It's officially Christmas time! Sunday was the first day of Advent and today kicks off the first day of the Home for the Holidays Blog Tour hosted by my friend Sondra of Sondra Lynn at Home!   Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog started out the tour today... so be sure to stop there and also visit the other gals on the tour today.  You're going to flip over the inspiration.  I love that each day there's a different theme.  You don't want to miss this!  I'll be sharing some of my Christmas coastal style on Thursday.  Be sure to stop and let me know you popped by. I'm so glad you're here! Each week you bless me … [Read more...]

We've been on a journey of learning how to pray in way that matters. I am so grateful that some of you have mentioned that this has been a helpful journey. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with prayer.  Especially seeing the results of powerful praying and wondering how I can pray in a way that matters. At the end of this post there is a recap of what we have learned so far.  If you want you can scroll down and read that first if it's your first time joining us.  Or.... just jump in now. Our source for this prayer journey has been Matthew 6 where Jesus taught his followers this … [Read more...]

  My desire to make coastal Advent candles comes from some very sweet childhood memories.  Every Christmas, my parents would take me to services at the Swedish Lutheran church.  A highlight for me was observing the Advent candle lighting. The Advent candles hung near the altar in a large circle of evergreen.  There were four red candles on the wreath with a large center white candle.  And though I really enjoyed singing the Christmas carols, I was mesmerized with that wreath. Once I was an adult I realized many families had Advent wreaths and candles in their home.  Many even participated in special … [Read more...]

When I lived in NY I hosted a few Christmas cookie exchanges.   It was so much fun.  And I loved having a huge variety of cookies for entertaining without having to bake 20 varieties.   Whether you have a cookie exchange looming and want to bake up something different, or you simply love to bake Christmas cookies to give away, you're going to love this week's Project Inspire{d} round-up of 25 festive holiday cookie recipes. Get your "pinning finger" ready for these great recipes... 30 Festive Holiday Cookie Recipes to Make   Chocolate Chip Coffee Toffee Cookies by A Dish of Daily Life Pumpkin … [Read more...]

  I come with a grateful heart today. Grateful for you and the joy of An Extraordinary Day. Grateful for my husband and my very special friends. But, most of all, I am grateful to my God... for his love, grace, mercy, provision, favor, and blessing. King David expressed it best.... Blessed are you, God of Israel, our father from of old and forever. To you, O God, belong the greatness and the might, the glory, the victory, the majesty, the splendor; Yes! Everything in heaven, everything on earth; the kingdom all yours! You’ve raised yourself high over all. Riches and glory come from you, you’re … [Read more...]

  This year, will you be missing the comforts from home at the holidays?   Most of us want to be home at the holidays... but it isn't always possible.  We rarely made it home for Thanksgiving or Christmas when we lived in New York, but the 4th of July, you betcha we were there! Living far from home, we developed a strategy for the holidays...     Tips for Celebrating the Holidays Away from Family Invite friends and acquaintances to join you for the holiday. It's amazing how many people are away from home or alone for the holidays. Don't do everything yourself. Ask … [Read more...]

I can't believe this is Thanksgiving week! We have a very low-key celebration planned.  What will you be doing? Whatever it is... wishing you and yours a very blessed day! I'm usually a little sheepish about tooting my own horn... but I can't contain my happiness! This week I got an email from Country that they were including my Christmas stocking in their feature.  Pinch me!!! Here's the link. And... Hometalk did a fun feature of the Christmas Trees on Cars blog hop I participated in with some of my blogging friends. You can see that here. Also... I just joined in the fun at Hometalk. … [Read more...]

We've been on a journey of learning how to pray in way that matters. We began by looking at Matthew 6:6-8 NLT and discussed the first steps in learning how to pray in a way that matters. The first is to recognize that our prayer time is something to be treasured, it's a time of intimacy with God, and God rewards us for spending time talking with him. Second is to remember that God already knows what we need before we ask.  Because of this intimate relationship we have with him we don't have to explain things and we can relax and be completely honest. Third is to follow Jesus' very specific guidelines for … [Read more...]

That four letter word that begins with 's' is in the forecast.   I confess that I really thought that the white stuff would come much later because this has been the best fall I can ever remember.  We'll see how correct the meteorologists are... 6-10 inches.  Ugh!! Now on to a warmer note.... You're going to love all these fabulous ideas to make your Thanksgiving extra special. Get your "pinning finger" ready for these all Great Ideas... Lovely Details to Make Your Thanksgiving Extra Special   Fall Centerpiece by The Painted Red Cottage Be Thankful Window Decor by Giggles … [Read more...]

There's no doubt about it! It was a very busy week on the blog. Actually, the last three days have been crazy with 3 posts going live here on Sunday. Whew! I hope you had fun and got a little bit of inspiration. Did you get lost in all the mason jar ideas? Or how about the creativity at the Christmas Trees on Cars blog hop? Hopefully we'll both get to breathe a little bit this week. But don't fear... I have more goodness in store for you! I'm so glad you're here! Each week you bless me with your extraordinary creativity. And I know our non-blogging friends can't wait to be inspired. I'm excited to … [Read more...]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DonVictorHoney #CollectiveBias Hospitality is my thing. There isn't anything I enjoy more than having people over for a meal. And hosting weekend guests... that's even more special for me.     It's so fun preparing for them, making sure their room is cozy, planning out all the meals for their stay, and making the table look inviting. Probably my favorite meal to plan is breakfast. Especially as most of us hurry out the door in the morning with something like a slice of toast … [Read more...]

  There's no doubt about it.  Lately I'm "into" mason jar lids.  Within the past several weeks, I've added knobs to lids here and here. And I've even created Christmas ornaments with mason jar lids.  So, it should be no surprise to you that I'm doing something fun with lids again. This time, I'm "hooked" on hanging my Ball mason jars.     I have this fun wall art that hangs over my sofa.  It kind of reminds me of a seaside fishing town... albeit a very simplified version.     This year I decided to go with a coastal vibe for Christmas and pulled out my … [Read more...]

  Prayer is this amazingly simple yet complicated communication we have with God. It's simple because God is always ready and listening... it's complicated because we tend to be rather selfish in our praying.  And yes that includes praying for other people. I'm reminded that a great marriage is one where we adore listening to our partner talk... we want to know their thoughts, their ideas, their hopes, their dreams, and even the crazy little details of their day.  But, sometimes, we have another agenda and we quit listening and we start dwelling on our desires. For most of us... our prayer time is more … [Read more...]

  Today I'm joining up with some of my blogging friends for an extravaganza of Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas Each blogger has chosen a different theme and because my niece is having a baby mid January, I thought it would be fun to create a mason jar gift for her. Since my niece has selected green and pink for her baby girl... that became my color theme for the gift. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do when I got started.  But, in shopping for the gifts to put inside the jar I came across this green rubber bath ducky and knew that it was the key to decorating my mason jar. Polka dots … [Read more...]

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year?   If you are... or need to bring a dish to pass... you'll love these terrific Thanksgiving recipe ideas that are sure to make your dinner fabulously successful. Get your "pinning finger" ready for these all Great Ideas...   19 Recipes for a Successful Thanksgiving Dinner   Meal Starters... Roasted Sweet Potato Soup from Cooking with Curls Blue Cheese, Pear, & Walnut Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette from I Should Be Mopping the Floor How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board from Giggles Galore Main Course & Side Dishes... Make … [Read more...]

  Raise your hand if you love seeing Christmas trees on cars and trucks and other moving vehicles. Whether it's a pillow or place mat... a cute vintage truck with a Christmas tree stuck in its bed at Home Goods... or that first car going down the road with a fresh-cut tree... I smile.  Every time. I am in love with Christmas trees on cars. So when my wonderful blogging friend, Malia from Yesterday on Tuesday asked if I'd like to join her for a Christmas Trees on Cars Blog Hop... of course I said yes... without another thought. I had so much fun creating little vignettes last year with an … [Read more...]

So where are you on the Thanksgiving to Christmas spectrum? Have you started thinking about Christmas? This week I've been working on several Christmas projects. I'm glad we had a sunny day in the 50's... as I went walking down my street to see if I could find a spruce tree to hang some ornaments on for a mini photo shoot.  The life of a blogger.  I don't think anyone was home at the house where I stopped.  Or... maybe they wondered what that crazy lady was doing in their front yard! Also... I want to give you a little heads-up.   On Sunday you're going to think I flipped out. Somehow I committed to 3 posts … [Read more...]