Christmas Decorating for the Nativity

The world’s best designer was out of commission this year so I was asked to help decorate the refreshment room for our church’s community nativity display. I am by no means a professional but I am pleased with the results. You’d have to know what I had to start with to accurately judge, but since my goal was to PURCHASE next to nothing for this project (I like to throw money at problems when I don’t have time to deal with them!), I can honestly say I achieved my goal. The only two things I purchased: the whole bolt of chocolate brown burlap — and the two 96″ tablecloths used nearly all of that –and secondly, the teeny tiny nativity shown in the glass. It’s still too big but I was amazed at the lack of miniature creches available at Hobby Lobby in my small hometown. Rest assured I’ll be on the hunt for tiny nativities online! All in all, though, few purchases and yet a decent success. My favorite thing: the burlap camels from TJMaxx. They are adorable with or without the gold bells I put around their necks. I hope we get lots of visitors to the nativity display at the church this weekend and that all who come eat cookies and think of the true meaning of Christmas!









Quick & Easy Outdoor Halloween Decorations









So we finally had some time to add some of the projects we had been hoping to for Halloween. Our front yard has such an expanse (corner lot) that it can be hard to capture the whole thing in one picture, so I tried to take closer shots so you could see some of the details. I especially love the shot where you can see my reflection in the glass on the front door…not. Oh well, I never claimed to be a professional photographer!! We put up garbage bag spider webs in one front window and on the side fence. We put up a huge rope spider web and a trash-bag-spider with glowing LED eyes crawling down off the roof. We also put up a milk jug skeleton, lots of white spiderwebs, a cheesecloth ghost, and a couple of bats. There’s also a window silhouette of a huge black ghost (four poster boards worth!) but he won’t show up until after dark. Lastly, the boys had a great time making their pumpkins — Ben got to learn to use a power drill for the first time and nobody bled!!! I call that a successful day at our house. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Addicted to Pinterest

It’s almost better than reading books and much more instantly gratifying:  Pinterest.  I love this site.  It’s the new method of flipping through magazines for ideas and putting them all in one place:  quotes, decor, motivation, design ideas, garden ideas, etc.  Now if I could only get OFF pinterest and start working on my own abode…I’m still planning, okay?! This is everything I love all mixed in one.

Cookie Mag’s Fave Homes of 2008

If you’re looking for inspiration in 2009 – just look at these homes from last year, from Cookie Magazine’s blog. The winner, Stephanie Nielson (of NieNieDialogue fame) seems to be recovering well from her infamous airplane crash (details here if you’ve never heard about it). Just thought a refresher course in these gorgeous pictures from the Cookie nesting blog would be inspiring!

Cute Advent Calendar House

Who’d have thunk it? A cute advent house from Gardener’s Supply. Adorable! I’m curious, though, as what to put in the small little boxes without encouraging MORE candy at Christmas? Maybe quotes? Maybe scripture? Love notes? Jokes? Your thoughts on advent surprises?

Christmas Eye Candy

Spotted online and saved for future purchase and/or to spark new ideas when I’m doing my own crafting. Great colors and design! The jumbo stocking was sent to me by my sister, LeAnne, and is now hanging beautifully on our shiny black front door (really, black. really pretty!). It’s from Pottery Barn Kids. The cable stocking and stuffed, plump fabric candy canes are both from Country Home. The tree skirt is from Company Kids. I can’t remember where the mittens are from…anyone seen these? I hate to post it without credit. That’s what you get for saving inspirational pictures at 3 a.m.

Christmas Stockings

I am having a thing for Christmas stockings. There are some innovative ones on etsy and of course they’re all over magazines right now. I have been ripping pages out of magazines like crazy because I am in love with them. The pics above are from this month’s edition of Country Home magazine.

Let the Christmas Decor Begin!

Well, my anti-consumerism streak lasted about 10 minutes, that is, until I received this email from L.L. Bean. I’m still not whipping out the debit card just yet but this greenery does have me drooling. I know there’s nothing like the real thing but I’m thinkin’ it’s a good thing that I have some pretty faux greenery with white lights packed away that might quell the craving just a bit. I guess we’ll be putting up Christmas decor early this year… Plus, I’m thinking it might be the year for gingerbread creations. This igloo is adorable! All pics are from L.L. Bean so be sure to check out their site here.

Beautiful Acorn Jars

Found on etsy here. Beautiful jars – handmade and oven, microwave, freezer safe. Gotta love’ em. I like all of the sizes. There’s just something cute about acorns, isn’t there?

Interior Design Blog – The Inspired Room

The woman behind this design blog is incredibly, well, inspiring. It’s called The Inspired Room. Love at first site…I mean sight.

Creepy White Pumpkins – Fall Porch Decor

These white pumpkins are creepy – and kinda pretty. I found the pic and ideas at homemadesimple.

Cowboys & Cowgirls – New Dwell Collection


Love most things Dwell. Dwell for Target, Dwell at Design Public. I love the dots. I love the animals. I love, love, love this cowboy collection…and even more because they have a pink version. Not that I’ll be buying that one for any of my boys, but… Check it out at Design Public.

The Stendig Calendar


I’m not sure why I like it so much – it reminds me of the decades-old-default-calendars in Corel Draw (way back to versions 4 & 5!) that I used to make for meal calendars back when I was newly married but even those had room for writing in a meal plan! Everything you always wanted to know (or not) about the famous Stendig Calendar. Classic design. Reasonably priced, too, for a classic. Although, you can’t really write the family schedule on this now, can you? If you can, I’d like to see it! Much more appropriate for display purposes.

Cute Fall Porch Decor


I like pumpkins on my porch but this is even cuter. Found it here. They have other vegetables with other styles (some on clearance for $4.88 – check out the zucchini dog). Love it. I probably won’t buy any until we’re moved but still wanted to share.

What I Designed Today: Family Silhouettes


I couldn’t get rid of these black frames (new in package) at my garage sale. I had to do something with them and we got a new black bed for our bedroom to help “stage” the home so I pulled them out and in an hour I forced each kid to stand sideways against the wall and take a digital picture, blacked it in and printed them with a great quote. Cheap, easy (two of my favorite words)…and I love it!