Here’s To a Better Year

I would like to wish all of my readers Happy 2016! With the old year passed and the brand new year ahead I would like to thank you for reading, commenting, supporting and be-friending me and my blog in 2015.

When I wrote this post, little did I know how much I would cling to its message in the months to come. 2015 was a difficult year for our family in many ways, not the least of which was watching my daughter and son-in-law end their ten year marriage. Our family had never been touched by divorce in any significant way prior to this. It is a very painful experience for all involved. My heart still aches every time I think of them and their three children and try to accept that their family as we know it no longer exists. I know many of you have experienced the heart-wrenching pain of divorce as well and my heart goes out to you.

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In late 2015 we received news regarding my husband’s health that overshadowed even the pain of the divorce. Though I can’t share all of it in detail, he has been on sick leave since October and we don’t know when he will return to work. Because of the unknown future of his work status, I have begun looking for a full time job. We will also be putting our house on the market this spring and downsizing to something with less maintenance (i.e. move-in ready).

I don’t want this to be a lengthy post full of bad news and woes, so please allow me to share with you what I believe. God can take even the most painful, negative experiences and turn them into good. We are trusting God and leaning on Him heavily to show himself strong on our behalf. We believe that God still heals today and we are asking him to heal my husband. I am going forward with plans to prepare for the future in any event but hope to someday share a good report with you on the wonderful things God has done. Trying to get a handle on my need to know what’s next. By yielding control and trusting God who holds my future, I can rest in the knowledge that He knows the desires of my heart and wants to lead me in the very best plan for me (us). His ways are higher than our ways. I put my faith in Him.

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This Christmas I Choose Joy

Hello Friends. I know I have been MIA and have not posted or visited other blogs for quite some time. My heart is heavy with some changes going on in my world. The changes are of a very personal nature and I’m not ready to divulge all the information. I would just ask that if you believe in the power of prayer, please keep my husband Gary in your prayers.

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I took these pictures in November. One day I pulled in the driveway as he was leaf blowing. When he saw me he began to play the blower like a guitar. I couldn’t resist grabbing my camera and getting some shots of him. He humored me happily. That’s the kind of guy he is.

My comfort comes from the Lord and I choose joy during this holiday season. Here is a shot of the dining room buffet decorated for Christmas.

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I used greenery that I cut from one of the trees on our property. The branches were covered in these cute mini pinecones.

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There’s a very interesting story behind this pair of lanterns. I will share it in a future post.

I don’t know when I’ll post again, so for now I wish you a Merry Christmas
filled with joy, peace and wonder.

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Vintage Christmas Décor

The day after Thanksgiving I like to start slowly pulling out my Christmas décor. Although I have been gradually introducing more natural elements into my décor there are some old favorites that I wouldn’t dream of leaving out each year.

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These vintage bottle brush wreaths are a perfect example. Each of the wreaths on this stack was gathered from a different place over the past 20+ years and each has a story.

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Three of them were picked up at yard sales, the one on the bottom was found in my mother’s attic among some forgotten Christmas items and my favorite, the one in the middle is one I picked up for 10 cents at a church rummage sale.

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The back of the wreath is a darker pink than the front which has faded to a soft peachy pink. The faded colors and crumpled bow just make me love it more.

Yep, I’m a sucker for vintage Christmas. I think it brings out the kid in me. How about you? Do you have any treasured old decorations or ornaments?

Now that the temps are dropping, I have a good cold weather tip for you.

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Baby Boo Pumpkins At The Holiday Table

It has been over two weeks since I last posted but I do have good reasons for my absence. I can’t share all of the reasons just yet but I promise to soon. Following my last post I was busy preparing for a local holiday shopping event where I was a vendor. Whew! It was an amazing show and I was extremely happy with my sales. The venue was an art gallery and they do it up right so I always enjoy selling and/or shopping at the annual event. The down side is that it takes several days to recuperate from exhaustion! But it was a happy exhaustion.

Many of you will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your home and you may or may not have your holiday table planned. Today I want to share a last minute idea for your Thanksgiving table. My love for baby boo pumpkins carries on through Thanksgiving and they will make a special appearance at the family gathering.

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Your Thanksgiving guests may be expecting sweet potatoes, but they won’t be expecting them to be served in cute little baby boo bowls.

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I mashed these sweet potatoes with a fork and topped them with a dollop of marshmallow Fluff that I toasted under the broiler till golden brown.

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I’ll show you the simple steps to preparing your “bowls” but first I have another dish that serves up nicely in them.

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Filled with and set on a bed of wild rice.

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Finish off the look by topping with the “lid.”

To prepare your baby boo pumpkins, simply score the top with a knife in a circle.
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Next, cut through the scored place to remove the top.

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Scoop out the seeds and guts, scraping the inside with a small pointed spoon, fork or knife. Rinse, pat dry and fill.

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Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

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Farmhouse Dining Room Part 2 & My Desk Space

Before I show you my drastically improved desk space in Part 2 of my dining room reveal I would like to share a few shots of my ironstone collection.

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You may remember the “Bethany” plate. Most of the pieces were great bargains that I picked up for just a dollar or five. The smaller pitcher was gifted to me by my mom several years ago and the little creamer sitting on the oval dish belonged to her as well.

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I still have room for a few more items!

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Just to the left of the buffet and hutch is where I sit as I write each blog post.

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This is what it looked like before.

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Yikes! It looks so much worse than I remember.

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Seriously?

The tangled mess of wire was such an eyesore. I tried numerous ways to keep them tucked away neatly but they always eventually got out of control.

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So when I started making over the dining room and desk space I was determined to end the wire octopus. The armoire became my solution. I’ve had it for years, sitting in the living room. It held our television and kept it concealed when we weren’t watching it. But last Christmas our kids gave us a flatscreen TV. With the armoire now empty, I knew it would be perfect behind my desk.

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The doors don’t shut completely and a few wires show behind the desk but it’s SO much better than it was. I added a metal basket to the side for holding jars with pens and pencils.

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I placed 2 doors on top of the armoire that I had removed from the hutch. I feel like I’m getting more décor bang that way, by allowing my ironstone to be fully exposed while at the same time having a great backdrop on top of the armoire.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into one of the spaces in my home that I love and use the most.

And here’s this week’s tip on A Little Bird Told Me.
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Have a productive week! :)

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Linking with: Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,The Scoop, Between Naps on the Porch, From My Front Porch to Yours, Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru LifeIvy and Elephants, Shabby Art Boutique, French Country Cottage, Amaze Me Monday, Funky Junk Interiors, Savvy Southern Style, The Charm of Home, Vintage Charm

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Creative Way to Present a Gift Using Bag & Tissue

With Halloween just a few days away and the holidays approaching there will be many opportunities for goodies and gift giving. Today I have a tutorial that will show you a creative way to present a gift. It’s a twist on using a gift bag and tissue.

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I chose plain brown paper bags but you could use any solid color. My love for baby boo pumpkins inspired me to use tissue in an aged beige color. The pumpkin would be very cute in orange too.

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For the star I used a smaller bag. My plan was to use a matte gold tissue paper but the store I went to didn’t have it. They did have this beige and gold glitter paper so I decided to give it a try.

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Now for the very simple instructions and supply list.

1) Gift Bag
2) Tissue Paper
3) Scissors
4) Glue
5) Pencil

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Right click to save the above template to your computer and print it in the desired size

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Trace around the star onto the bag

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Cut tissue paper into 1 1/2 inch squares. You will need 35-50 depending on the size of your bag, etc. Crumple each square up into a ball and then open back up enough to pinch from the middle and create a sort of pointed blossom.

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Begin gluing blossoms in the center of the star, dotting the pointed end with glue and pressing onto bag. It won’t have defined edges during this part of the process but keep the bottom (glued portion) of each blossom within and against the pencil border.

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Once the glue has dried, define the star shape by pinching, pressing and scrunching the outer edges.
Any simple shape will work and the design could be adapted to fit any occasion.

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Here’s the template I used to create the pumpkin bag.
Feel free to use, pin and share!
Happy creating!

This week’s tip for A Little Bird Told Me is on a subject I loathe ~ cleaning.

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This is how I clean my oven door and it works beautifully!
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Linking with: Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,The Scoop, Between Naps on the Porch, From My Front Porch to Yours, Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru LifeIvy and Elephants, Shabby Art Boutique, French Country Cottage, Amaze Me Monday, VMG206, That DIY Party, Funky Junk Interiors, Savvy Southern Style, The Charm of Home, Vintage Charm

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