In order to navigate through life, this thing called faith is a necessity. Why is it that something so necessary seems so complicated?     Faith.   It's a complicated word. For some...it has great spiritual meaning. For others...it's a bit nebulous.   A long time ago, when one of the girls from my youth group got married, I created some counted cross stitch art for her as a wedding gift.  I stitched these words from Hebrews 11:1... Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Why in the world was I so enamored with this verse … [Read more...]

  We might describe a sunset as magical, but there is something much greater, more life-changing, taking place at that moment for us to embrace with every fiber of our being.      From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,     the name of the Lord is to be praised. Psalm 113:3 During the winter months, I can see the sun rise and set from my south-facing bedroom window.  Through the barren trees silhouetted by glorious shades of gold, orange, and deep pink, I am transported for a few moments to another time and space.  My heart enthralled in the majesty of the moment … [Read more...]

  Choosing a Word of the Year can set the stage for an incredible New Year.  Although my word might surprise you, I'm excited about its potential to make my year amazing.   Several years ago, a young friend, whom Tim had been mentoring for several years, won four tickets to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert.  As a huge fan of TSO and all things audiovisual, it was the ultimate win for him.  It ended up being a win for us as well, as he invited us to be his guests that night.     If you've ever had the privilege of attending a TSO concert, you know that they put on quite … [Read more...]

  Although I'm often surprised by the top reader favorites for the year.  Most of these are some of my personal favorite home decor posts, too.      The old adage, "time flies when you're having fun" is so true.  2017 went by in a blink!  It was a much better year in so many ways!  In spite of a few major disappointments, we have been rejoicing in God's goodness and provision throughout the year and feel so very blessed. The end of the year is a good time to look back and see just how blessed we are. I pour my heart and life into this blog so it's fun to discover the posts you … [Read more...]

  Create beautiful memories around a festive Christmas brunch table. Here are a few ideas to help you quickly and easily plan for a special morning gathering.     How was your Christmas? Christmas can be a challenge on so many levels, but I hope you had moments of peace and joy amidst the celebration and quiet. My happiest Christmas memories as a child are those that were made around the table and sharing it with friends and family. Whether you have the family over on Christmas morning for a late brunch, or it's just a few around the table, these ideas will help you make your … [Read more...]

  Ideas for Making a Warm and Cozy Black and White Buffalo Check Christmas Bedroom.     It's Christmas Eve! My favorite night of the whole year! The snow is falling ever so gently outside my window.  Yet, my heart is jumping inside with anticipation. My home is squeaky clean and festively decorated.  Swedish meatballs are "marinating" in the fridge, there's a pie in the oven, and soon I'll be preparing our overnight French toast for brunch. And best of all, we'll soon be celebrating with hundreds of others at the 11 pm Christmas Eve service at … [Read more...]

  When it comes to Christmas gifts... this one is the best gift ever.     Several weeks ago, before I became swamped with the "to do's" on my to-do list, I mentioned to my neighbor kids that we could have an ornament making party.  The calendar filled up and the days quickly passed.  My little friends asked about it and I told them we would have our little party on the Saturday before Christmas.  That way they would have fun ornaments on their tree and gifts for their parents.  But then, their dad decided that he wanted to leave on their trip before Christmas not after, so they would … [Read more...]

  This year my cozy apartment is living large with a stunning new blue and silver Christmas tree courtesy of Balsam Hill.  Here are some tips for decorating a tree beautifully filled with sparkle, color, and a touch of the dramatic.     Growing up, decorating for Christmas was a big deal in my home.  My dad was all about hanging lights on our front porch and creating gorgeous swags filled with miniature lights. My mom always had a DIY Christmas decor project and could be counted on to cover our tree with lights and ornaments and garland until it looked like one huge sparkly Christmas … [Read more...]

  The other day as I was driving home from the workshop my phone dinged.  It was a notification from one of my partners in crime, er work.  Since I don't text and drive, I pulled off the road to read her message and reply.  There wasn't anything unusual or special about that text, but as I got back into the lane again I thought, "I love my life!" Yup.  You read that right.  "I love my life!"     If you've been a long time reader or friend, you know that my world was rocked hard and I've spent the last eight years walking through the rubble while trying to find a new … [Read more...]

  Living on the edge of the woods with all that natural beauty inspires me in my Christmas decorating.  This year I purchased a skinny tree and filled it with rustic farmhouse Christmas tree decorations I made.  It's easy and inexpensive to create ornaments using the bounty of nature.   Remember the 31 Days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments that we were so inspired by back in October?  We enjoyed it so much that my friend, Mary Beth and I invited the group back for our First Annual Extraordinary Christmas Trees Tour.  Not everyone could join us, but we have 13 gals for a fabulous 3-Day line … [Read more...]

  Has all the craziness of life sent you looking for peace? It's here.  Contentment and peace are waiting for you.     The sunsets have been stupendous lately not that I've actually seen them. What I have seen of that early setting sun is its blinding reflection bouncing off windows of the downtown condos with screaming shades of deep rich orange and the most brilliant pinks I have ever seen.   Swimming in orders to be filled, I only get a glimpse while standing at my worktable in our busy upstairs workshop. Night after night I missed the sunset... until this day. This day we were … [Read more...]

  "There is always Hope." One of my friends posted a beautiful graphic she created with those words on Instagram. Immediately my mind went to these words from scripture... And Hope does not disappoint. Romans 5:5 People disappoint... but God never does.     I'm not saying that God gives me everything I ask for.  No, far from it. We had moved to a new state and my husband was working for a new church that was quite large.  After several months, I wanted to restart my home decor business, so I sent invitations to my new friends at church and those that were on my … [Read more...]

  Need a coffee table but don't have one? This DIY modern farmhouse tray is a cheap and easy solution with style.   In my home, I'm the beneficiary of a nightly ritual that will make most wives jealous...     My husband prepares a cup of cocoa or chai for me every evening before bedtime. He's been doing this for most of our married life and I love it.  It's a very special way to end the evening. Since we've been living in this postage stamp of an apartment my choice is to sit at the table or on my little loveseat.  Usually, I choose the loveseat.  But, it's risky for … [Read more...]

  Wouldn't you LOVE for this Christmas to be your BEST Christmas EVER?   Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Colossians 3:16-17 When you realize that there are just 29 sleeps until Christmas does it excite you, not phase you, or stress you out? After my more than 29 years of anticipating … [Read more...]

  Part 1: Ideas and tips for decorating your apartment or small space with holiday style and charm. This is the first of my series of small space decorating tips for the holidays.     It's not the size or construction of your dwelling nor the location that makes it home... what makes a home is the love that lives there, the memories created, and the friends and family who belong. And that, my friend, is the heart behind decorating your small space with style and charm this Christmas. My small space happens to be a tiny apartment which we thought would just be temporary.  Yours … [Read more...]

  Did you know that there is a special promise waiting for you to be fulfilled when you trust God?   Life is full of events for which we have no control. June 3, 2009, is forever indelibly marked in my heart and mind. The few words heard at four o'clock that afternoon changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. Two months earlier, when I was backstage running through a little message I would be sharing with kids at church, I said the words I would be inviting them to say, "I can trust God no matter what."  And in my spirit I sensed the Holy Spirit saying to me, "Can you really?"  … [Read more...]

  Learn how to create a budget Thanksgiving table setting with dollar store items and more that is simple and elegant, plus a fun DIY pumpkin centerpiece project.   It was just the two of us that Thanksgiving. As usual, since we moved to the Southtowns of Buffalo, there was snow and lots of it.     There was no way I was going to get in the car and drive 8 hours for dinner.  So I set the table as elegantly as possible and roasted a turkey. Tim and I were having a blast in the kitchen together, making a week's worth of stuffing, potatoes, Far East Celery, two kinds of … [Read more...]