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...]

  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...]

  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...]

  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...]

  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...]

  I wish my mom or dad would have told me this growing up... I wish people who live by this wouldn't keep it so close to the vest... I wish I hadn't lived nearly half a century before I learned this very big life secret...     It's never about me.    We think that everyone notices us. We think people care how we look. We think that people want our ideas or opinions. We worry and fret and spend endless time being concerned about something that we think the world sees in us. Brett Butler's last words to Scarlett O'Hara in the great classic, Gone with the … [Read more...]

  I think we take often take ourselves and our decorating too seriously.     We have a budget and a vision in mind and we put our blinders on and focus on getting "that look." Does that sound familiar to you? I can be guilty of that for sure. Because everything I'm doing is "new" these days, I am striving to look at my home decor more purposefully.  Maybe in an upcoming post, I will delve further into that mindset, but today... Let's talk about the floor cloth I created for my balcony garden.     As you know, I am crazy about my beautiful outdoor space … [Read more...]

  There's an old saying, "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush." Though we could discuss that proverb and the pros and cons of risk-taking, when it comes to thrifting and DIYing, that's really true.  When you find something you think you can work with, even if you have no idea how you'll DIY it... get it.  Who knows if you'll find another one later.     One day I hit the local Goodwill shop and found a few items for a change.  I have a blogging friend who comes home with all kinds of fabulous finds for next to nothing from her Goodwill store in the Windy City.  Here in my … [Read more...]

    Ranunculus. I've been smitten with this lovely blossom forever. It was always my plan to grow ranunculus for spring, but for some reason, I never got around to it.  They aren't like tulips or daffodils where you bury bulbs in the fall with a promise to enjoy a swath of them from the distance each spring.  Ranunculus are best enjoyed as cut flowers.  Or in pots... up close and personal.     That's why I flipped head over heels when a local grower brought these beautiful blooms to my neighborhood supermarket.  My local store always has flowers... but really there's rarely … [Read more...]

  Sigh! I just wasted two hours of a perfect day.     The kind of day you wait for because it's sunny and energizing and everything you need to get a lot of work cranked out. You should have seen my goals for the day. I even gave myself permission to take care of all the after breakfast chores at lunchtime today, just so I could knock out my work. But, it didn't happen. Instead, I allowed myself to easily be distracted.       Once I get focused on a project or my day, I can accomplish a huge amount of work. But if I get distracted... … [Read more...]

    There you are... standing in line at the grocery store. There they are... beautiful blossoms beckoning you to take them home. You hear their whispers, "I'm so pretty, your house needs me." "You know you want me... take me home with you." But, you remember that you have no idea how to make a tulip arrangement.  And you tell yourself, "Flower arranging is not for the faint of heart." Pshaw! You may never have successfully arranged flowers before in your life.  But TODAY!  Today you will make a stunning floral centerpiece and it will be the FIRST of many, many more to … [Read more...]

  You'll never guess my accidental discovery for cleaning the tarnish off silver.     It all started after a trip to a thrift store. This particular thrift store is notorious for using wide packaging tape to tape sets of things together... glass, pottery, metal, plastic... they use it on everything. Have you ever tried to get that tape gunk off from items?  It can be a real challenge.  On plastic... you can just about forget it. This week I picked up a set of tiny bowls, the kind you use to hold pre-measured spices and such for baking and cooking, for a dollar.  I also picked … [Read more...]

  Is breakfast time crazy and chaotic at your house? We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so doing something to make a breakfast that will stick to your ribs for the day is something we all need to do.     My husband loves a bowl of oatmeal.  It's quick to fix and can be topped with all kinds of yummy toppings. To make those few breakfast minutes more organized and special, I created an oatmeal toppings tray.     It was super fun to do.  Costs very little.  And you can customize it to match your decor or go crazy with … [Read more...]

  Do you ever look at your home and wonder if it would be better to have a tornado sweep through and start over fresh? There are times when all of us... those of us who don't have a natural decorating bone in our bodies and those of us who relish making a room into a happy sanctuary for those we love... need to be inspired.       My friend Melissa Michaels from The Inspired Room just launched her latest book, Simple Decorating. It's a small book. But, don't let the size fool you.  I've been reading and collecting decorating books for years and this is one that you will want to … [Read more...]

  Are you a fan of the popular HGTV show, Fixer Upper? Joanna Gaines and her talented husband, Chip deliver amazing home transformations each week that are so creative and inspiring. I have to say their show is my favorite, by far. Jo's decor style could be described as farmhouse with a little industrial vibe and has become very popular. This week some amazing bloggers linked up their fabulous Fixer Upper styled home decor projects at Project Inspire{d}. Take a few minutes to kick back, relax, and check out ALL the features...  and don't forget to pin this and your favorites, too. 12 Fixer … [Read more...]

  It's rare for me to pop on the blog for a random chat. But here I am!   First of all, I'm a little excited about an upcoming feature series that I will be hosting with some good blogging friends. You know how I love to make something from nothing? Well, that's just a little hint about what we have in store for you very soon. Not long ago my husband was helping a builder friend with a little demolition work.  It was good for him because guys can work out their frustrations when they have a good demo project.  It was good for me, because as they were throwing debris down the chute to the … [Read more...]

  Oh my goodness!  2016 was filled with so many highs and lows... and it seems to have all gone whooshing by in a blink. In between all that living I wrote 176 posts and today I sharing what I call readers' favorites!  If it were not for you... I wouldn't be here.  It's a joy for me to create and share my inspirations with you.  Thank you for traveling through 2016 with me.  I truly appreciate YOU!!  If your favorite post isn't here... let me know.  Or if one of the posts below was a personal favorite of yours... I'd love to have you tell me. Right now I'm working on setting up my editorial calendar for … [Read more...]