Christmas Home Tour 2012

Praying for continued peace and comfort for the families in CT.  Still, no words.  Still trying to process.  Just trying to stop the clock and hold onto the moments that are given each day.
Today I am sharing the touches of Christmas around my home this year.
You may have already seen my mantle here.

 

And you may have seen my nativities here.

 

 

And my tree here.

 

Learn more about this beauty here, and here is what it looks like now – 16 days in.
Here are some other touches of Christmas decor from around the house.

 

My husband commented that it was the “year of the ribbon”.  I bought this ribbon last year after Christmas and I love it, and I did put it everywhere 🙂

 

I couldn’t leave without showing you two of my kids trees.  The little sad tree on the left belongs to my 17yr old.  That’s about as Christmasy as he was getting this year 🙂
The one on the right is my daughters.  She loves decorating just as much as I do 🙂

 

I want to leave you with this picture.  I’ve said it before but I’m saying it again.  This is the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas, because Christ is born.  This is what I have hanging on my front door.  Simple with a little sparkle that lets everyone know what’s going on inside our home.
Merry Christmas everyone!!
Linking up to these fun parties, check them out for beautiful Christmas decor.
 
 
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Lightening Up – Door Treatment {Part 2 – DIY}

Okay I am back with the promised how to for my doors.  Really so much easier than even I thought it would be.  I’m going to use lots of pictures because I am a visual person. 🙂

First step is picking out what you want the door to look like.  Like I said, I went to Home Depot to look at doors and of course checked out the internet.  And decided on a basic style that seemed easy to duplicate and would be cost effective since I plan to eventually continue this treatment on other doors.

After you determine what you want it to look like you then need to measure.  Decide how far you want the molding from the sides, top, etc., making sure you take into account the hardware.  Then it’s time for the fun part – cutting.  All you need is a basic miter saw and miter box, and a tape measure.

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Our Christmas Tree 2012

It’s Christmas tree share day!!
I have never been a matchy – matchy kind of girl when it came to my Christmas tree.  I love them and I think they look beautiful, but that decor never worked out for me.  When we were first married we hardly had enough ornaments to cover the front of the tree, and didn’t really have the cash to spend on a treeful of ornaments.  Each year I would add a few cuties during after-Christmas sales, and my collection slowly grew.  We have held to the tradition of purchasing a family ornament each year, some describing what was going on that year, and others that were personalized with names and year.  Sometimes we include the kids in the picking out and other times we just make it easy and
do it ourselves, because 2 heads are most often better than 6 :).
And then, we had children who began bringing home these adorable hand-made ornaments which I adore.
As my kids are all older now, new ornaments come fewer and fewer each year.  And, I come apart a little more each time I pull them out and gaze out these precious smiles and cheeks, and those little hands.  Where has the time gone??
As a matter of fact, the kids decorated the entire tree by themselves this year.  They really do love doing it, and it takes no time at all.  I turned on the Christmas music and unpacked the tins and they went to work.
I was unsure how it would work this year.  Because unlike those starting out years we have lots of ornaments now, because I still shop those after-Christmas sales.  Here is what my stash looks like all stored up.
Yep, those are old popcorn tins that I cleaned out and used for storage 😉  And here is my frustration…
See, my wonderful hubby had purchased this wonderfully awesome 9.5 ft pre-lit slim tree at an after-Christmas sale about 8 years ago for $35.  Yes, $35.  He called me and told what he had found and said “should I get it, is that a good deal??”  and I quickly said “YES!!”  Now I kinda wish I would’ve said “get two!!”  Because when I got this beauty out and fluffed and plugged in – only half the lights worked.  So, then I thought – ‘I can fix it’ – and proceeded to try – and then decided it wasn’t worth it.  So, I then pulled out our old 7.5 ft tree that I had kept thinking I would someday put up two trees and decided to use that.  So, I wasn’t sure that all the ornaments from the 9.5 ft tree would fit on the 7.5 ft tree – but the kids, they made them fit.  The tree is full, and I mean full or ornaments.  I love it!!
Here’s another look
Glorious imperfection is perfect to me 🙂
Oh, and if you are wondering, the tree skirt was a tablecloth that I got at an after-Christmas sale at Target, several years ago that I transformed – cost much less than a store bought skirt.
I wish I could keep the tree up all year long.  It just make me happy looking at it, twinkling lights and precious ornaments.
Linking up today at
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Lightening Up – Door Treatment {Part 1}

Okay I know we are all in the Christmas zone but I could not wait to share with you an amazing before and after that I finally (almost) completed today!!!  So…here is the before

 

And here is the glorious after…
These pictures were both taken during the day with the same camera settings – look out the side window same daylight.  I can’t even believe the difference!!!  (The almost done part is referring to the holes I patched when I took out the hooks I no longer needed – apparently I no longer have that wall paint so I have to go get more – grrrr.)
The front door is now the same color inside and out.  When I painted the first coat on both doors I was certain I had made a mistake – wow that door was really blue…
But, I always like to live with things for  couple of days before I bail.  I lived with it for longer than that because life happened.
I knew I wanted to add some molding to spice up the plain flat doors, so on a free Saturday I dove in.  (Or at least I got started.)  I wanted something simple on the closet door, but I knew the front door needed a little more.  So I went to Home Depot and looked at doors, I found a style that I like that I thought would be simple enough to go with the rest of the entryway but enough to give it the weight it needed.  Still unsure I decided to pull out the painters tape 🙂  I went ahead and cut the molding pieces for the closet door, but I did not glue them on yet, just hung them with the tape.
Again, I was still VERY unsure about the front door, so I took out my design, my tape measure, and my painters tape, and ended up with this…
Which I lived with for several more days.  This project took WAY longer than I anticipated and not because it was overly hard, I just had a hard time fitting in time to do it. 🙂
I will be back in a couple of days to share the how to – don’t want to write a novel in one post 🙂  You will be surprised at how simple this transformation actually was!!  Lots of helpful pictures of the process – so check back for {Part 2}.  If you don’t want to miss it – then pick a way to follow my blog there on the right.  Thanks!!
 I’m a starter, not always a finisher.  The one great thing about writing this blog, and reading so many other fabulous blogs, is that I am inspired to finish.  I hope that I can do that for you – inspire you to start and to finish.  Because, if I can do it, anyone can!!
Linking up with Carmel at Our Fifth House today.  If you are visiting from that linky party check out some of my other painting projects herehere, and here.
Also linking up here at Emily A. Clark
Working With What You Have link up at emilyaclark.com
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Lots O Gifts

Do you have a large group of people you need to get gifts for?  Employees, neighbors, teachers, co-workers, friends.  How do you keep it fair?  How do you do it without breaking the bank?  How do you make it personal?  I may have told you that I am the director of our church’s mother’s day out.  I have 27 employees that I buy gifts for.  This is quite overwhelming for me.  So, how do I do it?
My first tip would be set a budget, an overall max budget and a per person budget.  This makes it easy to narrow the gift down, and keeps you from breaking the bank.
My second tip – taken from directors past – is to buy everyone the same thing.  This eliminates a lot of stress of trying to find 27 individual gift that fit the person and that stay within your budget.
Third – find a way to make it personal.
Fourth – pay attention to the presentation.
The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but the last two take a little more thought.  Here is what I came up with this year {and yes, we had our Christmas party a couple of days ago so they have all already received their gifts}.

 

I started with a stack of CD’s {check out the title *JOY*!!}
And some silver ornaments + some sparkle
The ornaments are the unbreakable kind for crafting, and the sparkle came from the scrapbooking section – stickers.
So, the first step was to apply the stickers – lovely, blingy, initials.  This was my way of making the gift personal this year.
Second, I tied some bows.  I have used this sheer ribbon for years – no wire but it looks pretty no matter what you do with it and it’s inexpensive.  I then hot glued the bows to the neck of the ornament.  I used more of the sheer ribbon to make a loop to hang the ornament with.
Next came the packaging.  Because of the colors on the CD {and a little bit of my laziness} I opted not to wrap them.  I found more sheer ribbon in the gift wrap section of HL, this time red.  Sticking with the red and white/silver color scheme, I added some candy canes.

Time to start layering.  CD on bottom, then a candy cane, then the blingy initial ornament, and…..

VOILA!! 

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