Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Planning for the New Year

We hope all of you lovely people had a fantastic Christmas, we had a blast this year watching our little boy on Christmas morning.  I don't know who was more excited, us or him.  We also enjoyed relaxing, laughing and visiting with our families and friends and even more, worshiping the most generous giver, our Savior, on Christmas morning.  Such a special time.

Trying to get a good shot of your excited kid on Christmas is just about are some attempts, just for fun....

Sitting still doesn't make sense

You can see the blur he has left behind in his frenzy

The best one we got, I'm just surprised he sat still for that long - 3 seconds.
So now back to house stuff----now that Christmas is over we are already switching our gears and thinking about the upcoming year - planning and anticipating things that are to come.  All of our Christmas decorations are down and put away - we can't stand to have anything up past Christmas day - as much as we love pulling it out- it's time to go, I know we are a little nuts.  And now we can have our house back and see the things we really want to work on.

We are finally going to give our little closet and laundry area some love and start working on some painting and other things back there.  It still boasts the awesome paneling that so much of our house was covered in as well as the fancy vintage floor the we so love - not.  Getting and staying organized is something I'm going to be working on this year.  It's really essential when you live in a small space and this area in our house really needs it.  I feel a purge and organize event coming in our near future.

So here is where we stand....I'm feeling very brave giving you a look at my closet, I will admit it has looked much worse than this in the past.

We really have a ton of upward storage space in here that needs to be better utilized.  If only I could grow 5 inches taller to access it.

And, we need a better way to keep clothes in their place.

Since our master bedroom really is quite small - I really wouldn't call it a master at all- we really don't have a lot of room for clothing storage so most of it is kept in here, hence all of the plastic drawers - chic, I know.

This closet needs major help and we hope to give it that.  Now on to the other area back here, the laundry space.  

I can't wait to get going and start transforming this space of our house.  We will keep you up to date on what we will be working on as we go.  We have a lot more house things we are planning for this next year as well, hopefully ripping up carpet and painting the house exterior will be in that plan - stay tuned.  So how about you guys, any spaces getting an update or organization in your homes in this new year?  Share with us!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Behold The Lamb of God

Matthew 1:18-25
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Luke 2:1-20
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest,
   and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Matthew 2:1-12
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
   who will shepherd my people Israel.

 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

John 1:14
 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

O Christmas Tree

I love Christmas trees, the smell (if you are a fresh tree kind of person), the lights, the ornaments - it just makes for a cheerful house.  I love getting down the box of ornaments and pulling them out one by one together as a family and connecting them with our memories.  We usually stop at every one and talk about the story behind it. We are sentimental people so we enjoy that sort of thing.  I've never had a themed tree or color schemed tree, it's just a tree of memories every year and we wouldn't have it any other way.

This year's tree was a little different for us seeing that we have a very active and curious little 13 month old running around - we weren't even sure if we could do an actual tree.  But, we worked it out - it's definitely not our best tree and probably not our worst but we were just happy to have something this year.  We kept our tree small and our ornaments minimum to avoid destruction and mayhem and tucked it behind our sofas so it would be out of harms way.  It has worked out great this year, we have lost just a few ornaments to curious hands. So come on a little Christmas tree journey with us...

Our first Christmas together we had zero ornaments and zero money.  These ornaments came in a pack of 3 for $15, and boy we thought that was so expensive and almost felt guilty for buying them - now we laugh and think back to that first Christmas together when we see them.  Such a great memory.

This was my very first ornament for my very first Christmas.  

Little known fact, I love The Wizard of Oz and everything relating to that.  

If you know my husband you know why this is an important ornament.

So that was just a little taste of what our tree is like - Now it's your turn, share with us, do you have any Christmas tree traditions or favorite ornaments?  Do tell.

Have a Christmasy kind of day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sharing Encouragement

Over the weekend I received a really sweet message from one of my blogging pals - Andrea from Whispering in the Silence, nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award.  This award is a way for other bloggers to pass along encouragement and recognition towards smaller blogs (200 followers or less) and to support each other in their blogging journey.  How sweet is that?

I love Andrea's blog, she writes from her heart as a mother and through her writing it is evident the love she has for Jesus and others.  I'm so glad I have gotten to know her through her blog and I always enjoy receiving a sweet comment or message from her.  Please take some time to visit her blog and leave her some sweet comments as well.

Part of receiving this award is to pass along the encouragement to five other fellow bloggers who you think are pretty great.  So, here are my Liebster Blog Award Winners:

1. Buffalo Roam
2. Lucy & Lloyd
3. 117 South
4. Domestic But Not Martha
5. His & Hers

Some of theses lovely blogs I have been reading a while and some are new to me but are equally as lovely.  I enjoy the humor, the honesty, the openness and the stories that they share.  Please take some time to visit these blogs as well, and show some comment love.

Thanks so much for visiting us today and for all of the encouragement and support I've received from so many of you.  I feel truly blessed by the people God has placed in my path, whether it be face to face or blog to blog.

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yarn & Felt Flower Wreath (Under $5)

Yarn wreaths are definetely nothing new but I am new to making them.  I was so surprised how inexpensive this was to make, and really simple - this is something anyone can do.

Here is my round up of supplies and where I got them:

  1. Styrofoam wreath form - $1 from the dollar store (Let me forewarn you that trying to find a wreath form at the dollar store during the Christmas season was near about impossible, it took a trip to several local stores before I found one.)
  2. Yarn $1 from the dollar store
  3. Felt - $.34 a sheet from Joanne Fabrics - I also found a pack at the Dollar Store
  4. Hot glue
  5. Scissors
  6. Beads I had on hand for adornments (optional)
I first started by making my felt flowers - you can check out my tutorial here.  These are really simple and easy to make.  I decided to go with a non traditional Christmas color scheme, it's still festive enough but I will be able to enjoy my wreath during the rest of the winter months.

Next, I spent weeks wrapping my wreath form with yarn.  I just couldn't get enough time in one sitting to finish, so this project lingered for a couple of weeks.  I wrapped yarn in small sections when the time was available.  I discovered that our dear son was fascinated by the wreath so every time I got it out to work on it he wanted to play ring toss.  Maybe I know what I should get him for Christmas now.  It wasn't a difficult task, just a long one.

One I had my wreath wrapped in yarn I simply hot glued my felted flowers on, hot glued a few little sparkly beads and pearls and I was good to go.  Super simple.

           Pin It

Have a yarn wreath or any other Christmas wreath you have made?  Share them with us here!!

Linking Up Here:

Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingSomewhat Simple

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Lighting Upgrades

We've got another lighting upgrade to share with you today, this one is in the form of a bathroom light.  I learned a couple of things during this project: One -when you have a bathroom with absolutely no natural light, you need a light fixture that will provide ample light.  And, two - an outdoor light is not always a good choice for a bathroom, especially one with absolutely no natural light- a little on that later.

We began the process of taking down the old light in this little cave of a bathroom, which was a little bit funny since it was pretty dark once the light was gone - even in broad daylight.  So when replacing a light in a windowless room a head flashlight is a must.  I know Justin will appreciate that I included this picture.

And, the old ugly globe was gone!  

In the beginning of this light switcheroo I had this brilliant idea that we were going to replace our old tacky light with a cool new lantern outdoor light because it would be all cute and rustic.  Hmmm, terrible idea.  Here is the light I decided on for our bathroom-

The idea was so much better in my head.  Once the light was up we had a big issue, the dome over the lightbulb allowed hardly any light to shine except down, which was horrible.  It also just didn't look right, I wish I had taken a picture but I was so disappointed it pretty much came down immediately.  So off to the hardware store to return it (always keep your box and receipt, especially when you have a brain fog moment when you think you are going to be really creative but just bomb).  I wasn't really sure what I was going to do at this point.  I didn't want to spend any more money so whatever light I chose had to match the $20 I spent on the previous outdoor light.   But, to my surprise there were several options for $20 and under that I felt would work - and anything would be better than the original light (well, maybe not anything because this outdoor light was just as bad - but you get what I mean).

So, I chose a little bathroom vanity light in brushed nickel (which matches the finish of the rest of our lighting upgrades) and Justin quickly installed it while I anxiously waited the reveal.

Ahhh, so much better and $20 isn't bad.  

Not only is the light much prettier, but we can actually see in there again - always a plus.

Light is a repeating theme in the bible.  Jesus is the light of the world, he is the source of our light and we are to shine our light to the rest of the world.  There are things in our life that sometimes keep us from always shining - sharing God's love.  Things that cause our lights to be dim.  So this makes me think, am I always shining God's light, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?  I know there are some things on that list that need to be worked on for me. Patience is something I'm constantly reminding myself of these days (mom's can I get a shout out).  I always thought of myself as a patient person, that is until I had a child.  So I know I sometimes let my impatient nature take over instead of taking a deep breath, seeing the big picture and enjoying life, (because it's a precious gift) and shining the light of patience on others.  That patience is only something I can have because I know God, therefore it shines a light on Him as well so others may understand His goodness.  So take a moment with me today and see where your light has been hidden and needs to be restored.  God's light is a beautiful gift that so many others need to receive.  

You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.  Psalm 18:28

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DIY Gift Ideas

Today I wanted to share with you some awesome DIY gift ideas that I have found floating around the blog world.  Sometimes you just need some inspiration to get your creative side flowing so hopefully these projects will inspire you to create some of your own.  There are so many great projects to find on sites like pinterest as well - so make sure you take a look there too if you are thinking of diy-ing some Christmas gifts this year.  Here are just a few that I am loving right now.

I'm loving the etched glass monogram on this jar (which is actually very simple to do), and how cute is the hot cocoa assortment?  Head over to Oopsey Daisy for this project and lots more!

I've seen lots of personalized coasters but I love the way these are done with resin, they are so glossy and pretty.  (Via Oopsey Daisy)

I totally wish I could sew because I would be making these for my son.  I love how they are perfect for little hands, plus how cute would they be on a kitchen fridge?  These are a win-win.  Go to Make it Modern for a great tutorial!

So for those of us who are not the best at sewing, these are perfect.  A little hand towel, a little stencil and paint and you have a really cute diy gift.  Cottage and Vine has several simple sweet ideas.

Have a friend who loves tea?  How cute is this wreath?  Head over to Kojo Designs for this great tutorial!

I love anything lemon so when I saw this, I was smitten.  Adelyn Stone has a simple and easy tutorial for making this scrub.  

Have some candies or sweets you want to give as gifts and need a cute way to package it?  How cute are these?  Answer - very.  A Beautiful Mess has got you covered, plus a really great peanut butter cup recipe!

I'm all about this next project - these little birdie clay ornaments are so precious.  I think I would use these somewhere in my house even when Christmas is over.  Check out Jessica Jane for this diy ornament tutorial.

This next one couldn't get any easier, but it's so cute.  Full of Great Ideas took a cue from Pottery Barn and created her own monogrammed candles.  Love this.

(Source: pottery barn)

This last one is so clever to me - Spray Painted Pinecone Candle Holders.  Check out Crissy's Crafts for her How-To.

So that's it for today, lot of great inspiration.  I'm off to try some of these and make some salt dough ornaments as well.  I'll share with you how it goes later this week!