Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year, New Attitude

Wow, that was an unexpected blogging break! I have to say that I took some much needed time off  with family and friends. I had intended to stop in and say hello during the holidays but I guess we were just too busy having fun! 

Like many others in blog-land right now, I'm thinking about this blessing of a new year and just wanted to share a little bit. I love the new year. It is one of those graces from God that we are all given. I love that it doesn't matter who or where you are in our life, you still have the opportunity for a fresh start. We are given the chance to stop and reflect on the previous year, as well as refocus on the one to come. 

I've been reflecting on some things for the past couple of months and its just all become more real with the start of the new year.

It's important to have goals and dreams in life. Goals give us purpose and allow us to work toward something. The thing we forget is that not meeting a goal at the intended time doesn't mean that we've failed. Goals don't change but deadlines can and do change. I will give my whole self to finishing at the time I choose but I will no longer feel guilty if I don't achieve my goal at the exact moment I hope to complete it. I will remind myself that I'm better off for having worked toward it than if I had sat back and done nothing. If I work on my goal, I'll be moving in the right direction and continually making progress! Do you realize how freeing that is? I am choosing to dream this year and to make those dreams into goals with which I work toward with purpose.

It's also important to be positive in both thought and action. Is too easy to think the worst of a situation in order to avoid disappointment. That's not how I'm choosing to live my life anymore. I want to hope for the best and trust that the best is going to come my way. Sometimes we let our own preconceived notions of how things should turn out get in the way of the results God intends for us. I choose to change my expectations... To not expect too much but to know that good things ARE waiting for me. We bring about what we think about. I know that I'll be blessed with more positive people in my life as I become a more positive person myself. And choosing to be positive is choosing to have a change of attitude.

I would say that those are my two major choices for this year. I'm not calling them resolutions or even goals. They're choices that I've made and will continue to make throughout the year. I'm excited to see my own life change before my eyes. I know that there are big things ahead and I can't wait to see them come to fruition. 

Here's to a new year and a new attitude! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

More Weekend Fun

It's a busy weekend in blog-land! I linked up again and you can check out all of the other great ideas at "Or So She Says"

Or so she says

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Little More Christmas Cheer

Well, the joy of Christmas continues at our house! I hope you're not sick of the holiday decorations yet.. and if you are, maybe we can bring back your Christmas inspiration. Warning: This is a photo-full post!

First, I wanted to share a super quick update to our mantel. One of the simplest things you can change in your home is to switch out the framed pictures/art! I love that it's an easy and quick change that's basically free! 

I got the amazing Christmas song subway art from here and just printed them out on 8x10 cardstock and put them in the existing frames above the mantle.

I feel like the mantle finally looks absolutely complete! Yay! Now on to the next part... our pass-through. I love having this huge opening between the kitchen and living room. It's great to be able to have a view of the whole living room while cooking or washing dishes in the kitchen :o) On top of that, it's a great spot to decorate for every holiday! Here's a peek of the view from my kitchen sink into the living room so you can get a feel. Please forgive the photo--it seems like I can't get the lighting right no matter what angle I attempt!

And this is the view from the other side and some of the details:

I got all of my red and gold ornaments on clearance after Christmas a couple of years ago. They're the shatterproof ornaments so I don't have to worry about it if I drop one, etc. "Joy" is a small wooden piece from JoAnn fabrics. I found the red and green ceramic bowls in the dollar section at Target. And finally, I found the "Believe" printable here. 

The finishing touch for that decorating day was our entry table. I set up our mini-tree there with some small gifts piled below. I also placed yet another framed printable there which I found on this blog. I love this one because it's a lovely Christmas scripture :) Finally, I added a small basket for mail or candies (if my husband gets his way!). 

I'm so happy to be finishing up with the decorations! I may leave them up through January if I can get away with it just so I can enjoy them for longer... we'll see how that flies with the hubby, LOL. Anyone else on that train with me? C'mon, we could turn it into a 'thing'!

p.s. I wanted to give a quick shout out to all of the incredible bloggers who created such beautiful printables and shared them with the web-world. I love them and have a few more to share so stay tuned for the final Christmas decor installment! The gallery wall and a special project are the last stop!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Mantle: Christmas Decor

I'm back today with some more Christmas cheer in our home! I'm sure I mentioned it before in this post, but I LOVE Christmas! It brings me unending joy to look around the room and see all of the red, green and gold. I literally grin from ear-to-ear throughout the day when I get peeks of the glimmering decorations!

We left off with our Christmas trees.. I finally finished decorating the area I like to call our 'mantle' in the living room. Since we live in Florida and don't have a fireplace, I've created a makeshift mantle of my own. It's one of my favorite spots to change for the seasons--I shared the warm and fuzzy fall decor back in this post and now it's been switched out for cheerful Christmas! Ta-da!

I really wanted to use as much of my own items as possible this year. I love shopping for decor items as much as the next girl but had a lot in our stash so I tried to only pick up a few things to fill in the empty spots. 

I picked up the little sleigh at a local Christmas shop and it already had the arrangement inside--one less thing for me to have to put together! I created the flower arrangement with some silk flowers from Michael's. The arrangement is actually just in a simple clear glass with some gold patterned wrapping paper around the inside. 

The Grandma Moses inspired artwork is something I painted about 10 years ago. It's simple and I love that it's one-of-a-kind. Beside that, I placed a small glass vase (leftover from our wedding) filled with mini ornaments. And lastly, a red jar full of cinnamon-scented pine cones which smells amazing!

We've used the 'NOEL' stockings for the past few years. I got a great deal on them from ebay and am so glad I did! I think they really finish the look!

What do you think?! Did we pull off the 'mantle' look? I can't wait to stuff those stockings to the brim for our family and friends who will be in town for the holidays! :o)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Picture Perfect

Look what a beautiful job my mother in law did putting her Thanksgiving table together! I love the simple white plates with fall leaf accents and pumpkin centerpiece. I should have fixed the chairs for this photo but, oh well! 

Aside from the gorgeous table, there is lots of sarcasm in that post title, let me tell ya! Every family get together is a photo opportunity, of course, as I'm sure it is in yours as well. This year's  Thanksgiving dinner was no exception... except that the results were less than perfect by any normal standards. 

I thought I'd share with you the never-ending struggle to get a good photo when you put my the men of my husband's family together--in this case, it was his brother, uncle, cousin and father (who was behind the camera giving direction). They are all trouble makers and pranksters  which makes it nearly impossible to end up with a 'good' photo. These are the lovely interesting moments captured:

 Exhibit A: First attempt at a smiling photo. Husband frowning and brother-in-law doing something with his tea glass. Girls, we look good!
 Exhibit B: A decent photo of everyone... oh wait, brother-in-law making an obscene face.
Exhibit C: We were told to make a serious/frown face. I just giggled and couldn't do it and, once again, my brother-in-law did something other than what was intended.

I was gritting my teeth as I uploaded the photos to my computer. I'm not sure why, but I'm still shocked when we don't end up with that perfect picture! I should know better by now! But these are the times in which memories are made so I'm coming to terms with it.

Lastly, we just goofed off after dinner. As I've said before, I don't think my hubby would appreciate these being broadcast all over the web but that just makes it all the more fun for me! He decided that the napkin holders made great glasses or something... 

The first photo is blurry because I was laughing so hard! The second photo is my attempt to re-take the blurry one. In the process, you can see that one of his spectacles popped out and was caught on film (funny I still say that.. caught on memory card?) in mid fall to the table. I literally almost peed myself when that happened! Couldn't have planned the picture if I'd tried! 

So there you have it. Our Thanksgiving family shenanigans. Please tell me that you and your family have lots of mishaps in your photo taking adventures. We can't be the only ones, right?

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

I'm going to be completely honest with you here. I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS. Nothing says "home" to me more than a twinkling Christmas tree and the smell of holiday candles! 

I can't even explain why, but both my husband and I were wide awake at 8 am on Thanksgiving morning. You need to understand that we're not morning people; especially not on our day off or a holiday! But there we were, awake for the day. Needless to say, we began our Christmas decorating on Thanksgiving morning! I would usually stick with the standard decorate-the-day-after-Thanksgiving tradition but we had more going on after Thanksgiving than before so it worked for us. 

So, we got the coffee brewing and fireplace lit, Christmas music playing and bins of decorations out of the garage. Let me clarify... we don't have a real fireplace. We have a video that we play on our big TV in the living room as a surrogate fireplace. Ah, the wonders of technology! Remember that we live in Florida so there is no need for the warmth. But the glow and the crackling of the fire are perfect to help get into the holiday spirit!

Anyway, I'll share details of the rest of the decorations once I've finished but I wanted to at least share the trees today. First is my craft room/guest room tree.. this is where I get to pick any colors for the tree that I want because it's MY space :)

Love my mini-tree! I went with the turquoise, teal and lime green colors with a hint of silver mixed in. It really goes well in the room and I happen to have 'a thing' for those colors. 

Then we have our traditional Christmas tree in the living room:

I absolutely love this tree as well.. I did pick out the red and gold ornaments, after all! Lee loves traditional Christmas colors: green, red, gold, &  silver. So we'll probably always have those on our big tree but I love it, too, so it's all good! Let's take one last look...

Mmm... looks and smells like Christmas around here! How about your house? Have you begun decorating? Do you stick with traditional Christmas colors or do you venture out?