Thursday, December 29, 2011

Santa Got a Rug Down the Chimney!

Hey guys!  So how was your Christmas?  I've been lounging around with my family since Christmas Eve and enjoying every minute!  We have friends in town from Virginia that will be staying with us until New Years Day.  This is why I've been on a little blog break this week, but I wanted to pop in to show you what Santa brought us this year.

Did you guess what it is?  I guess the post title sort of gave it away huh?  Santa somehow fit a 9 x 11 ft. rug down the chimney.  Those who have been around this little blog for a while may remember that my hub sort of ruined my old rug.

I had planned to paint the old rug to cover the stain, but I changed my mind when I (yeah, I helped Santa out this year) found this rug at Lowe's for $169.  It looks and feels like a natural fiber rug, but it's actually polypropylene.  It's an Allen + Roth indoor/outdoor rug, but it looks too nice to use outside.  It really is perfect for a dining area that gets used as much as ours does.  It's stain resistant - enough said!  The pictures don't really do it justice.  I resolve to learn how to take better pictures in the new year.

We had breakfast in the dining room on Christmas morning.

When the dishes were cleared, I was left with a simple centerpiece that will probably stay until February. 

I still have most of my Christmas decor out, and I have no plans to put it away until after the new year.  What about you?  Do you still have your tree up or did you put everything away already?  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!  I hope to be back with a year in review post, but in case I sink deeper into my life of laziness leisure I want to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Primitive & Proper

Happy Friday before Christmas!  Are you ready?  I am!  Woo-hoo!  I think I'm more excited than the kids this year.

This is just our second Christmas in this home, and I hope there will be many more.  Today I'm sharing one of my favorite diy projects that I completed just before our first Christmas here over at my friend Cassie's blog, Primitive & Proper.  Hop on over there to find out how I made my dreams of a white Christmas come true last year!

If you've never been to Cassie's blog before, you are in for a real treat!

She's amazing!  Her furniture projects are always so inspiring.  I especially love the dresser, pictured above, that she painted for her guest room.  Watching her transform her new house into a home has been so much fun, and I can't wait to see more!

The stripes she painted in her dining room have me seriously drooling!

I am in love with her fireplace makeover too!

Cassie is one of the most genuine bloggers, and I'm beyond thrilled to call her my real life friend!  We got to meet each other in person this last summer, and we're hoping we get to meet up again this summer!  Our families just so happen to vacation in the same place - small world!  Anyhow, go say hi and see if you can guess which project I'm posting about over there.  

I hope you all have a VERY Merry Christmas!  Please don't shoot your eye out, and remember the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

I just finished wrapping all the gifts.  Now I get to sit back, watch a million Christmas movies, and snuggle up with my babies.

P.S. Don't forget to buy batteries!  If anything you bought needs batteries get them now or you'll forget and it'll be such a bummer - ask me how I know this.  ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas House Tour


Come on in.

Let's head in to the family room. 


I'd make you a cup of coffee if you were really here and we could sit around the table chatting! 


My kitchen mail center got dressed for the holidays. 

I love the house all lit up at night!



Thanks for visiting!  I hope your holiday is filled with lots of love and laughter!  

Linking up at the Nester's  holiday home tour.  Stay in your pj's, grab a cup of coffee and a warm blanket and go on an inspiring tour of holiday homes!  Yippee!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Can you even believe Christmas is in 3 days?!  Oh my gosh it came so fast this year!  As someone who used to work retail I can tell you that the last few days before Christmas can be pretty crazy as people scramble to get those last few gifts purchased.  It's during the last minute rush that I like to remember one of my favorite quotes from How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?" "It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!" "It came without packages, boxes or bags!" And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!

"Maybe Christmas,

he thought, 
"doesn't come from a store." 

means a little bit more! 

It is such a good reminder to slow down and remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas!

Here are a few last minute gift ideas for anyone that may still have a few names left on their list.  

These may be all over blogland, but unless the gift recipient is a blogger I'll bet money they'll think these mason jar snow globes are a novel idea.  I made a few to give as gifts to family members.  They are easy and inexpensive to make.  It's a 5 minute project!  There's definitely still time to make some of these!  Michaela has a great tutorial

Flowers make great hostess gifts.  

Cut the foil down 

and wrap with some leftover fabric, an old sweater, or even scrapbook paper to make it a bit more personal.  I whipped this one up one day while my hub was out, and when he came home to his office this was greeting him.  

In case your unfamiliar, that's a quote from the movie ELF.  It happens to be one of our favorites.  It seems appropriate set on top of his desk.  It was a fun little way to add some Christmas cheer to his home office and make him laugh as well! 

Speaking of hostess gifts.......

                                                                            Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

wine is always the right size!  ;)  Better Homes and Gardens is offering free, printable wine bottle labels. We are actually giving all of our neighbors a bottle from one of our favorite local wineries.  

All too often people think of gift cards as being impersonal.  Let's face it though how much do you love receiving them.  Whoever you choose to give a gift card to will be very happy indeed.  They are perfect for a last minute gift too!  To make it more personal wrap it in a fun way.  

Jars are great and can be reused in a number of ways by the gift recipient. 


These little buckets that Courtney put together are a great idea!


So are these takeout boxes that Cassie is using.  You can find them in the dollar section at Target, but I've also seen them at Michaels.  I'm actually planning to give my brother-in-law a PF Changs gift card in one of these.  Perfect right?!  

If you're down to the wire and there's no time to bake there's still time to whip up some of these sweet treats.  

                                                                    Source: via Amber on Pinterest

                                                            Source: via Sam on Pinterest

A peanut butter pretzel sandwich dipped in chocolate!  I might make these for me!

                                                            Source: via Karen on Pinterest

                                                                        Source: via Tia on Pinterest

These chocolate dipped fortune cookies would be perfect in one of those takeout boxes pictured above!

This is hands down my favorite chocolate to use for these kinds of treats.  It's microwavable which equals quick and mess-free!

                                           Chocolate & Strawberries. Champagne & Caviar image                                                          

Do you have any last minute gift ideas?  It's always good to have a few go-to ideas when time is running short!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Going Back To Cali

Well, actually I already went and am now back from California.  (You know I'm from there right?)  You didn't even know I was gone did you?  For the first time ever I actually scheduled posts.  I never do mainly because I'm never that organized.  I didn't want to leave you hanging though, and I wanted to take a real vacation.  You know one that doesn't involve any technology.  Well, okay, I did have my phone, but that was it.  No computers for 5 whole days!  It was awesome!  It was totally worth spending a little time getting organized on the blog before leaving town.

Anyhow, I just got back.  I'm exhausted.  I'm too tired to upload pics from our trip.  For now I'll just say we had a great trip!  I spent lots of time visiting family and friends.  I even got to meet up with Courtney from A Thoughtful Place!

A Thoughtful Place

She is an absolute doll!  I could have talked with her for hours.  In fact, we had such a great time chatting it up that we never even stopped to snap a photo together!  Can you even believe it?!  Next time for sure.   She's just too sweet for words and sooooo pretty too!  If you don't know Courtney yet you are missing out.  She's filled with creativity and her projects are always inspiring.




I'm in love with that wall.  You have to head over to check out all the details!

Now I need to get back to my mountains of laundry and gift wrapping.  Back to reality I guess.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Naughty List

My front door is on the naughty list.

In fact it is so on my "things that don't make me happy" list that I totally skipped over pumpkin season.

Yeah, I was that neighbor.  The problem is this.

The frame around the door is basically rotting away.  It's sad.  Really the whole dang door and the sidelights need to be replaced.  We had to have our patio doors replaced (they should be installed early January), and we didn't have it in the budget to replace the front door in addition to them.  The patio doors are much worse off than the front door is so we had to prioritize.  We planned to put a band aid on the situation until early spring. Unfortunately, we waited too long and now the weather isn't warm enough to put a proper band aid on the situation; so now it's a waiting game hoping for one warm day so we can deal with this rotting issue.   Now you understand why decorating my front entry has not been on my list of fun things to do.

However the ferns started to turn brown (as you saw in the first photo), so I couldn't turn a blind eye any longer.  I don't want my neighbors to hate me.  I put together a little something simple and festive using things I already had.  I purchased a few evergreen potted trees to replace the ferns.  They have a Charlie Brown kind of look, and I'm a little in love with them.  I will plant them in the backyard this coming spring.  I also bought the fresh wreath.

I filled each of the lanterns with a string of lights.  They are really fun and oh so pretty at night.

To give these little lanterns more height I used a couple of white pots as stands then wrapped them with lights.

When I was taking photos it started snowing!  I captured the very first snow!  It was like the best Christmas present ever especially because it only snowed for an hour and never stuck.  Most people never even saw it coming down.  I felt like it snowed just for me!  Thanks God, for such a special afternoon!

Yes I know we need to get the leaves out of the yard.  It'll happen.  Maybe.

So my house might not be a Christmas lights spectacular like my neighbor down the street.......

but anything's better than dead ferns right?!

I had the hardest time trying to get a good night photo!

Do you do lot of outside lights?  Anyone else have any home improvement projects lined up next year that they are dreading?  Can you even believe I didn't have a single pumpkin out front during fall this year?!  Crazy right?!

Cottage & Vine

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