Friday, December 28, 2012

Many Thanks - Top Referring Sites of 2012

I'm beyond thankful to be a small part of this giant diy design blogging community.  The inspiration and encouragement I've received over the past year has truly been overwhelming!  I'm so very grateful to my fellow bloggers who have highlighted my projects and referred their readers to my little baby blog.  I appreciate the time you all take to stop by, leave a comment, or send an e-mail!

Today I'd like to give a shout out to the top five referring sites of the year!  Thanks so much!

Virtual fist bumps to all of you!  

And HUGE thanks to Jennifer from Rambling Renovators for including little ol' me in her Great Reads series!  So honored to be included among so many awesome blogs!  

Have a fantastic weekend!!    I know I still need to recap the Disney World trip - it's hard to sort through a billion pictures!  ;) 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top 10 Posts of the Year

Happy two days after Christmas friends!  I hope you all had a merry, jolly time!  We're still sorting through the chaos, working hard on putting together giant lego sets, and starting to take down Christmas decorations.  I usually leave them up until after the New Year, but we are going on yet another trip!  I know right?!  We're crazy!  We leave today for Richmond, Virginia to visit our old neighbors (3rd house) who have surpassed best friends status and are now family.  We'll be back before the New Year.  I'm sure I'll have mountains of laundry to do, so I figured getting a head start on putting the decorations away would make coming home less of a bummer.  Thankfully, my North Pole closet makes putting the decorations away just as fun as pulling them out!

It's hard to believe it's already time to start recapping the year!  2012 went by SO fast!  Here are the top 10 posts of the year in chronological order.

As crazy as this might be, the post that took the top spot by more than double the number two post was Thinking Outside the Closet (Clothing Storage Ideas for Small Closet Owners).  Ummmm, apparently there are a lot of small closet owners out there?  Who knew?

clothing storage ideas for small closets

DIY Union Jack Pegboard Headboard

DIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar

wall sized chalkboard calendar

Window Box Bathroom Storage

window box bathroom storage

                photography tips for beginners

A Labor of Love - Kitchen Reveal

Pinterest Inspired Black Doors

My Don't Buy Word


My blog goal for 2013 is to do a better job of keeping the project gallery updated.  

Have you started taking Christmas down?  Or do you wait until after New Years?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How was your Christmas?

Well, we got back from Disney World late Sunday night - the 23rd.  I had just enough time to get the gifts wrapped, and then we were off to my father-in-law's house in Cincinnati for Christmas Eve dinner.  We got home in time to put some milk and cookies out for Santa, and then my kids woke up at what felt like 4 am (but I think it was really 7).

We had a great Christmas!  I. am. exhausted!

Don't let the look on my daughter's face fool you.

She had a great Christmas too (and she really does love her brother).

How was your Christmas?  Has your house recovered yet?

I'll be back soon with a recap of our Disney World trip and some highlights from 2012!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Big Christmas Surprise!

We're going to DISNEY WORLD!!!!

The kids still don't know!!!!!

Remember our advent calendar this year?

Well, if you look closely you'll notice that December 20 -22 say SURPRISE!  The surprise is we are picking the kids up from school early today (today's their last day before break) and driving straight to the airport.  They have no idea!  I don't think I've been this excited about something since I was a kid.  I can't wait to tell them where we're going!  They have no clue!  It's going to be so awesome!

We'll be coming home on the evening of the 23rd, so it's just a quick trip.  The kids have never been to Disney World at this time of year.  We've been before during the summer.  If you've never been to a Disney park at Christmastime, you need to go.  The magic is somehow even more magical.

I may be a bit biased.  In case you don't know, I grew up about 30 minutes away from Disneyland in California.

me  - age 4 
Yep, I've pretty much been a mouseketeer my whole life!  No wonder, I'm so excited!

Disneyland  - 2008
Don't judge the bangs - it was hot - and hot + bangs = disaster

Either you're never too old to believe in the magic of Disney or once a nerd always nerd - take your pick.  ;)

I just can't wait to see the look on my kiddos faces when we tell them what the big surprise is!

Disneyland 2008

Disney World - 2010

So I'm signing off until after Christmas!  I hope you all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 Christmas Home Tour

christmas front entry door

Welcome to our Christmas home.  You've seen many of these pictures before, but there are a few new ones thrown in too!   (And if you've been following for awhile you'll notice that I finally spray painted the brass doorbell black - yippee!! Only took me 2&1/2 years.) 

                     framed chalkboard tree with vintage clip-on earring ornaments

In the entry foyer we have a chalkboard Christmas tree with vintage clip on earrings turned magnets as ornaments. 

Our mantel this year. 

                    christmas mantel

The tree

                       white christmas tree
nativity banner

christmas breakfast room

red and green christmas centerpiece

In the dining room I just added a few small touches of Christmas decor

                      christmas gallery wall

From my family to yours - Merry Christmas!!  

picmonkey christmas card

There are more homes to tour here

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sprinkling Christmas Spirit Around My Home

In light of recent events it seems silly to be posting about Christmas decor.  Over these last few days as I walk around my home, lighting candles, illuminating the tree, the following verse keeps coming to mind.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  
                                                                John  3:16 

I've been clinging to the peace that comes from knowing the child once born in Bethlehem is still among us now.

You already know that my goal this year was to keep it simple.  So I sprinkled little bits of Christmas spirit around my home the week after Thanksgiving and have been enjoying the simple displays all season.

Starting with my kitchen mail center.

I turned last years JCrew gift bag (I kept it for this very reason) into seasonal art.

Just for fun I papercliped some instragram photos to the lampshade on my new Ikea lamp.

I might leave them up all year long.

So, the mail is sorted in the kitchen and then the cards get displayed in the family room.

I strung some twine around the lampshades and have been using paper clips to display the cards as we receive them.

I replaced the black and white photos I usually have displayed here with some special Christmas pictures and handmade ornaments.

I used wrapping paper to dress up the clothespins.

My nativity this year is a pennant banner I made with wooden nativity ornaments and a thrifted scarf.

On the other side of the room I filled a couple hurricanes with mini mercury glass ornaments.

In the dining room a simple bowl of ornaments is the centerpiece. 

I added gold glittery snowflake ornaments to the black and white striped lampshades

You've already seen the nail polished pinecones

Last but not least I added a few bows to the gallery wall. 

These simple displays have warmed our hearts and have helped my family and I to focus on the real reason for the season. 

How did you deck your halls this year?

*Linking up at A Thoughtful Place

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life is Precious

My heart is so heavy.  I think I'm still in shock.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this terrible tragedy in Connecticut.  I know we've all wept and continue to cry as a nation.

I wrestled with whether or not I should tell my kids, and I decided it would be best for them to hear it from me than to be misinformed by a friend.  I still can't believe I had a conversation about a school shooting with my 6 and 8 year old.  (My hub was out of town this weekend for a bachelor party, so I was on my own.  He really owes me now.)

When I was a kid, my dad always made sure he hugged and kissed me every time I left the house.  As a teenager I remember thinking it was so silly.  I'd say, "Dad, I'm just going to the mall; I'll be back in a couple of hours."  I realize now why he did and continues to do this.  Life is precious and tomorrow is not promised.

I spent the weekend loving on my babies.

I pray for their innocence and for the innocence of every child.

The three of us went to church, and after I decided to have a little photo session while we were waiting for daddy to get home.  I'm thankful for my tripod which allowed me to get in a picture with them.

May God bless you all this holiday season.  May His peace surround all of those who have lost loved ones.

design + development by kelly christine studio