December 2, 2013

Picking a Good Gray

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If you look around the internet you’ll find loads of blog posts about picking the perfect gray.  I know, I’ve been scouring the internet for the “perfect gray” for the past couple of months!  I’m finally nearing the stage of painting the big room that houses our kitchen and dining area…plus the hallway that goes into our laundry/garage entry door.  I knew I wanted something different than the pastel purple that it was painted when we bought the house:
IMG_6364This color may have gone great with the grape vine curtains, but a huge area painted this color is just overwhelming!!  The color does nothing for the cabinets and floor either. 
The past couple of weeks now I’ve been looking at paint samples and a within the last week I’ve been painting samples all over the walls in here.  After painting a foam board in Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine, I quickly learned that the lighting in here tends to make that particular gray look very blueish.  And while I like the color, it just made the floor and cabinets look even more orange/red than they are. 
I didn’t want white as I’d like some white shelves and my white hutch to “pop” in here, and I didn’t want anything too dark as this side of the house doesn’t get a huge amount of sunlight. 
So, I went and got some paint chips and then samples in these Benjamin Moore colors:  Balboa Mist, Collingwood, and Silver Satin. 
Here they are on the wall:
They all look veeerrrry similar in this picture, but in real life Balboa Mist and Collingwood are pretty similar and Silver Satin is a lot lighter/whiter than the others. 
Here they are on another wall (the lighting here is terrible…but then again these colors will have to look good in any lighting situation so I suppose this is a good test!):
Again, in real life Silver Satin is much lighter than the others, but you get the idea.  Oh, and you can probably see what I’m talking about when it comes to Moonshine…a pretty color but in here much too blue-ish.   
I was going to show one more wall but they just looked all the same in that picture…I guess that’s what happens when the colors you choose are so similar! 
And the winner is…
Collingwood!!  It is a nice soft gray-meets-white-meets-a tiny bit of beige (notice I’m not calling it greige here!!!  for some reason that word gives me the heeby-jeebies…I’m weird I know :).  I felt the white of the frame just blended right into Silver Satin and Balboa Mist wasn’t much of a contrast either. 
I guess the moral of the story is…always always buy tester sizes for your paint, especially gray colors!!  It can read so very differently in each particular lighting situation.  I thought that Balboa Mist would be the winner…and I really love the pictures I’ve seen of it…but in this room I really felt Collingwood was more ‘right’. 
Now off to the paint store…