Monday, November 30, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year....


Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I am definitely in the Christmas spririt! I like to give Thanksgiving a fair shake, and not get too crazy about Christmas too early. But, it almost seems like you're being left in the dust if you don't! Here it is, November 30, and I already feel like I'm "behind" in my Christmas preparations. It's madness.

So, my goal this year is to keep it simple and not spin myself into a frenzy of busyness and anxiety as this holiday approaches. The truth is, I love Christmas. I really do. I want it to be an enjoyable season, especially now that I have kids of my own. A season full of warmth, fun decorations, delicious treats and time spent with family watching the Grinch or Rudolph or National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Not nervous thoughts about whether I've picked the most perfect, most generous (but cost effective), most thoughtful, most meaningful gifts for everyone and whether or not I should pick up more, maybe just a couple more, things...I might need more stocking stuffers...what if my distant relative comes for Christmas and they bring me a gift.....what if someone gives me baked goods and I don't have something for them in return....maybe a couple more batches of cookies or carmels....what if our Christmas cards aren't cute....

See? I'm getting crazy already. I don't want my boys growing up thinking Christmas is a stressful season! It's a time, first and foremost, to celebrate the birth of Christ. I do also think it's a wonderful time to show love to others by giving. It doesn't matter if our house if perfectly decorated or if our cards aren't the cutest on the block.

I am working on getting organized tonight in hopes that I can achieve this goal of a laid back holiday season (are you laughing at me?). For the past several years, I've liked some of the tools provided on Organized Christmas, particularly the printables. Last year I made the binder and printed some of the worksheets to keep me organized.

I also came across the want, need, wear, read idea on another blog today (sorry, can't remember where), but then I gooogled it and found the original post here. I like the idea of keeping things modest for Christmas. My kids truly don't NEED much, if anything. But, it's fun to give (and receive!), and I want to keep it reasonable. I think something in each of these categories would be a good mix.

And for packaging of baked goods, I picked up a case of glass mason jars and some red ribbon this year (though I realized I didn't get the wide-mouth jars, so I need to make sure whatever I bake will fit through the opening!). Again, trying to keep it simple (trying being the operative word there).

Do you have any traditions related to holiday preparations that help make the season less stressful for you? I'd love to hear about them!

I leave you with some pretty Christmas decor from my mom's and mother-in-law's this past weekend. Now, off to scour the cyber Monday deals....


Edited: Linking up to the Inspired Room's Holiday Linky Friday! Go take a look at other holiday ideas!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.”
―Frank Lloyd Wright

I loved this image and quote from the Real Simple Daily Thought feed this morning. I'm feeling thankful for my life, my family, my faith, my home - the list could go on. But I think there is some truth in this quote from our friend Frank (whose studio is just a mile away from here :-)); the older I get, the more perspective I have on my life and the beauty in it.

Here's to finding beauty in your life, no matter what the circumstances may be. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

{image via Real Simple}

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rotary Phone


My grandma still has a wall-mounted rotary phone in her hallway, and I've always loved it for some reason. Maybe just reminds me of being a kid at her house, the LOUD ring, the time-consuming dialing....

Anyway, I came across this beauty at a garage sale on Friday. It was $12, which is more than I would usually pay for anything at a garage sale, but I couldn't pass it up. Well, I actually did pass it up, but went back later for it! I think it was the color. I kept imagining how well it would match the new office area. :-) Just a fun, authentic, vintage find.

I don't even know if it works (she said it did), but I'm going to give it a try! I'm sort of wishing I would have picked up the red one she had, too!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Am I the last to know...

...about Polyvore? I tend to be the last one to learn about things, and I feel like this is probably one of those things. I first came across Polyvore on C Lo's blog, but have seen it a couple times since and just now tried it for myself. Oh. My. That's all I can say. You can basically clip things from online stores and import them to make your own little inspiration board / collage / etc. SO MUCH FUN. Not that I needed something else to be addicted to. :-) So, my sister just moved in to a new place, and it is a totally blank slate. The wheels are turning, and I can't help but put together some (unsolicited) plans. Sometimes I like to decorate vicariously through others. This is barely even a start, but I just wanted to try my hand and then see if I could figure out posting it here. Try it for yourself! More to come on my sister's place, btw. :-)
Items in this set: sofa, $699 lamp, $130 rug, $70, $13, $80