Did you realize tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent? I missed the memo. Just in case you're a little behind, like me, here's my not so typical Advent wreath from last year.     Observing Advent is a great way to prepare for the true meaning of Christmas. If you need a few ideas for observing Advent you'll want to check out this post.   And speaking of Christmas... This week we have some Great Ideas! for our weekend wrap up, just for YOU! Our features from Project Inspire{d} are all about the colors Red and White ~ everything from food and drinks to … [Read more...]

The Most Meaningful Vignette   Sweet Diane, invited me to join in on her 'Creating Christmas Memories with Vignettes" series, and I think it's such a wonderful way to welcome the holiday season.   Christmas is such a wonderful time of year to create new memories in your home with family and friends through new traditions, and through memorable and meaningful vignettes.     Fall and Christmas are my favorite times of year to decorate our home . . . and although my decor and vignettes change year to year, there are a few vignettes that make an appearance every year. our … [Read more...]

What was the best Christmas gift you have ever received? I would need to think long and hard about that one. As a child there were too many gifts under the tree for me.  I'm not quite sure what my parents' thought process was on Christmas gifts.  Most kids get some new clothes to start off the school year.  Not me.  Sometimes I got new shoes....in the first few weeks or months of the school year.  My parents were not into starting off the school year all shiny and fresh.  For all the picture-taking, I never remember, one time, a first-day-of-school picture.  But, always, there was a new wardrobe of clothes … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas!! I am the light that has come into the world  so that everyone who believes in me  will not live in the dark.   John 12:46     Today we light the Christ candle and celebrate Jesus, the Light, who came into the world to free us from the oppression of darkness. I've been contemplating this concept of Jesus being the light of the world lately.  And wouldn't you know, last night I attended a Christmas Eve service and the theme of the service was about Jesus being the light.   Isn't that just like God?     The time when Jesus entered this world as a babe was … [Read more...]

Since it's Christmas Eve and you don't have lots of time to read.... Just for fun....Let's take a look at some sweet red and white Christmas kitchen vignettes.     My friend and I had a bit of fun arranging items in her lovely red and white kitchen for Christmas.     It would be so fun to have you over for some Christmas cookies and a cup of Christmas tea....     I love this old hutch combo.  The upper cabinet originally came from an old New York post office and the bottom is a garage sale chest of drawers which my friend painted in just the sweetest … [Read more...]

  Are you a fan of gold or silver or some other metal in home decor? If I choose to decorate with metallic elements at Christmas, I usually choose gold. Last year I stepped out of my 'gold box' and dipped my toe in some silver spray paint. The results were quite pleasing.     To see more of this silver table setting, click here.   Are you enjoying our 12 Days of Christmas series?   ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~   Catch up on all that's … [Read more...]

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19   Just think of all the experiences Mary had leading up to and through the birth of her baby, King Jesus. Somehow Mary recognized the greatness or significance of each experience.  Her heart was full.     Neither of us are Mary, but God has allowed us to experience many significant things as well. Which of your experiences do you treasure? Have you pondered the significance of any? The good and the not-so-good?   Christmas is more than the celebration.   Christmas is also … [Read more...]

Grapevine wreaths can be so very easy to decorate with for most holidays. You might remember my Easter Egg Wreath or my Natural Fall Wreath.  Both were quick and simple to make. This Grapevine and Winterberry Noel Wreath was also easy to put together.     Early this fall I created a few grapevine wreaths from those growing up in the trees nearby.   They're easy to make and they're free.  Yay!     I've been having lots of fun decorating with Winterberry or Michigan Holly which grows in wetlands.  I love their vivid red color.  They really add a colorful pop to all the … [Read more...]

Do you love attending home tours? When you go on a holiday home tour, what are you hoping to see? Have you attended any holiday home tours this year?   I bet you'd love to take a tour of my home.  We can't do that this year since everything I own is packed up in storage, but how about we push the button on the time machine and go back in time? Are you ready? Here's a link to some holiday fun at my last house. Be sure to 'sign the guest book' and let me know if you picked up any ideas or what you most liked.   Oh...you're wondering about the 12 Days of Christmas?   We're … [Read more...]

Joy Joy is my word of the year. Joy is in my tagline, A Place of Joy and Inspiration. Joy Day! is a special day on the blog each week. Joy is something I strive for and desire for you.   How about we spread Christmas JOY all over our homes?     Today I have a fun roundup of ideas I've been seeing around the blogosphere that are joy-worthy for your home. So without further ado... Here's some Christmas Joy for you...   I love the simplicity of a frame hanging around letters hung directly on the wall. This entire mantel design has such a wonderful textural … [Read more...]

There are just 16 days until Christmas arrives. Are you ready to have a panic attack or does this heighten your anticipation?     Christmas looks different to all of us depending upon our circumstances. I remember re-runs of an old PBS sitcom...."Keeping Up Appearances."  The main character, Hyacinth Bucket, was overly concerned about looking good to the "important" people of  the world.  She wanted those of her "stature" in life or less, to see her as impeccable in every way, equal to those of wealth and high social standing.  She even went so far as to pronounce her last name as … [Read more...]

Are you observing Advent with a daily reading or a weekly candle lighting? If not, it really is not too late to begin. It's a very special time of anticipation. I shared some ideas for observing Advent here.  And I created a not-so-typical-version of an Advent wreath here?     Today we light the second Advent candle.   The candle of Peace. Click here to read about God’s promise of peace from Isaiah 11:1-10.   In the second chapter of the Book of Luke in the Bible, the writer tells us all the details surrounding Jesus' coming to the world, including the census which … [Read more...]

  This year, I wanted to be really intentional about observing Advent.  I even shared a post with ideas for Advent readings and candles, here. But, when it came to my own advent candle wreath, I had nothing.  Nada. It was something I wanted....but it is not necessary.  Plus, I don't exactly have money to be spending on something like this, and since I'm living "in between" with my stuff in storage, well...I really could go without.     Several weeks ago I was invited to participate in an upcoming blogger event, All Things Dollar Tree for Christmas, where you create something from … [Read more...]

Quite a few years ago my husband and I were browsing a sweet little book shop in downtown Holland, Michigan at Christmas time. We could spend hours there.  Tim, who is a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, picked up a full-sized softcover book with the most amazing illustrations, Letters From Father Christmas. I was busy that year and though Tim encouraged me to read it, I never got around to it.  But, year after year, I stacked it up along with an assortment of Christmas books on the blanket chest we used for our coffee table. Then, for some reason, I sat down.  Um.  Generally I never sat down before Christmas … [Read more...]

It was interesting to me to listen to other shoppers when I was in the stores earlier this weekend.  I was amazed at how intentional and sometimes intense people were in finding and deciding upon their purchases.  Most of us have a plan in mind when we go shopping, or even when we begin our Christmas decorating. How many of us have a personal plan for the Christmas season?   Often we are so busy doing....that we don't take time to be in the moment.  We don't take time to ponder the reason for the season.  We just go.  And I am very experienced at getting into that mode.  So... Last week I invited you to … [Read more...]

After just completing my 31 day series, I thought I'd take the day off from the blog and writing.  Well, I did take a little bit of time off to read my brand new November/December issue of Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer Carroll.  As a collector of magazines, especially fall and Christmas issues, I must say this issue is spectacular, and I wanted to let you know all about it. This magazine has gorgeous photos filled with inspiration for the season, crafts and food...complete with directions and recipes, and heartfelt stories to touch your heart.     Jennifer, the publisher of … [Read more...]

  It's the day after Christmas.       Our friends in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand celebrate Boxing Day today.    If you make your home in one of those beautiful places....Happy Boxing Day! I decided to look up Boxing Day to see what it was all about.  It isn't about the sport of boxing, nor is it about boxing up items.  Instead, this holiday goes back many years when the service of employees would be required on Christmas Day.  The employer would in turn give their employee the day after Christmas off to spend with family and boxes of food and other gifts to take … [Read more...]