This is perfect love - an extraordinary view of the first ice - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Perfect love.  Is there really such a thing? This is the fourth Sunday in Advent. If you follow the tradition of lighting a candle each Sunday in Advent, you will be lighting the candle of love. Love. What can I say about love that hasn't already been said? Nothing. So, this morning as I was lying in bed, quiet, I asked God to speak the verse into my heart that he wanted me to consider here with you. After some silence... it came: "perfect love casts out fear"     I did not expect this verse for Christmas time.  But, as I reflect and consider it with you, let's look at the whole verse in its … [Read more...]

7 Peppermint Treats - Features from Project Inspire{d}

How would you like to have an extra $250 to spend over the holidays? Of course you would! Hurry on over here... and enter my GIVEAWAY for a $250 Visa Gift Card!   Speaking of the holidays... You all brought a ton of Christmas creativity to Project Inspire{d} this week. Here are just a few sweet ideas that caught my eye...  7 Peppermint Treats   DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub by Tabler Party of Two Make Peppermint Sugar Scrub by Living on the Cheap Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Cream Cookies by Up State Ramblings Vanilla Peppermint Body Butter by Robynsview Skinny … [Read more...]

7 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining at AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Just reading the words, "holiday entertaining" makes some people start to sweat.   Whether you're a pro or struggling to get it together to host a small party, here are...   7 Tips for Stress Free Holiday Entertaining   One ::  The gathering is not about YOU... it's about your guests. Whether you've been entertaining for years or you've been trying for years to get enough gumption to invite friends to your home...remember the party is not about you.  It's not about how good your cooking is or isn't.  It's not about how beautiful your home is or isn't.  It's not about the size of your … [Read more...]

Solar screens help us see outside while reducing the sun's glare.

This post is a partnership with Blinds.com. All opinions are entirely my own.  Have you ever been invited to someone's home for "the big game" and once it was game time, the blinds came down and the curtains were drawn so that everyone could see the TV without glare?   My good friends did that very thing.  Their room started to feel closed in and cave-like. It was like being in another world.  Quickly I had no idea what the day was like outside the windows, it felt like night inside, just so we could watch the game. I don't know about you, but I'm one of those gals who prefers not to have anything at her … [Read more...]

Sharon's Christmas Baking Vignette

Christmas Baking Vignette   What a treat to be here visiting my friend Diane at An Extraordinary Day! I was so excited when Diane told me that she was hosting a series on Christmas vignettes.   I love the idea of creating small vignettes in my home. It's an easy way to break decorating into small manageable bites. And that is especially welcome at the holidays when decorating the whole house can feel quite overwhelming.     Today I'm sharing a simple little vignette that sits on my kitchen counter and it's all about family traditions and baking Christmas … [Read more...]

Ceramic bird and red rose hips are the finishing touch.  AnExtraordinaryDay.net

How would you like to have a fresh evergreen centerpiece for Christmas? I've been making one for years and now... with this tutorial you can too! Let's start with our supplies... Waterproof container ~ This Lenox Winter Greetings Bowl*is a new version and similar to the one I used. Pruner * Sharp knife with a long blade Oasis® floral foam* Assorted fresh cut evergreens Berries or rose hips ~ fresh or artificial Pine cones English ivy or boxwood is also a wonderful addition Optional: small bird house, bird cage, candle, bird, etc. Hot tip!  I picked up my evergreens from Lowe's. … [Read more...]

Natural White Birch and Evergreens with Winterberry Woodland Wreath for Christmas at AnExtraordinaryDay.net

I love wreaths! Typically you can find a wreath in almost every room of my home.  Especially at Christmas.    Last year I had so much fun playing with this white birch for a table setting that I decided to make a natural white birch wreath, too.  It's not round like a "normal" wreath... which makes it even more fun for me. If you're still trying to get some Christmas decor up on your walls or doors, there is still time.  If you try make a wreath like this... please let me know.  I'd love to see yours.   It's time for Project Inspire{d}! I am so glad you're here! Before we get … [Read more...]

Quiet - Geese sitting on the frozen lake - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Quiet. Can you hear it? Right now the house is quiet, except that I can hear the fan of the furnace forcing warmth into the air.   Sometimes I crave quiet. There's something peaceful and holy in those quiet moments. My body relaxes.  My thoughts become like a child in a meadow... running free, arms in the air, twirling, and finally flopping down on the soft grasses and noticing a single blade, a tiny ant, and the scents of soil and wildflowers. In the quiet my senses come alive.  My imagination awakes.  My creative cells gather energy. In the quiet, the Holy Spirit speaks life and … [Read more...]

Cute and creative holiday craft ideas from Project Inspired

Time.  No one has enough.  When it comes to creative holiday craft ideas, I like projects I can accomplish quickly.  This grapevine banner wreath was a quick and easy project. I know you'll love making one too.  It's guaranteed to make a statement wherever you hang it. Speaking of creative holiday craft ideas... You all brought a ton of creativity to Project Inspire{d} this week. Here are just a few cute and crafty ideas...  10 Cute & Creative Holiday Craft Ideas   Joy Vintage Doily Christmas Banner by Electric Red Barn Brown Paper Packages by Delineate Your Dwelling Piped Basket … [Read more...]

An old roadster bringing home the tree for the Christmas trees on cars blog hop.  AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Have you noticed them?   Christmas trees on cars?  Or maybe campers even? I can't tell you how many Christmas trees on cars we saw on our drive home at Thanksgiving. We live near several Christmas tree farms, so really it should be no surprise.     There's something wonderful about seeing a car (or truck) with a tree tied on. There's something special about bringing home a fresh-cut tree. I like to think that each car I see is filled with joy and anticipation. And I imagine the plans being made to decorate that perfect evergreen treasure for … [Read more...]

FARMHOUSE-CHRISTMAS-VIGNETTE-stonegableblog.com_-683x1024

Farmhouse Christmas Vignette   I bet you are in the process of making your home MERRY AND BRIGHT! Decking the halls and doing Fa-la-la-la-la fun things this Christmas! I am doing that right now too! One great way to give your home a festive holiday look is by creating Christmas vignettes. I'm so thrilled to be a part of Diane's CREATING CHRISTMAS MEMORIES WITH VIGNETTES. And I am soooo happy to be here at AN EXTRAORDINARY DAY today!!!! A big thanks to Diane for letting me visit her beautiful blog and be part of this wonderful series!   My favorite vignettes to create any time of year are … [Read more...]

Shabby Christmas Decor for the window with a natural garland look. - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Yesterday I mentioned the value of taking photos of your Christmas decor each year. It was through looking back at my past photos, that I discovered my first attempts, at shabby Christmas decor.   I could have had great photos to share with you.  But, instead, that year I just snapped a few photos along the way for posterity. It's pretty sad, because I had just finished researching and setting up my website.  I did everything right from choosing hosting, a great framework, and selecting my domain name.  All was good.  I was ready to be a blogger, except for just a few additions I needed to … [Read more...]

Birch Branch Winter Woodland Tablescape

Ready for a hot holiday tip? Do you take pictures of your past holiday decor or table settings? If you don't, I urge you to do that.  Bloggers have a tendency to take lots of photos, and I was "guilty" of that in my pre-blogging years.  But, now as I look back, I'm so glad I did.  It helps me remember the good ideas and get the creative juices flowing when I'm tired from all the festivities and I might still have some decorating to do, or tables to set for those special dinners and parties. Why not create a special file on your computer, just for holiday decor you want to remember?  I think you'll find … [Read more...]

34 Christmas Treats and Sweets Blog Hop

I'm so excited you can join us for the follow-up to our Christmas Sweets & Treats Blog Hop. Yesterday, I joined with 33 super talented bloggers to bring you my Snowman Sundae and a fabulous round-up of Sweets and Treats from each of them. If you missed it... click here for a plethora of delectable delights. Christmas Sweets and Treats Linky Party   Brought to you by... My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia :: Domestically Speaking Cupcakes and Crinoline :: Yellow Bliss Road :: Setting for Four Stone Gable :: A Pumpkin & A Princess  :: ‎An Extraordinary Day Twelve O Eight :: A Night Owl :: At … [Read more...]

Ruins of a house - Search me O God from Psalm 139 - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Do you clean your house for Christmas? I usually do a whole house cleaning in early November.  Generally I will have already done some cleaning in early fall, but in November I whip through the whole house, dusting the walls and ceilings, washing the windows, making my house sparkle in anticipation of Christmas.  One thing I always did in my old house was to put candles in my windows... and my windows had to be perfectly shined for the lights of Christmas.     This week I had a little bit of an "ah ha" moment. You know that I'm all about observing Advent... doing Advent readings, … [Read more...]

Snowman Sundaes - Easy Sweet Treats for Christmas at AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Are you looking for a family friendly sweet treat for the grand finale to the big dinner? How about  dessert that you can pretty much make ahead, quickly assemble, and then serve with great aplomb? I've got just the thing for you... Snowman Sundaes     A snowman sundae is sure to be a hit.  I love that there's no baking involved.  It's really more like  craft project dessert. If there's a children's Christmas party on your calendar, you can even let the kids do everything except scoop the ice cream.  They'll have a ton of fun creating their own snowman sundaes, for … [Read more...]

12 Great Tremendous Christmas Tree Ideas from Project Inspired

Fun things are happening this week on the blog, including two blog hops that I'm blessed to participate in. I'm super excited about this one that is totally about a whimsical way to enjoy a treasured memory that many of us have... bringing home the Christmas tree.     Speaking of Christmas trees... This week you were in the true spirit of Christmas and from all your shared creativity, Malia selected:  12 "Tree"mendous Christmas Tree Ideas   Vintage Christmas Tree Delivery Truck by Sadie Seasongoods Pallet Wood Rustic Christmas Coasters by Scrapality Birch Branch Christmas Tree from … [Read more...]