Monday, December 23, 2013

Bits and Pieces of Christmas Decor (Upstairs)

Christmas at our home...I truly believe in simple décor and meaningful décor.  Adding to what you already have out in your home and not replacing all your décor for Christmas décor.

I don't change can add a garland to a light fixture, a few banners or such to your décor.

Natural element to already existing décor - like this spray on the hallway mirror.

Adding a few evergreens and ribbon to an already existing container.

Collect Christmas ornaments that mean something to you...our tree in the dining room is full of Eddie Walker ornaments that we have collected for over 20 years.

You don't have to change out every candle and every accent.

Just add a bow or a bit of greenery to things you already display.

A garland here and there (and if their not lit, you can take a $5 strand of lights and wind through them like I did in the above garland).  I also changed very few things on our bookcases - just tucked in more of our Eddie Walker's here and there.

Add ribbon to a light fixture.  Greenery and stockings to your chair.  (Side note - during our 20+ years in the Air Force, we lived in base housing - no fireplace in sight - so we tied our stockings to the kitchen chairs.  When we finally moved to a home with a fireplace, I went to hang our stockings on the fireplace and our girls just didn't think they should go there - so back to the chairs they went!  The tradition was more important than the interior design.  Honor yours in your home!)

Apothecary jars are amazing!  You can put the simpliest things in them and they look festive.  Marshmallows, candy, etc. - always makes your home look festive!

We back lit our nativity this year and I really liked it.  We also wanted it in a place where we would see it the most.  For us, in our living room the tv is pretty much the center of attention, so we decided to put it in the view of the tv - you can't watch a show without the nativity being in your sight at all times.

We used to put a military tree up - with all the military ornaments Stephen collected thru the years.  Again, in an effort to simplify the ornaments are now wired onto a garland that simply goes on the window.  All the airplanes on are wire hanging down so they appear to be "flying".  Since it's all wired, it can simply come down and be placed in a Rubbermaid container and pulled back out next year.

Poinsettas or any seasonal flower can add a bit a cheer tucked into a nook. 

Another collection - this time Mary Engelbreit.  Love her style and I split my collection between a guest room and my scrapbook room (it's in the basement and will be in a later post).

 An accent her and there or a toss pillow.  Add a floral spray in an unexpected spot.
Wrapping paper that coordinates with your décor doesn't hurt either - thanks Mary!

This is another guest room - wreath in an expected spot.  Simple ribbon and greener tied to a lamp that's in the room all year.  Small toss pillow is an easy accent as well.

Another family treasure - a nativity that my dad made us years ago.

Tuck ornaments in a bowl or hang for a curtain rod for a simple decoration.  I leave the ribbons on them when I pack them away - next year it will take 5 minutes to hang them on the rod again.

Another example of a very simple addition of greenery to add a festive look to your already existing décor.  I have really tried to simplify our home this year.  I want it to look nice, but I have switched to pieces that are so simple to put out and decorate and just as simple to take down.
Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Basement Library/Playroom

When we first looked at this house, we couldn't quite figure out what to do with this room in the basement.  Obviously, it couldn't be a bedroom with the French doors and it was too small to be anyhow.  There is a large office upstairs for Stephen, so we didn't need it for that.  I have a scrapbook room in the basement so we didn't need it for that.  Then finally, it dawned on us - make it a place for games and kids.  We so want this house to accommodate every one that visits us.  What about the kids?

 So we decided that's what it would be.  We quickly went to work.  Laminate flooring was put down and the walls were painted a bright yellow.  Blinds went up, as well as an oak cornice that my dad had made for another house of ours years ago.  On that went valance that my mom had made for our last home.  An old desk we had purchased from Target and new bookcases from Target as well. 
 A trip to Chicago (always fun) to hit Ikea up for the bright red chairs and book ledges.  Then we simply went thru boxes of books and games the girls had collected thru the years to fill all the nooks and crannies.  I truly believe in using what you already have. 
We already had the Disney prints from a previous family room.  One of our favorite things is that we can now display our Mr. Potato Head collection.  The girls had some of these when they were little.  When our great-nephew, Miles, was born I wanted a way that we could connect with him. Unfortunately lots of miles separate us and I didn't want every time that we saw him for it to take the whole time for him to warm up to us.

 We decided on simple Mr. Potato Heads - an inexpensive toy but it was "our thing".  He's four now and his (and our) collection has grown quite a bit.  He knows that every time we see him and in every birthday and Christmas package there will be a Mr. Potato Head though.  Such a simple thing but we enjoy it so much!

Back to the room though...Since these pictures were taken we have also added a red and white rug (another Ikea find).  When are niece and nephew came to visit this past spring, they enjoyed the games and having a place to draw/color.  It's so nice that this house truly is accommodating our family and we are being able to do so by simply repurposing lots that we already had!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 out of every 26 Americans have Epilepsy?  Our gorgeous 22 year old daughter was diagnosed when she was 15.  What a struggle we have been through to find the right doctors and the right medications for her, but thankfully, she is now on a medication that is working and has been seizure free for 3 years.  Did you know that 30% of all people with Epilepsy don't have a medication that works for them?  You can visit to find out more information about Epilepsy.  If 3 million people in the US are suffering with epilepsy, shouldn't we all talk about it and educate ourselves.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Living Room Tour...

The "BEFORE" pictures of our Living Room

We couldn't move into our house until we had the carpet replaced.  We were told by the realtor that the prior owners had left a dog in the house for a few weeks while they moved out.  Don't know if that is true or not, but something had been left in the house.  The living room wasn't as bad as some of the other rooms, but a hammer had been taken to the top of the hearth and there were lots of holes in the walls.
One thing that selling the old house taught me is that I live better in color.  I think everyone is different, but I definitely need color.  This is the living room after we added new carpet, painted, and decorated.  We used lots of Longaberger wrought iron and spice market fabric (throws, pillows).  The burnt red couches, clock and burlap prints are from Pier1, the glass lamps from Hobby Lobby, and the gold buffalo plaid pillows and fabric are from Country Curtains.

Surprisingly the bookcases are actually from Target - people are always amazed by that.  I think it's so funny! You probably can't see them very well but on the top mixed in with the old jugs and Longaberger baskets are two hats - one is my grandpa's coal mine hat and the other is my dh's grandfather's state construction hardhat.  We wanted to use things in our home that represented the people we love.

My amazing Uncle built and upholstered the round ottoman for me and a talented seamstress in our town covered the cornices that my husband built.
Thanks for taking a peek at our updated living room!  Still working on the rest but will post more here soon.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Our Home Redone...

A year ago we bought this home...This is what it looked like about 3 months ago - that's after I trimmed all the bushes, painted the shutters, trim, and door, replaced the roof, mulched everything (except the ivy circle I was trying to kill).  I can't find the picture of it when we first moved in - and I think it's safe to say that it looks a lot different.  The house had been reprocessed and I don't think the prior owners were thrilled.  They left all four toilet seats broken, holes in the walls, took a hammer to the fireplace, ripped out shelves, rips in the linoleum, broken appliances, and to beat it all - they left a dog in the house for what we've been told was a couple of weeks.  Talk about disgusting!  All the flooring had to be removed immediately, we've purchased 42 gallons of paint, and replaced a TON of other stuff inside.  Over the next few weeks I will try posting some of befores and afters.  It has been a true journey - at times a struggle - but it's become our home and we are loving that.