The PERFECT easy to make ice skating centerpiece for your impromptu Winter Olympics party.     Are you following the Olympics? Growing up in Michigan, I started ice skating when I was a little girl.  There wasn't anything better than the freedom of skating as fast as I could at our local ice arena.  And then my dad signed me up for figure skating lessons.  JOY!  That meant that I could be on the ice nearly every single day!     As a mitten state girl, I enjoy winter sports, but between the weather and my schedule and life, I'm not doing them so much anymore. … [Read more...]

  Sweet and simple ways to decorate a small space living room for Valentine's Day in a French country style.     So tell me... do you decorate your home for Valentine's Day? It's something I've usually done in some small way.     This year after the Christmas decorations were all put away my living room felt so empty.  This year's Christmas tree was so dramatic that once those sparkling lights with the stunning ornaments were gone I just had to do something. Tim isn't a fan of artificial flowers, but I really felt that I needed something of scale that would … [Read more...]

  Don't skip Valentine's Day because retailers and the media make it all about romance and roses.  Instead, make it about fun and love.  Here are some easy ideas to help you set a simple Valentine table that's perfect for friends, family, and even lovers, too.    I almost didn't use any red for my Valentine's Day tablescape this year. When I envisioned my simple Valentine table, the one thing I wanted to be cautious of was the overuse of red.  Don't get me wrong... I like red... but this year it just felt like too much for me.     Why was one of my favorite colors... … [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...]

  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...]

  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...]

  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...]

  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...]

  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...]

  It persuaded me just a little with its $7 clearance price tag. That small red tag pushed me from simple infatuation to head over heels in love. With a tablecloth.     Which is why this lovely dark blue and white tablecloth with the huge gingham checks jumped into my hands and came home with me. I couldn't wait to put it on my little table.     Do you know the difference between the hugely popular buffalo plaid and gingham? I didn't. Want to know? Lean in... Buffalo plaid is a larger square plaid of two colors... one is always black and … [Read more...]

  One of my favorite things about blogging is that I have an excuse to do the things I love and share them with you.     More than anything I would love for you to be able to join me for a little breakfast tea where we could swap stories and get to know each other.  But, since that's not to be, today I set the table for an early fall morning tea and I'm pretending that you are sitting here with me. It's a beautiful mostly sunny day.  The trees have a little bit of color, but here in the mostly oak woods where I live, it's still pretty green. I wanted to take time to encourage … [Read more...]

  Is there anything better than Christmas decor that's free and natural?  I think not!     That's why I'm excited to share with you my simple rustic handmade Christmas ornaments made from birch logs and pine cones.   But, before I do, if you’re here from Cupcakes and Crinoline (Didn't Mary Beth create the cutest retro vintage ornament ever?), WELCOME!  This is the 4th stop on our third annual 31 Day Handmade Christmas Ornaments Blog Hop. Just like each year past, you can expect to be inspired by all kinds of lovely Christmas ornaments created by 30 extraordinary bloggers, … [Read more...]

  This has been the summer of flowers.     It all started when my little grocery store started carrying locally grown flowers in the spring.  I almost did flips when I saw ranunculus. In the most beautiful colors, ever.  So, of course, I purchased some, and arranged them, and took their picture... over and over again. As spring became summer,  there was a constant flow of flowers each week into my store. And when I could, I purchased a bouquet and arranged it, and too more pictures.  For the past month, there's been a steady flow of sunflowers in every … [Read more...]

  Fresh ideas for creating a rustic fall farmhouse vignette that is simple and full of texture and charm.   The other day my husband came home from work and after he kissed me as he always does when he comes in the door, he turned and walked towards our little dining nook. I had just finished styling the console table there for fall along with a simple setting for two on our table. I was so happy he noticed the change. But it was his response that totally got me. He said, "That looks like us!" I don't think that he could have said anything that would have warmed my heart … [Read more...]

  Easy tutorial and TIPS for making and styling a modern farmhouse 3 tiered tray. And more farmhouse tray inspiration from 11 of my favorite blogging friends!     It was Tuesday... I dropped Tim off at work and then swung around to Walmart for a quick kombucha run, jumping back on the road for another busy day.  And then it happened! My car steered itself into a parking lot... and right into the first parking slot... smack dab in front of the Goodwill store. I looked over and a lady was just unlocking the door. There I was... the first customer of the day with the whole store … [Read more...]