Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Few Online Family Christmas Traditions to Add

Oh mylanta. I am feeling very unprepared for Christmas this year! I still have many last-minute things to do but I am excited to tie up loose ends and get to the good stuff: driving around to see Christmas lights, decorating cookies with my family and watching a barrage of Christmas movies.  In the past few years we've added a few modern traditions. You may have heard of them, but just in case you haven't I thought I'd share two of our favorite Christmas traditions courtesy of the Yuletide Internet.

1. Elf Yourself from Office Max.

It takes just a few minutes to upload a photo of each family member and fit them to their new elf persona.  Then choose your favorite Christmas song/routine and have so much fun laughing as you watch your elfin family perform spectacular Christmas song and dance numbers-my kids and I giggled at this endlessly (we do every year).

2. Portable North Pole (PNP)

 PNP is so fun for the little ones.  You can visit their site and create a free custom video message from Santa to each of your children!  It takes a few minutes to enter the information to create your video- but it is so worth it when yours kids see a sweet little video of a real live Santa talking to them!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pottery Barn-Inspired Picture Frames Ornaments {for $1}

Hi friend! I hope you are enjoying the holiday season~  I want to share with you my all-time favorite ornaments: Pottery Barn Inspired Picture Frame Ornaments. I made these a few years ago and they are every one's favorites in our family.

 I loved the frame ornaments every year in the Pottery Barn catalog, so I decided to make my own version.  I frame one picture from each Christmas to hang on the tree.  It is so fun to get them out each year and laugh and reminisce about bygone holidays. In addition to being pretty tree adornments, this project makes for a great family tradition.  Best of all- it's cheap and easy! You can do it in a few hours for as little as $1 per ornament!

Pottery Barn-Inspired 
Picture Frame Ornament Tutorial


  • Small frames ( 4 x 6 or smaller- search dollar stores, craft stores or make your own from wood trim pieces)
  • Screw eye per frame ( found at any hardware store or even Wal-Mart))
  • Spray paint ( if you want to change the color of your frames)
  • Ribbon to hang frames with
  • Small photos to fill your frames ( I like black and white photos for this project)
I found my little ornate square frames at Dollar Tree a few years ago and had most of the other supplies on hand. 


1. Put a screw eye in the top of the frame  ( I recommend wood or plastic frames). I can't lie, this took a bit of muscle to get the screw eye into the plastic frame- wood is the easiest material for this project.
2. Spray paint the frame and the screw eye ( take the glass out of your frame first)
Use a program like Picasa or Photoshop to re-size and print your favorite Christmas photos to fit your frames (I like to print the year on the photo too)

Thread some festive ribbon through the screw eye and tie it on the tree!

I am linking up this project to  Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style and these great blogs.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Little Girl Bedroom Re-design

I wish I could tell you that I've been hard at work and just finished this sweet room, but my only contribution to this  project was helping my good friend, Heather, deliberate over paint chips. I am excited that she is kind enough to allow me to post pictures of her daughter's Big Girl Bedroom re-design! With a sweet little baby arriving next month,  there is a bit of bedroom shuffling going on at her house. So she's re-designed this bedroom, and is in the process of re-designing the nursery and is in the early stages of building a brand new bedroom for her boys- how is that for nesting?! 

I don't have a before picture of the room, but it belonged to her two boys.  It was a darling room, but definitely all boy, with darker colors. She painted all of the walls and the ceiling and added trim to the window and board & batten using this tutorial from the blog, JennaSue.  The paint colors are all from Behr: Clam Chowder (Yellow), Raspberry Lemonade (Pink), and Marshmallow (White)- yes, the pregnant lady freely admits she chose all paint colors with food names ;)

Here are some of the fun details. 

The darling quilt and sham are from Company Kids.

Heather made this sweet little accent pillow with fabrics from JoAnn's.

Heather sewed a valance with polka dot green ruffles (fabric from JoAnn's)

This lamp was made by Little Miss A's daddy when he was in 6th grade shop class.  Heather spray-painted the base and covered the shade with fabric and added some fabric flower embellishments (all fabrics from JoAnn's.

Using fabric left from the other projects and a little inspiration from Pinterest, she made this fabric wreath.

The picture rod is from Rod Works.  The frames are from The Organic Bloom. It has to be said that my friend Heather is mildly obsessed with Organic Bloom frames (they pop in a few more places in this room)...this is an obsession she has passed on to me;) If perchance, the obsession has rubbed off on you too, Heather sells these frames, so contact her to purchase them!
The shelf came unfinished from Robert's and Heather sanded and painted it. The big letter "A" is a cardboard letter from JoAnn's, painted green with acrylic paint.

She added these sweet little polka dot ceramic knobs from Hobby Lobby to the shelf.

This is hands-down one of the best kid (or adult) dressers.  I think buying kids furniture is always a dilemma. You want it to look good, you want it to last, but you don't want to spend a fortune. This dresser  is part of the Birkeland collection from Ikea. The warm white color is perfect, the construction is good,  it is short enough for little people to reach, the drawers glide with ease and it has loads of room- ever since I saw this one in action, I've been trying to figure out how to fit one in my daughter's room. Heather also bought the Birkeland nightstand (that is where the cute lamp lives).

Another Organic Bloom frame- so fun!

The fun and functional storage cubes and colored bins are all from Martha Stewart's line at Home Depot.

There is one happy girl that now lives in this candy-colored bedroom.Thanks, Heather, for sharing your photos!

P.S. One more Organic Bloom frame ;)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nativity Advent Calendar Idea for kids

(image from

Hi friends! Hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous!

I'm excited to share a fun and simple idea! At church they gave each family a Nativity Advent or countdown calendar complete with 25 vinyl images that when put together, construct the nativity scene.  Each day, our family is supposed to read a few designated verses from the Bible and put one of the stickers on our poster that helps construct the nativity scene.  It is a fun way to countdown to Christmas while focusing a little each day on the birth of Christ.

I wanted to share this idea with you, but I know many of us don't have a vinyl cutting machine.  So I have found a plan B and it only requires a printer and basic supplies you probably have on hand!  I want to be clear, this is not my idea. I found this article by Rachel Bruner on  Rachel's article includes some simple printable nativity illustrations so that you can make your own calendar. I am just sharing the link to her illustrations and sharing the scripture passages that coincide.

Print and cutout the nativity images from Rachel Bruner's article from (click here to print colored illustrations, or click here for the black and white illustrations). Beginning on December 1, read the designated passage from the Bible and cut out and attach one the designated nativity images to magnet or poster board or even a big piece of paper.

Here is an example of how to run your advent calendar,  though you could change it your liking:

Dec. 1 - Read Luke 1:26-27  put up the stable 3 pieces: 2 sides 1 support beam)
Dec. 2. - Read Luke 1:28-29 ,then put up the stable roof ( two pieces)
Dec. 3 - Read Luke 1:30-31 then put up a palm tree
Dec. 4 - Read Luke 1: 32-33 then put up am palm tree
Dec. 5 - Read Luke 1: 34-35 then put up a bird
Dec. 6 - Read Matthew 1: 18-19 then put up a bird
Dec. 7 - Read Matthew 1: 20-21 then put up the nest
Dec. 8 - Read Matthew 1: 22-23 then put up the sheep
Dec. 9 - Read Matthew 1: 24 then put up a lamb
Dec. 10 - Read Luke 2: 1-2 then put up a lamb
Dec. 11 - Read Luke 2: 3-4 then put up the donkey
Dec. 12 - Read Luke 2: 5-6 then put up Joseph
Dec. 13 - Read Luke 2: 7-8 then put up Mary
Dec. 14 - Read Luke 2: 8-9 then put up the manger
Dec. 15- Read Luke 2: 10-11 then put up an angel
Dec. 16 - Read Luke 2: 12-13 then put up an angel
Dec. 17 - Read Luke 2: 14-15 then put up the star
Dec. 18 - Read Luke 2: 16-17 then put up the big shepherd
Dec. 19- Read Luke 2: 18-19 then put up the shepherd girl
Dec. 20 - Read Matthew 2: 1-2 then put up the shepherd boy
Dec. 21 - Read Matthew 2: 3-4 then put up the camel
Dec. 22 - Read Matthew 2: 5-6 then put up a wise man
Dec. 23 - Read Matthew 2: 7-8 then put up a wise man
Dec. 24 - Read Matthew 2: 9-14 then put up a wise man
*Optional- Also put up baby Jesus on Christmas Eve or put him up on Christmas Day

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fabulous and Simple Thanksgiving Stuffing (with secret ingredients)

Image from the Graphics Fairy  

Friends, I don't often share recipes because, quite honestly, the food that I make is not often something one would want to repeat.  However, this recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing is fabulous with a few unique ingredients that make it great.  It is simple to  make- it may be the only recipe I haven't ever destroyed.  While it's not my own recipe, it's pretty exciting to have people ask for it becasue, as you can imagine, this is rare for me.

My mom acquired this recipe from a local cooking show in the 80s or 90s and it is a Thanksgiving staple in our family.  There is no other dressing in our minds.  So I thought I would share in case you feel like giving it a try for the holiday- you won't be sorry.  It is easy to make and fairly fool-proof.

Fabulous and Simple Thanksgiving Dressing
Serves 6-9

1/2 cup (1 cube) butter

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cups of chopped celery

1 can chicken broth

1 cup milk

1/2 chub 
Jimmy Dean Sage sausage
1/2 chub 
Jimmy Dean Maple sausage
2 cans of sliced water chestnuts

2 cans of sliced mushrooms 

1-2 cups of Craisins or any brand of dried cranberries
1 box of 
Mrs. Cubbison's brand herb flavored stuffing (here's a photo of the box so you what you are looking for)

*I have heard roasted walnuts and apple chunks are also good additions to the dressing but I haven't tried that yet.


  • Saute celery and onion in butter in a big pot
  • Stir milk and broth into to the pot of sauteed vegetables and cook on low/med heat on the stove until the mixture is warm
  • Brown sausage
  • Mix sausage, dry stuffing, mushrooms, water chestnuts and cranberries in a big bowl
  • Pour warmed liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until the dressing is moistened and all ingredients are mixed
  • Pour dressing into a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  • Thank me later ;)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Current Obsession: Pinhole Press

Hi friend!  I just finished my sister's wedding invitations and feel like I can come up for air again! Christmas cards are on my mind now  (though I've yet to take any photos to fill said greeting cards).  I am currently obsessed with Pinhole Press.  They are an online boutique offering many pretty personalized gifts from Christmas cards to photo books to personalized stationary- all customizable and all with a clean simple look that is oh so eye-catching.  I love their designs because they allow your photos to take center stage. The patterned envelopes they sell with their Christmas cards are about the merriest thing a person could hope to pull out of their mail box.

Here are a few fast favorites from their site.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Printables

The last few weeks have been a bit crazy.  I guess one good thing about crazy or difficult times, is that they help you realize how wonderful the quiet times and the simple things really are. I am grateful that I have a little time to catch my breath and reflect on this fabulous time of year.

I whipped up a few fall printables for the season that I have/am printing and framing in my house.  You can print them for personal use if you like.

Have a good day, friend!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Most Amazing Pumpkins

(Image from artwork by Ray Villafane)

Happy Halloween, friend!

I am somewhat freaked out, but mostly fascinated with these jack-o-lanterns carved by artist Ray Villafane.  You have to check out this slideshow of his amazing work.  Have a great Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

etsy love: Go Jump in the Lake

I love the bold colors and vintage look of the signs and frames from the etsy shop, Go Jump in the Lake. You have to check them out, friend!  Here are a few of my favorites

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ebay for Halloween costumes

I am a big fan of DIY projects, but most of my attempts at DIY Halloween costumes yield the same, "What are you supposed to be?" result.  So for Halloween, I employ my other hobby, online shopping. One of my favorite sources for Halloween costumes is ebay.  For the past few years, I've purchased my kids' costumes through ebay and found some great deals.  They have nearly every costume ever created and with a variety of sellers and options (new or used, bid or buy it now) you can find the deal that is right for you.

These baby animal costumes are all brand new and all available on ebay for $18 each with free shipping!  I've seen the same exact costumes sold through other retailers for double the price. So if you are still looking for the perfect costume, try ebay, friend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Winner of the Shabby Apple Giveaway!

With special thanks to True Random Number Generator for it's assistance, I'm excited to announce the winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway.

Congratulations, Tiffany!  You've won the Teachers' Pet skirt! Please contact me by friday to claim your prize.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Last Chance to Enter Shabby Apple Giveaway (your odds are good)

Today is the last day to enter the Shabby Apple Giveaway! Your odds are still good, and the giveaway is quick and simple so be sure to enter by Midnight tonight.  Good luck!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Layered Halloween Yarn Wreath

The question, "Why didn't I think of that?" came to mind when I saw the layered Halloween wreath my my very creative mom whipped up (I taught her everything she knows....or was it the other way around?).

My mom was kind enough to let me share her creative idea with you. There isn't a formal tutorial for this wreath, but I will walk you through it.
  • The bottom layer is a black feather wreath from JoAnn's (which is very much on sale right now)
  • The second layer is a yarn wreath (I'll post the tutorial ASAP)
  • The big flower at the bottom is simply a piece of home decor fabric (also from JoAnn's) cut out in the shape of the print and pinned to the wreath with a black felt rosette in the center

  • A strip of the fabric was also used to tie the wreath to the metal wreath hanger
  • You can find the directions for the rest of the embellishments here.

 Thanks, Mom for sharing your brilliance!
P.S. There is still time to enter the Shabby Apple Giveaway!