Christmas Cards Made Easy

A long time ago before I was married and had children, sending Christmas cards to friends and family was no big deal.  The entire process took about 20 minutes.

Seventeen years and two children later, I find that the whole Christmas card routine is a much bigger ordeal.  And, yes, I do mean “ordeal.”

Up until a few years ago, I wrote a letter to friends updating them on all of our family happenings.  I took pictures of the kids, had photo cards made then tracked down current addresses while my husband fiddled on the computer to create a mail merge from his spreadsheet to mailing labels.  It always took a few tries to get the labels to line up just right so that was a job in and of itself.  When everything was good to go, we stuffed and sealed what seemed like a million envelopes and then put a stamp on them before they finally landed in the mail box.  See what I mean?  Ordeal.

Then last year, I teamed up with Minted.com for my Christmas cards and let me tell you, they changed my life!

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Well, not really but they simplified the process and that was a big deal!   Continue reading


How to Make the Perfect Bow

I don’t know about you, but it takes me a long time to decorate my house for the Christmas season.  

I can’t just put everything in the same place as the year before.  Well, yes, I do put a few things in the same spots, but I always change things up a little. It’s what makes it fun to me!  Besides, who can remember each year where something went? Not me! 

This year I seem to be changing things up more than usual.  I’m fluffing and adjusting things trying to figure out how I want everything to look.

As a result, I am adding a lot of ribbon and making several bows.  I love how festive all the ribbon makes everything look.  It’s a simple way to add a little flair inexpensively.

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Friends and readers often ask me how I make my bows so I thought today would be the perfect time to share a quick video tutorial with you: Continue reading


Thanksgiving by Candlelight

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I enjoy creating tablescapes — especially for the holidays.  

I have to confess that I haven’t gone the simple route every Thanksgiving, but with each passing year, simplicity seems to be my mantra — go simple or go home!

This year, my “Thanksgiving by Candlelight” table reflects my desire for keeping things easy, yet pleasing to the eye.  And, of course, it’s in keeping with my casually elegant style. 

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I just love the warm and cozy glow of candles burning in the center of the table as dinner time arrives and the sun sinks deeper under the horizon.

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Normally, I love the layer plates upon plates, but this time I kept the layering to a minimum, using only a beaded gold charger and my beloved Spode Delamere dinner plates.  

I topped it off with a small picture frame used as a place card for each seat and called it done.

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I love this idea because you can also give the frame as a little gift to your guests as they leave!  How fun is that?!

Although this table is simple, it subtly marries texture and color and gives a feeling of the fall harvest and the warmth of the season.

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I always, always try to incorporate candles in to my tables, but have never photographed them lit before.  

I guess I was afraid the warm glow wouldn’t come through.  But today’s rainy weather provided the perfect opportunity to show you what my table actually looks like when I’m ready for my guests to arrive and dinner is about to be served.

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There’s something about candle light that makes you want to linger at the table for conversation and camaraderie, doesn’t it?

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You might notice that I didn’t place any napkins at this table.  That’s because this year — in keeping with my simpicity mantra — I’m using paper napkins.  And, no, I haven’t even bought them yet.  When I do, I will place them under the picture frames, or maybe just keep them in the kitchen in the buffet line.  

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Today’s Thanksgiving table is part of the monthly tablescape series, “It’s All Set.”

I hope you’ll visit the links below to see more beautiful ideas from my friends!

 

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StoneGable

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Lilacs & Longhorns

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Designthusiasm

Adding Warmth to a Thanksgiving Table with Burnished Copper | Designthusiasm.com

The Enchanted Home

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Shabbyfufu

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Simplifying Thanksgiving and a Giveaway! {Thankful to bHome}

Now that Halloween has come and gone, it’s time to get serious about the upcoming holidays.

One of my favorite things about this time of year is getting together with my blogging friends to bring you inspiring ideas for holiday entertaining, decorating and more.  

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This week, I’m joining a very talented group of bloggers from bHome to bring you ideas, inspiration and thoughts about being thankful during the Thanksgiving season.

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A complete list of the participating bloggers and links to their sites is at the end of this post. Continue reading


Bathroom Progress {One Room Challenge Week 3}

It’s Week 3 of the One Room Challenge hosted by Calling it Home. I started a week late so this is only my second post, but it is week 3 so we are halfway through the challenge. If you missed last week’s post, you can find it here.

One Room Challenge guest participant

I’d like to be able to tell you that everything is moving right along.  The fact is, however, I painted my bathroom this week, and I don’t like it at all.

The beautiful light french gray with blue undertones paint that I chose reads as powder baby blue on my walls.

The wall on the right looks like the color I wanted it to look, but the wall with the door and the rest of the room reads powder blue — particularly when the lights are off — in which case it’s very, very bright light blue.

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My daughter thinks the powder blue is pretty.  And, if that’s what I was going for, I would agree that it’s a nice color.  It’s just not what I wanted.  And, my husband hates baby blue so it’s just not going to work. Continue reading