December 16, 2013

Christmas 2013 Farmhouse Tour

Merry Christmas!
 Come on in!

 Welcome to our living room.  This room is focused on the true Gift of Christmas.
Our advent trees bring us
 a verse for each day.  
Go here to get your own list of advent verses.  Merry Christmas from me!
Our nativity.  
I leave it up for most of the month of January.
It's worth celebrating!
Across the room is the door from our family's barn.
I found the burlap bow in the dollar section at Target.  It was the perfect necklace for my lamp.  

Moving to our dining area of the kitchen...
My favorite Christmas decoration this year is my husband's grandfather's tool box filled with red balls.  Sentimental. Fun. Festive.  

Adding some bling to our cabinet-door-turned-chalkboard and spreading joy

My practical kitchen table centerpiece

Mom's tree by the kitchen sink hold some of my favorite things, like coffee mugs and ornaments from my travels around the world.

Moving to the keeping room...

We went old-school with large globe lights.  

Wishing you a season filled with PEACE and JOY
I'm linking up to these fabulous friends:
Nesting Place
Between Naps on the Porch
The Dedicated House
Coastal Charm
Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Cozy Little House

December 10, 2013

Christmas on My Porch

Welcome friends!
 The front porch is one of the most important rooms of your house.  It sets the tone for your home.  It is the first impression for anyone who visits.  I want my porch to reflect warmth and fun.

Even if you don't have a large porch a couple of special touches are all you need.

 It doesn't even need to cost much.  The only thing I purchased for our porch was the burlap ribbon.  We spray painted the bird feeder red, pulled the basket out of the barn and filled it with sprigs from the yard.
We cut some trees down earlier in the fall and I requested the "best branches."  Tucked into the wagon that was hidden under the house, they make a fun little spot on the porch.

I also pulled out my summer red pillows.  Left over trimmings from our tree and a few balls thrown on the table took ten seconds to put together.  
 My man was thrilled when I asked for an antler.  I like the natural element.  He likes the antler.   Antlers are all the rage this year and they are EXPENSIVE.  We have a large collection to choose from... for free.  Yes, my husband likes this designing fad!
Speaking of him, he always makes my fresh wreaths.  He is so talented.  This year he added in some cedar, rosemary, and red berries to the Frasier fir.
 The door color is Sherwin Williams Festoon Aqua.  It's my most asked question about the new house.
The exterior color is Sherwin Williams Earl Grey

Welcome to our farmhouse!
Come back for a peek inside!

I'm joining the party at
The Nesting Place
Between Naps on the Porch
The Dedicated House
Coastal Charm
Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Cozy Little House

December 5, 2013

Simple and Glorious

Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving?  It was busy but beautiful here.
We traveled.  Returned.  Ate. Visited. Hosted. Ate out. Hosted.  And Hosted again.
I loved every minute.  
When we go to a potluck, I sometimes make stuff I love but the rest of my family won't eat.  I figure there will be enough other stuff for them.  Do you do that?  It sounds selfish, but there are certain things, like pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Asian Slaw in the summertime, that I just have to make!

Earlier this fall we hosted my daughter's volleyball team for a slumber party.  I wanted to share this super easy idea:
 Cellophane bags and ribbon make anything special (I heard that from a marketing expert).  We simply put candied popcorn from Target into the bags.  No cooking/baking required.  Very easy and inexpensive.  It made for a fun little gift/party treat.  As the holidays approach, look for easy ways to make people feel special.  One year I spent hours HOURS baking cookies to take to neighbors.  I realized that I had spent too much time trying to impress the neighbors (with cookies that ended up not looking or tasting that great) that I sacrificed important time with my kids.  A simple gift would have been appreciated, regardless if it was truly "handmade."  My kids would have appreciated the gift of time, too.  I'm learning to be okay with simple.

I may need to be simple, but my God sure is glorious!  Look at this picture he painted across our Carolina sky!

He also gave us a glorious gift of abundant green eggs this week.  Have you ever had a dozen green eggs?!  Dr. Seuss would be proud!

Speaking of gloriously simple, a friend gifted our family with some real hot chocolate this week.  My kids will never want Swiss Miss again!
 Happy December!

December 2, 2013

Tree Shopping In North Carolina

We've only chosen a tree from a local lot twice in the last 16 years: the year of the accident and last year because we had just moved into our new home.  This year held the promise of a return to the mountains.  Unfortunately, we have things like jobs and high school to contend with on the calendar.  We knew it would be a quick trip, but it was worth every mile.

We left the flatlands on a nasty rainy evening.  Arriving late, we went straight to bed.  But we awoke to the most splendid gift: a winter wonderland!
We took the kids to downtown West Jefferson and enjoyed the sights. 
Snow in November is a special treat.
The christmas tree farms dot the landscape like my grandmother's patchwork quilt.  The week of Thanksgiving is my favorite week because it is alive with tree farm help.
Massive amounts of trees are tagged, cut, and sorted.  They await their passage to homes throughout the USA.

We discovered a tree farm that usually only sells wholesale, but the farmer makes exceptions for those of us with connections.  And by connections, I mean word-of-mouth friends.
We were the only ones on the whole mountain.  It was truly magical.

Mountains+snow+family+Christmas trees = happy momma

 The ride home was filled with fellow travelers like this:

I'm so thankful for traditions.  I feel grounded.  Nostalgic.  Contented.
Tell me your favorite tradition.  Please!