Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me

 I usually never make a big ta-doo about my birthday, but this one seems kinda special.  This past year has been very unpredictable for all of us, but I have to say it has been a year that has blessed me.  I love the fact as I get older, I get wiser, lol.  I've learned so many new things about myself.  I've noticed that I see things differently about life and am holding tighter to the things I love.  
That includes my camera!  
I absolutely love learning about how to adjust the settings and all of the editing options on Lightroom.  In the beginning, I had no clue that there was "noise" in a photograph.  Noise?  What?  I noticed one day, as I was editing, that there was all of this little tiny grain looking stuff all in my photo.  Well, lo and behold, I figured out that was what "noise" is, lol!  And I am still figuring out how to edit it out.  But I am also learning that different lenses and your ISO can cut that please bear with me as I share some photos I'm learning with.

I want that sharp, soft look without making it super sharp and crazy looking.  I think I'm getting it slowly.  It'll just take time and practice.  Taking photos in low lighting and inside definitely makes for a harder time capturing the right mood too.  The lighting and shadows on this photo look exactly what I was wanting to convey....what I see in my home at night.  

My sweet little family all chipped in and bought me the new Petticoat bedding from the Shabby Chic line.  It's still wrinkled straight out of the bag, but I love it!  Those ruffles are gorgeous!  

The bedding I previously had was from the same line and has worn so well....definitely worth the price!  I started putting away the Christmas decorations downstairs last night, and I am ready for some pretty changes.  It seems that I always change things up a bit after everything has been put away.  I bought some really pretty floral arrangements from Home Goods, so I am excited about adding them to this space.

Another new mirror was hung in the stair well.  My sweet husband bought it for me for Christmas but it was brown.  He said he knew I would paint it and it would do well with how I distress things.  He said he's been trained well, lol!  I love that man!

Overlook the quality of the's from my cell phone.  The day after Christmas I painted it and hung it up.  
No grass grows under my feet!

We all had a very blessed Christmas!  There were lot's of laughs and plenty of good times had by all....and the food was pretty good too!

We decided, at 3 am, to take a family photo on Christmas Eve.  We stayed up all night long and opened presents around 4:30am.  Had a huge breakfast at 6 and were all in bed at 7.  Now that's what I call having a great time! lol

So this birthday is a blessing, even with the aches and pains that go along with it!  

I hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas and have a very Blessed New Year!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Harmony In The Kitchen

Christmas is a time to gather, and that usually ends up in the kitchen.  Whether it's baking, eating or just sipping on a cup of tea....harmony is something we all want during the holidays!

I moved the island yet once again.  This time with the chairs facing the dining table.  Why hadn't I done this before?  I have so much more room to move around in!

I love seeing the front of this cabinet too.  The other ways I've had it always hid the details.

I found this lantern along with two others and gave them a makeover with a coat of fresh white paint.  I took the glass out and added some pine and a candle.  It smells heavenly!

 I found these mistletoe balls at Home Goods.  They were meant to hang, but I thought they looked perfect shoved down over my candle sticks...making them a topiary!  Paired with the lantern did the trick for a centerpiece that wasn't too clunky.

The bench is a great spot to lay those sweet treats while they cool fresh from the oven.

A smaller lantern was used as the dining table centerpiece.

It sits on top of a cake stand that's placed on a gorgeous rose mirror.\ that reflects the light.  

I absolutely love the mantle this year in all white.  Making the garland scallop along with white snowflakes and stockings, is just simply pretty!

I did however add these gorgeous ornaments from a very talented lady in Australia,  for a hint of pink.  

Last year, I had blue birds made by a sweet lady right here in West Virginia!  I have a feeling I may be using them next year along with these beauties!

I kept the color scheme pretty simple this year.  I had visions and everything came together perfectly in white.  The "JOY" plate definitely describes how I feel about Christmas time!

My aunt gave me this Jesus ornament a long time ago.  It is made of wood and got a makeover as well with white paint.  Little things like this are sweet filled with fond memories scattered all throughout the kitchen.

The little cabinet was a perfect spot to hang the girls new stockings and a pine wreath.  Not to mention that gorgeous star I found at Michael's!

And the view of this sweet bed is always pleasing to my eyes.  After cooking a large meal, I may need to go take a nap after I pull the door closed. There are definitely plenty of beds in this house to take a long winter's nap in.

Can you tell that I'm sleepy?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I'm Never Done

I thought I was finished with Christmas decorating a long time ago, but when we went to buy a tree for our church, I saw this one and had to have it!  Unfortunately, they didn't have them in stock so I went on the hunt and finally tracked one down at another store a few more miles down the road. 

The reason why I fell in love was because it looks so real!  I have wanted one like this for a few years but the prices I was seeing made me say 
"no way"!  I just can't fathom a price being over $150 for a Christmas tree.  Now if it were one of those trees that would fit into a mansion and was 10 feet tall, well then I could understand.

And when a tree doesn't need all sorts of decorations or lights to be pretty, then you know it's a gorgeous tree!

Being a foot taller looks so much better with the window wall.  It's 7 and a half feet tall...our ceilings are 8 and a half. 

 I bet you're wondering where the other tree is now....

It is perfect in one of our guest rooms!  Next year, I think I'll put it downstairs though.

I found a battery operated star for this space since I don't have an outlet.  I love it!

So there ya go...I am never done with decorating, even with Christmas!  I love my tree and am so thankful for being able to buy it.  God has been so very good to us with my sweetie not having a job.  This Christmas, so far, has been the very best ever because I have him home with us.  I am one blessed woman!

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Blue Christmas

As many of you know, our master is downstairs.  It's a space that my husband and I love, so decorating it for Christmas is always fun.  Last year, my sweetie came up with the idea for adding lights behind the curtains and around our bed.  He said "it's romantic"  

He sure is a romancer!

Our basement only has one window, so light in the Winter months is rare, so please forgive the quality of the photos.

I added pine and white snowflakes to the head and foot board.  Sorry it looks black, in reality, it is a pretty fresh pine green.  Not the kind that has a blue tint to it.  But again, capturing colors in this space if hard.

With all of the white, the pine looks so pretty to me.  But again, I can't quite capture the colors just right.

We have two trees up, one smaller at the foot of the stairs and the other by the window.  Between those and the bed, the lighting is so soft all across the open space.

Going to bed is something neither of us have fact, we love to lay in bed and talk about things, our hopes and dreams for our daughters and life in general.  

We can see the tree from every angle.  I kinda like it in the day shows the details a little better. The rag garland my youngest and I made sure does.

I laid a pair of ice skates and a violin under the tree.  I use this tree for "away" family presents an d our tree upstairs for  my husband, and daughters presents.  It makes it much easier to keep them separated.

I'll probably get a green tree for next year for here and use this one upstairs in the pink and green room.

We love Christmas, so angels are a given since it's Baby Jesus's birthday.  I like to think about what a glorious day that was. The angels were singing and blowing their trumpets in Heaven, I'm sure.  

He really is the best gift we could all ever receive.

This little tree has been around for many, many years.  Putting it in the pail bucket makes it cuter, don't ya think?

I love adding poinsettias and pine along with ornaments to things, especially to the top of this old gun cabinet.  The little sign I made last year gives a little Christmas cheer.

And of course mirrors add some sparkle with spreading the light around.  The ornaments, topiary and NOEL blocks were all finds at Home Goods a few years back.  
I love that place!

Our sectional is doing well and we still love it! 

Having the tray on the ottoman helps with drinks and gives me another place to add some Christmas charm.  I love this little crown, it makes me think, again, about Baby Jesus.  
A King was born.....

It's just a nice space to be in.  It's so soothing no matter what time of year it is.

I found this Merry Christmas Mirror at Michael's this year....isn't it pretty?!

It looks so nice paired with the other mirror and frame.  And as long as I breathe, I will always say Merry Christmas!

There are so many more details that you all are missing like the mantle and the office area.  The lighting was really low the day I took all of these photos.  Maybe I will try again and share those later.  But for now, take my word for it...the space is beautiful and dreamy to see.

I hope all of you have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


What a wonderful (unexpected) early Christmas present we all got!  If any of you know me, I find some wonderful things on the facebook yardsale sites.  
This is one of the best!

His name is Bowser and he has a story.

I saw an ad for 3 puppies that were a Great Pyrenees and Boxer mix.  I am a major lover of big dogs so I was smitten right away.  I sent the seller a message to see if any of the puppies were still available.  I got a response the next morning stating that 2 were.  I immediately asked my sweetie if we could get another dog, his response was "you're gonna get one whether I say yes or no".  That was my answer!  I called and made arrangements for me and my youngest daughter to go and see them.  We were so excited in anticipation of these sweet puppies.
As we came to the address, we saw that it truly was a farm as I was told!  We saw geese, cats, dogs, puppies, chickens, peacocks....we were in absolute awe of all that we saw!  A friend of mine was there to pick out a pup too, so we didn't get a chance to talk to the seller right away.  While they talked, my daughter and I were having so much fun saying hello to all of the animals and then as I looked down, there he was.  I squatted down and Bowser waved his paw and that was all I needed to know...he had picked me.  I picked him up and it was nothing but kisses!  

We took him to Pet Smart on our way home and bought lot's of stuff he would need.  Everyone was "oooing and awwing" as we strolled through the aisles.  All the while Hannah and I were falling more and more in love.  

We had to go by my oldest daughters place of work to let her see him and she fell in love too.  Now, when we finally made it home, my husband came out to meet him.  He couldn't believe the size of this sweet pup!  We took him in the garage and the next thing I saw was my sweetie on the floor, wollering with Bowser and giving him kisses.  
This was the man that wasn't thrilled with the thought of a new pup when we still have one that has been chewing up all of our stuff and digging everything up, lol.  But my thoughts were that this pup would help Lucie to be focused on him besides being so destructive.

We swear she's ADD!  But she's absolutely beautiful and sweet.

That night, Bowser slept with us!  I my white bed of fluff, he slept with us!  Of course after a bath.

Our oldest has severe dust mite allergies so we can't have inside animals.  Our cat, Louis, lives in the garage and comes in every now and then.  Our garage is attached to our downstairs, so I am always in there working and playing with him.  He loves our Christmas I am glad he's in the garage, lol!

He and Bowser get a long great!  

We are all so in love with that sweet face!  He reminds of us so much of our sweet Gabe that we lost back in March.

We called him our gentle giant...the absolute bestest dog we have ever had!

Bowser is so laid back and lazy!  He army crawls across the floor to get to the other side, lol! He and Lucie got together today and played.  We have to keep Lucie on a leash because she doesn't know her own strength and we know she'll accidentally hurt him.  But so far, so good.

I took him out to pee and took my camera.....he's a perfect poser!  We've had him 2 and a half  days and not one mishap!  He lets us know when he needs to go and he doesn't howl or whine when we put him in his kennel at night.   I asked the seller if he'd been house trained and she said none of the pups had ever been inside....she said she knew they'd be good pups.   

Smart and handsome...what a sweet combination!
Our days are going to be consumed with all of our animals, making sure they'll all get a long and are happy, but having them makes me so very happy!

I see Christmas morning being super fun!