Thursday, December 12, 2013

Magnolia Wreaths & Mantles

Wreaths are such a fun thing to create, especially at Christmas! I've been seeing all kinds of cool creations all over Blogland this year. And while I love a traditional evergreen wreath, I wanted to try something a bit different. I knew my in-laws had gathered magnolia leaves and sprayed them gold to use for a Thanksgiving tablescape, and thought they would make a beautiful wreath. Before I got my hands on them, another friend used them in her decor for a Christmas banquet! The third time is the charm, they say. I think I'd agree!

I used a straw form for the base, and covered it with strips of burlap I had on hand. 
I didn't realize how much of a mess this could be. When I removed the plastic, the straw went everywhere! It's pretty bad when your two-year-old daughter exclaims about how big a mess you're making! 

Then the fun began! I started to glue leaves around the wreath. I just eyeballed it to try to get the look I wanted. Keep adding leaves until there is no wreath showing. I wanted mine to be full.

Hadassah had a great time pulling the leaves out for me. She never turns down an opportunity to "help"! I just had to keep a close out for the hot glue gun, because she assumed that was fair game too.

More leafy goodness

Meet the Magnolia Wreath!
I'm thrilled with how it turned out!!
[I may or may not have done my share of gazing at it, with a cheesy little grin on my face]
It completes my Christmas mantle, and fits right in with that woodsy-ish feel I was going for.

Vintage Christmas cards and crocheted ornaments make a cute garland. 
The paper trees were last year's Christmas project! You can get the tutorial here.
The ornaments are styrofoam balls that I covered in lace and burlap.
The stamped wood oval is from my shop.

And that's my cozy woodland Christmas mantle!
What are you decorating with this year?
Come back next week to get some Christmas party tablescape inspiration!

I'm linking to

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas Shop

I am excited to introduce you to the fun hand-lettered signs that are now available in my Christmas Shop!
For a limited time, you can take 10% off the prices shown!!
Shipping is not included in the prices.
Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Of the Changing of Seasons

Every year, the glory of autumn takes my breath away.
There is so much beauty I hardly know where to look!

Summer "leaves" in a blaze of glory! 
Cheesy, huh? Sorry, can't help it!

And with the cooler temps, I find my energy directed from the outdoors to the indoors.

There are woodland mantles to be styled...complete with the antlers of a deer my hubby killed. {which I had banned from the living room for years. hey, a girl's allowed to change her mind, right?!}

There are also two canvases I painted one afternoon when I was feeling particularly festive. Love 'em!
The mini pumpkins are gourds from my favorite produce stand.

White pumpkins add a perfect autumn touch to any room.

Stacked pumpkins are the star of my table...
Aren't they fun?

These pumpkins and gourds found their happy place on my porch. Yay for outdoor decor!

I feel like I could live in a world of autumn.
What's not to love about vibrant colors, crisp air & golden light?

Creation virtually shouts the glory of its Creator!  
And something inside of me rebels at the thought of brown leaves, barren trees and frozen ground.

But life is all about the changing of seasons, is it not?
The same God Who created the splendor of fall also created the quiet rest of winter.
And in it's own way, it is also beautiful.
{Somebody remind me of that in February! ha}
I want to embrace each season, of the year, and of my life.
I was discussing the joys & challenges of being a mommy with some friends this weekend,
and when I told them that I don't have a desire to go back to working
since I have my babies,
they smiled!
They remembered how worried I was that I would dislike my new role and feel imprisoned by it.
But this season has it's own special beauty!
I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
I am drinking in the last golden rays, the vibrant colors and the blue skies
of autumn.
But when winter arrives, I want to embrace that as well for what it was created for:
a season of rest.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Bucket List: Take a Hike!

My [mental] fall bucket list looks something like this:

1. Take a hike in the woods
2. Bake pumpkin treats, until you are sick of them
3. Decorate mantel
4. Make an outdoor display (oops! maybe next year)
5. Eat an apple dumpling
6. Take way too many photos of leaves and trees and golden light
7. Throw a harvest party/brunch 
8. Work on sewing projects (scheduled!)
9.Forget there is such a thing as fall cleaning. (what is that, anyway?)
10. Go to a barn party (Anyone wanna throw one?!)

Since hiking was such a high priority,
and since Eddie loves me (;
we went on two! 

There is something so peaceful, yet invigorating, about a walk in the woods.

There are brilliant red leaves just begging to be picked up!

 And cute two-yr-old hikers that love to explore!

Skyline Drive is one of my favorite spots in the Shenandoah Valley.

The view is breathtaking!

Even better than the view? Time spent with my family!

What's on your fall bucket list?
Please don't say cleaning! (:

P.S. I just updated my portfolio and shop...go check it out!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Butterfly Birthday Party

Hadassah had her second birthday two weeks ago,
and was it ever a fun celebration!!

She woke up from a nap to a wonderful birthday surprise; her first-ever horsie ride with Aunt Kyra!
Can you see how thrilled she is?!

I may be biased, but I think she has the coolest aunties & uncles ever!
Let's not forget the grandpas & grandmas too!!

Is this not a dream come true for most little girls?
I almost wish I could be two again...almost!

I was glad to see that we got a family photo and everyone in it looks reasonably happy.

I decided to go with a butterfly theme, since she's been fascinated with them this summer.
To add interest, I cut out butterfly shapes from red & turquoise cardstock and glued them to fishing line,
which I hung from the chandelier I upcycled from her 1st birthday party!

Red grape kabobs were a win/win, since they are a favorite of the little lady and gave a pop of color!
We added blue kool-aid to lemonade, and it turned into a lovely shade of turquoise!! 

My sweet sister made some delicious strawberry cupcakes for us when Nicholas was born, and I knew they would be perfect for a birthday party. 

I made a buttercream icing {my favorite!} and then broke yogurt-covered pretzels in half to make the butterfly wings, with red licorice as antenna. How cute are they?!

An old red chair {that is still waiting to be recovered!} served as the perfect spot for the gifts.
And I painted a sign thanking the guests for "fluttering by"!

Hadassah had a blast opening up presents and enjoying them with her little friends!

There were plenty of hugs to go around!!

 They all had fun playing with her new kitchen!

And Grandpa got her the fun headband :)
She's two...going on 16! At least, that's what she's been saying she is.
And when she was asked what she wanted for her birthday, her response was "a car!!"
Now, she says she's "three bunny ears!"
We're slowly getting closer to the actual age;
hopefully she'll get it figured out by the time she turns 3!

She's turned our worlds upside-down
and given us so much to laugh about!
We love you, Hadassah Jo...
Happy birthday!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I had a birthday last week, a milestone, if you will:
I reached the big 3-0!!!
It's funny, really, because just a few years ago I looked at the thirty-year-olds with a sense of pity,
feeling sorry for them and how old they were!
I guess I didn't realize how quickly that would be me.
 But now that I'm here,
I can't say it's all that bad!

Being 30 is a reason to celebrate, right?! 
My husband treated me to a night out at the local Chop & Grill House.
It was exquisite,
in every sense of the word! [including the bill!!]
But I enjoyed being spoiled,
since I'll only be 30 once!

The girls took me to Charlottesville,
for a wonderful girls' night out!
The best part was just getting a evening away without the distraction of little ones.
I felt as carefree as a teenager!

But in the last few weeks, I've also done a lot of reflecting,
about where I've been...and where I'm headed.
The 20's were a whirlwind, full of adventure and change!
I traveled to 6 different countries,
fell in love and got married,
moved to a different state,
and had 2 beautiful babies!

 // Looking Back //
I've experienced so many new things,
from learning how to cook meals for a harvest crew 
to figuring out how to keep two babies happy in a shopping cart!
I've changed.
I've grown.
And I'm living the life I dreamed of; the wife of a man that loves me
and a mother to my sweet kiddos!
I'm so blessed.
It was so good to be reminded of that,
because the reality is that "living the dream" looks different in real life!
I pictured a blissful marriage, perfect kids and an all-around "happily-ever-after"!!
Then life happened :)
And I'm learning that it doesn't need to be perfect
to be a dream come true.

// Looking Forward //
I want to be more intentional in my relationships
and show those I love how much they mean to me!
I want to invest the best of myself 
into my husband and my children.
They are the most precious gift I've been given.
I want to slow down,
and savor each moment,
remembering that the future is now!
Because, before I know it,
the 30's will be what the 20's are...
a sweet memory.