Saturday, November 30, 2013

The 25 Day Countdown...

Ever since I was little, I have loved advent calendars. There was always something so exciting about the anticipation of opening each day with a little surprise... until you finally got to the end. I still like advent calendars, even as an adult. My favorite ones aren't the traditional ones with little doors to open. No, my favorite ones are little sacks tied with bakers twine and held on with clothes pins. What could be cuter?

This mini stocking garland is from Garnet Hill. It's so colorful and fun!

This little kit comes from Etsy. It's exactly what I mean with little sacks, twine and clothes pins. Drape it across the mantel. How sweet.

The next two are also from Etsy. {I know... I have a slight obsession with all things Etsy.} I think the glassine bags are easy and fun. I love the different stickers for each day of the month. Again, there is baker's twine and clothes pins to be had!

This is also from Etsy. Simple stamps on little burlap or muslin bags tied with jute. Really easy and adorable! A good DIY with kids too.

I know, I know... this isn't an advent calendar. But it's the coziest stocking I've ever laid eyes on from Anthropologie. I love it!
I have also been working on a few pieces of furniture that I will post later today. Perfect for the holiday season... Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


It's the eve of Thanksgiving. One simple word comes to my mind. Grateful. I am so very grateful...

Take the time to eat, laugh, hug and love family and friends.

Pic via: One Tiny Heart, Etsy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ho Ho Holy Motherload...

I had a very busy weekend with friends and family. I packed in a lot of things in a short amount of time. It was great. One of the things I did was go antiquing with family. We found a little antique shop and while browsing through, I was literally stopped in my tracks! I spotted them hanging from a chair... ANTIQUE SLEIGH BELLS! I know, not everyone gets as excited as I do about such things, but I have wanted these FOR-EV-ER... They are in such immaculate condition. The leather is worn beautifully, but still holding strong. Each bell rings. The buckle is still intact. They are just perfect. I was able to get them for a better price by telling the woman that I was obsessed with the sleigh bells and I promised they would go to a really good home. Done deal!!

These sleigh bells were used on a smaller horse or pony around its neck. All I was picturing was a horse running around in the snow, jingling all the way. That's what I love most about antiques. I always try to envision who used it, how it was used, all the history behind it, all the stories it tells. To me, it's so much better than buying something all shiny and brand new. Sometimes I even make up my own stories as to how a vintage piece in my home must have been used. Someone loved it once, and now it's mine to love...

I am going to hang these on the inside of my front door with greenery and a ribbon. Every time we come in and out, I will hear those sleigh bells ring, and it will simply make me happy. It's the little things in life that I stop to enjoy. I don't think I will take them down after the holidays either {I'll just take the greenery and bow off. Leave the bells.}

I'll post a picture once they are all decked out for Christmas, but for now, here they are...

I love, love, love them!
Do you have something simple that makes you happy? I would love to hear from you!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stag Party...

Have you ever wanted something a little weird, well, just because? Again, my motto is if you love it, make it work... so that might be put to the test. I have wanted one of these faux stag heads forever. I have no idea why, I just think they are cool. I envision it going right over our bed and one of the first things I see when I open my eyes in the morning. I think it would make me smile. That's a pretty good reason then I guess! Decorating can be fun and unexpected. It doesn't have to always be matching and traditional. In fact, I love when things aren't part of a set. So go ahead, have some fun with home decor! These stags are all from Etsy.

This one is my favorite. I'm sure I would do the same with the scarf in the winter, a flower in the summer. It would be a very fashionable stag.

I like the grey. Very stoic...

This one is more playful... That pop of aqua is great!

This one is my second favorite. I love the two colors. You can order it in practically any color you want. It's just fun and unexpected.

Find pieces that you love and incorporate them into your home. There is no right or wrong!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Finding Your Flow...

Hi Ladies. (This post is for the ladies, sorry gents.)
We are all wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts and friends to many. With so many roles, we sometimes to forget where we fall on that totem pole of people. We get busy just living life and forget to slow our roll. Sometimes we don’t even know what we would do with free time if we even had it.
Stop and take a moment. Literally. Stop for a moment and ask yourself “what is something I can do to fill my soul… recharge my batteries…find my flow.” Flow happens when you are doing something that you are completely engrossed in, and for that 1 hour of time, your mind is engaged and present, not worrying about all the things you have to do later, not kicking yourself for not finishing them yesterday, but rather you are immersed wholeheartedly in what you are doing. That is flow. And it is a beautiful thing that I wish for every woman out there to find.
Perhaps it’s something you used to do but now feel you no longer have the time. Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to try but never did. I am such a huge advocate of helping people (women especially) find their flow because it is extremely empowering, and the added benefit is that when you are happy, it trickles down to the entire family.
 A mother or wife who is depleted and exhausted from doing for everyone else does not have much in her reserve tank to give to herself. She only gets the leftover energy, but it’s not radiant energy coming from a place deep within her soul.
I promise you, finding your flow is NOT selfish. It is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and for your loved ones. It takes some trial and error to find your flow though. Experiment, try a few different things. You will know when you find it... you can’t sleep the night before because you’re so excited to imagine your next photography assignment, or you are literally speeding to get to that cooking class, or you realize after you just walked out of that dance class that you feel happier than you’ve felt in ages. You will just know…
My best friend sent me this picture. It speaks volumes and is so true. And necessary.
Here is a picture of my flow. This girl gives me the exact feeling that I described above… pure adrenaline rush and joy. Riding energizes me and fills my soul. Truly. My sweet Isabell. Love, love, love her.

Painting and refinishing furniture is another way for me to stay in the moment. I go into my workshop, put on some music, and I quickly realize how soothing painting is to my soul.
What is your flow?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Making Your Home Glow...

With Thanksgiving fast approaching and Christmas hot on its heels, it's time to celebrate. These ideas from pinterest are spot on. It starts with the front porch. But don't forget the mantel, and adding lots of candles and white lights to make things festive. Blankets in plaids and cozy throw pillows help complete a winter look. Enjoy!

If you have a front porch, adding lanterns and greenery is a must. It is so welcoming!

The vintage skis look pretty too.
Loving the bells on the back of the chair. Great idea.

 This simple, pretty tree is perfect. Not too overwhelming; it looks just right.

Candles are a definite must. I love using tons of candles for any holiday. I will admit, I do get a little nervous about starting a fire though. So watch them burn carefully...

More candles. How pretty. This is how I want to decorate my mantel this year. Just candles and greenery.

And a beautifully set table. What a creative look to hang candles from a branch too. 
Just say yes... to white lights. Anything with white lights looks instant glam and pretty.

This is my favorite... A cozy plaid blanket, a fire, a mug of something warm and some logs. Perfect!

This leather carrier for logs is beyond beautiful. I keep my logs in a vintage copper container next to my fireplace. I love it but this look just might win me over.

How do you make your home warm and inviting for the holidays?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

To Cut Or Not To Cut...

We have some great Christmas tree farms around here where you can cut your own tree down. We used to do it every year, but eventually we got lazy about it and started buying pre-cut ones. Not near as much fun. I remember one year we were dropped off in the middle of the "forest" by a giant tractor. We were the only ones there on that morning. Dressed in winter gear with our noses red from the cold, we searched and searched until we found the perfect tree. It was a little like being on a mission back then. When we spotted it, we both knew it. My hubby sawed it down and we strapped it to the roof of the car. We would play Christmas music while decorating it. It was pure fun.

When and why we started doing the pre-cut tree I'm not exactly sure. But this year, I want to go back to our old tradition of cutting down our own. We always get a Douglas fir... They are just right; not too prickly... and they smell so good. I also don't like putting millions of ornaments on the tree. I think it stresses me out because I know how much work it will be to take all those decorations off that tree. I use white lights and a moderate amount of ornaments. But when it's finished, it always makes me so happy to sit in my living room with the tree and its white lights twinkling.

This is pretty much what I look like when I'm bundled up for my tree hunting mission.

I wish I could find a spot that brought you by horse sleigh to get a tree. So far I've only found places that bring you by tractor. Fun, but not quite the charm of a horse sleigh!

Such a beautiful tree farm. I love going to places like this for my trees. They usually serve hot cocoa too!

I would love to know your traditions. Do you cut your own or buy pre-cut? Do you decorate to the nines or keep it simple?

Pictures via pinterest.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Girl's Guide To Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping...

Good morning!

I have been putting a lot of thought into my family's holiday gifts this year. I have also been putting a lot of thought into how I want to wrap those gifts too! I recently read an article that said we use enough ribbon at Christmas to wrap around the world TWICE and MAKE A BOW. That was enough said for me. My challenge this year is to use no ribbon or traditional wrapping paper, yet still make my gifts look festive and pretty.

I have been on the hunt, mostly on pinterest, to find lovely ways to meet this challenge. I found several, but I know there are hundreds more out there. This is just the beginning... I wanted to share with you what I found so far on pinterest.

How many times have you gone to someone's home with a bottle of wine? I love the way this looks. So holiday chic and festive! Especially with the corks and greens. Just a beautiful presentation for a bottle of wine! Via Better Homes and Gardens.

I love the initial, making the gift so personalized. Also the greenery tucked in. Just perfect!

I adore these little burlap bags {because A. I love burlap and B. they can be reused and can hold lots of darling smaller gifts.} You can stamp anything that you like on the bag to make it festive too. Then use a bit of twine to tie a handmade tag around it. Etsy has the best handmade tags. Or you can make one yourself if you have some time. You can buy the plain tag on recycled paper at Michael's craft store and a stamp and ink pad of your choice. Voila, instant tag! Very easy DIY too.
These gifts are wrapped in recycled sheet music. How beautiful. I love how natural and simple it looks. Of course kids probably wouldn't like this all that much, but the adults would probably appreciate your efforts of being eco-conscious.

I can't be sure, but this just looks like some fleece in a festive pattern/color. Even if it's just a piece of fabric, it still looks pretty wrapped with twine. I would definitely tuck some greenery into it though.
I love the vintage box with greens in it. Everything in the box seems to be handmade too. What a thoughtful gift. I would love to receive this as a present from a loved one. It took love, time and effort to put this together. This could be my favorite way to "package or wrap" a gift. If I buy smaller gifts, I just may do it like this. Think of a box like this filled to the brim with handmade knitted warm socks from Etsy all rolled up. It could probably hold about 10 pairs! Then tuck some greens in and some organic teas. Just lovely. Who doesn't love warm cozy socks to wear around the house? I sure would.

And here are some of those darling socks that I was talking about to fill this vintage box with.

Do you have any ideas for eco-friendly gift wrapping? I would love to hear from you if you do!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

New England Charm...

I just love living in New England. I went with my friend to a holiday craft fair today that was lots of fun. My intention was to buy some Christmas gifts; I'm choosing to buy only from small, local, hard working business owners or Etsy this year for holiday gifts. It's my way of showing my support for them. Well, I didn't find any gifts for anyone... except myself... oops, hate it when that happens. I bought 6 organic handmade bars of soap that I can't wait to use. To be fair, 3 were for my husband, so technically, they weren't all for me. But, the best part of the day was getting to see these guys in action! Simply stunning to see in person. They were massive Percherons named Rex and Rocket. Again, I love living in New England! I didn't go for a ride, but I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures.

True gentle giants...

And away they go...

Dreamy Whites... How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways...

I adore decorating. The thing I love the most about it {at least how I decorate anyway} is that there is no right or wrong. If you love it, make it work. I try not to fill my home with stuff. I like to keep it pretty uncluttered, with a few pieces that I really love. {Less dusting to do that way too! Double bonus.} I like to mix lots of vintage with a few newer things. I wouldn't say I like a sparse home, quite the contrary. I like a home filled with things that make me happy, calm me, make me smile, or invoke a memory of some sort. In reality, it doesn't always work like that, but it's really the motto I try to stick with. I love simplicity. That brings me a sense of tranquility. So that being said, I try to make my home as peaceful and tranquil as possible. I have a great candle that I bought recently by the way, it's called Be Peaceful and it's made with lavender and eucalyptus {from Target.}

Here are some other things from Dreamy Whites that inspire me. I think her decorating is so perfect and beautiful. I hope you enjoy!

I love those old bistro chairs with the grain sack table runner. Just beautiful. I love them so much that I recently purchased my own bistro chairs and table like this one, only mine is red. I also found a table runner very similar. Love it.

I adore this petite farm table with blue mason jars resting atop. I want to find vintage clothes pins and fill some mason jars to the brim for decor on my shelf. The simple, beautiful colors on the Christmas tree are perfect as well!

What can I say other than I LOVE Hunter boots. I have many pairs and they are the best boots around!


More glass bottles... but what I love the most is that vintage green cart with old caster wheels. I love that shade of green, as well as the worn, weathered wood. It looks so charming with books on the bottom. A home filled with books is my kind of home indeed!


Lavender... my favorite. These are little pouches filled with lavender. One in your drawer or under your pillow would be divine... Sweet dreams would be sure to follow!


Ahhh... A vintage cabinet to fill with linens. I have always wanted to do this. And again, I adore that shade of green. Once I find the right piece, I am going to do this for my own home.


The chair is to die for, but so is that little French Bulldog; Ella. The extra large mirror resting on the floor is quite stunning as well.


These simple Christmas decorations hanging from a distressed frame make the perfect decor. Simple can be and is beautiful. No need to spend insane amounts of money to deck the halls. Keeping it simple is keeping it beautiful.

The source for this picture is unknown. I adore the heart shaped evergreen wreath and the little pots of evergreen on the table {just delicious!} The old farm table with a simplistic runner is so darling. I also think the door resting against the wall looks very farmhouse chic.

I hope you found some inspiration in these pictures. I know I sure did!