My Favorite Things 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Welcome to another year of My Favorite Things! Every year I participate in this linky party hosted by 320 Sycamore , and I look forward to compiling my list to share with you.  You can find years past Here and Here . 

One of my passions is decorating our home and making it feel warm and cozy to my family and friends. We tend to entertain alot and I am in LOVE with these Gold Rimmed Agate Coasters I found on Etsy . They are gorgeous and perfect to rest glasses on. The soft, muted colors and the organic, natural quality....perfection! Just looking at  them make me happy!

For the past few years, my signature scent has been Amazing Grace by Philosophy. You know the old saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"?  That is how I feel  about Amazing Grace. But a few months ago my husband and I were out and about and in a department store, I spotted Coach Poppy and took the liberty of spraying a bit on my wrists. It smelled amazing. Apparently my husband thought so too, because a few days later he gifted me a bottle , with the body lotion as well. I love this scent, and I LOVE that it stays on all day. When I do wear it, I layer the lotion and the perfume, and it really does last all day for me . Which is a huge plus  . I am too busy to remember to apply more throughout the day, and with this scent, I don't need to! Winner!

As a food blogger , I tend to spend lots of my time in the kitchen. Over the years I have come to realize that I am a messy cook. Messy. Dirty dishes , dirty countertops, ingredients strewn all over , that's me. I have learned that and apron is a necessity. I have had my eye on one of these halter aprons from Ice Milk Aprons for months. I have not purchased one as of yet ( they are pricey) , but I am hoping that maybe Santa will bring me one. They are so beautiful. Keeping my fingers crossed...

Scandal is my treat. Thursday nights at 10 pm, you will find me fixated on Olivia Pope. And the Gladiators. And JAKE! Superb writing, superb acting - what more can you ask for? 

I am obsessed with words. Obsessed. I have  quotes, saying, Bible verses and single words all over our home. I fell in love with Red Letter Words a few years ago. I have purchased a few small canvas prints for gifts, and I have this Bible verse in my home, hanging on the wall for everyone to see. And hopefully, God willing, my children to remember for their lifetime. They see it every day and hopefully it stays with them. Isaiah 40:31 is my favorite verse. It lifts me and encourages me. These canvas prints are pricey, but such great quality and you will have it for years and years. Highly recommended !

I am a cookbook hoarder. I admit it. I read cookbooks like novels. I pour over the ingredients , the pictures and the writing. One of my favorite cookbooks at the moment is Wintersweet by Tammy Donroe Inman.  Awesome recipes using winter ingredients. Think apples, pears, carrots, greens...winter foods. The recipes are wonderful, the pictures even better and the writing engaging. It is on my coffee table as I type this , and I will probably leaf through it again before the day is over.

If you have ever been to our home, you know that I always have a candle burning. I love to walk into the house and have a familiar scent greet us at the door. I have a few favorites , and they are all found at Bath & Body Works. I love their candles. The scent throws are perfect and they burn evenly, which is a pet peeve of mine. My all time favorite scent is London Calling ( it smells like fresh brewed tea with lemon. weird sounding, I know... but the smell is heavenly. I am keeping my fingers crossed they bring it back in the spring)  . But for the holiday season, and into January, I burn the fresh balsam candle. It smells like winter. Cold, snowy, foresty winter. I stock up when they go on sale. I have enough stocked away for this year and next. I'm obsessed.

I am a coffee drinker. Working from home every day, my Keurig definitely  gets a workout on a daily basis . ( not to mention the hot tea, iced teas and hot chocolate that my kids make when they are here). I like to use pretty mugs when I have my coffee. A small luxury, but one I love nonetheless. These monogrammed mugs from Anthropologie fit the bill. They are so simple, but the black letters and the handles really make them pop in my kitchen. *swoon*

I only wear nail polish on my nails for special occasions ( definitley not condusive when I work with my hands in the studio every day) . But I do try to keep my toes painted and go for regular mani/pedi's. My favorite brand is Essie . Right now my absolute favorite color for winter is Wicked. Deep red. Looks awesome on my toes. 

I admit it. Dry shampoo is my best friend. Mornings are hectic around here trying to get a husband and three children fed, dressed and out the door to work and school. And sometimes I don't get a shower until later morning. This stuff is a life saver for me. Especially with my bed head. I just spray , style and I am on my way. 

By far, one of my favorite books of 2013. I had read Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines before author Shauna Niequist released Bread & Wine. All of her writing ( and blogging) is inspirational.  I love the way she writes about family , and friendship, and faith. And she loves food as much as I do. Wonderful book. You will want to read it again and again.

A friend of mine gifted me one of these mini notebooks earlier this year and I fell in love. They are small enough to fit into my purse and I use them all the time to jot down things when I am in the carpool line, or waiting in the doctors office etc.  You can find them at Dayspring , where they are on sale right now.

so there is my compilation of My Favorite Things 2013!

Our Christmas Home Tour Part 2

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hi all!  I have been a busy bee these last few days. Finishing up Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, making those last minute custom orders, school functions, etc. I am trying not to burn out, but if the pace doesn't start slowing down, I am afraid I will :( . I pretty much have the house decorated, and I am constantly adding and subtracting from the Christmas decor.  Here are the pics from the part two of the Christmas home tour. Soft, neutral and quiet. 

Our Christmas tree in our formal living room . I have some presents wrapped. Tons more to go. The pillow is from Dear Lillie , one of my absolute favorite places to shop for house decor! 

I found these handmade pottery wise men about nine years ago at the Flea Market at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC. Over the years the their beards have broken off here and there, but I still put them out every year. I love them!

The top of the cabinet by the tree.  Lots of silver , black and white.

I bought the deer pillow cases on Etsy this year and I love them. They are so heavy and match perfectly with the overall feel of the house. I might even use them throughout the year. And of course, the display of small trees on a silver platter. ;)

A close up of the gorgeousness  in our little corner of the living room.

I found the tree and the Santa figure while thrifting with my husband in Maryland over the summer. I think I might do a white santa theme next year. I dig it!

This is an old barnwood shelf  in the den. More burlap and deer. Suprise , suprise!

I have the upstairs  and the basement decorated for Christmas as well, but I will not inundate you with pictures of garland, lights, more burlap and mini Christmas trees. So until next year , my friends...

Merry Christmas!!!

Our Christmas Home Tour

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Welcome to our very first Christmas Home Tour 2013! We made a major move this year and we have had so much fun decorating our new home. After many years of colorful Christmas decor, I decided to stick with neutrals and organic decor. My kids are getting older and I wanted a more grown up look. When we moved , I jumped on the burlap , birchwood and neutral decor bandwagon and I love the way the house turned out. The house ,of course, is a work in progress and I will collect more and more pieces over the years to add to the Christmas decor, but for this year, I am happy with the way the house looks. Here are some pics.

Here is our dining table. I wanted something not fussy. Burlap table runner with three Christmas trees on the table. Closer to Christmas, I will add candles and dinnerware.

This year I decided to hang the stockings on the stairs. I tried hanging them on the mantle in the living room, but they seemed too big and it made the mantle look so crowded. They look great as you walk in the front door. Burlap and linen. The yarn letters I found at Target.

The formal living room all decked out. The reindeer Night Before Christmas on the shelf is from Dear Lillie . The reindeer pillows I found on etsy .The NOEL burlap banner I made. I found the burlap banner at Hobby Lobby and painted the letters with black acrylic paint.

A closer look at the Night Before Christmas art print, reindeer pillows and Noel burlap banner.

The formal living room mantle. I used lots of wood in my decorating this year. I found the wreath at TJ MAxx, the star nativity at World Market and the snowflake pillows at Target. I made the reindeer silhouettes. So easy.

My nativity is from the Willow Tree line from Demdaco. It is beautiful.

A collection of vintage Santa Claus figurines and a glass Christmas Tree platter by Peggy Karr Glass.

The window in the kitchen over the sink.

A vignette on the coffee table in the living room.

Chalkboard print ! One of my favorites!
Stay tuned for the rest of the house next week!