Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best of 2015 and my favorite posts!

I can't believe today is the last day of 2015!
One of my dreams came to fruition in 2015...this blog!
I didn't think it would happen but I took a leap of faith and an idea/dream, became a reality!
Thank you for your support and encouragement throughout this journey!
Today I'm going to reflect on the 5 most popular posts of 2015.
Coming in at #5 is...
It's surprising to me that this is one of the top posts out of the 63 posts of my first year as a blogger.  What I do love about it is that it came straight from the heart...
I often read it to get motivated!  :)
#4 is
Now this one comes as no surprise as I asked for your vote on a unit for my dining room!  Do you remember?  Only for me to turn around and pick something entirely different! 
I can't wait to show you the final unit and how beautiful it has turned out....stay tuned!
#3 is
The fact that this is made the top 5 list of the most viewed posts on my blog really excites me!
Why?  Because this is what I LOVE to do!
I'm hoping to share more painted furniture on the blog in 2016!
This unit is currently for sale....
Message me for details!
It is no surprise that this inspirational piece came in at #2!
Thank you Dianna for sharing your heart with us!
I've loved having guests on my blog this year (thank you Nidia and Steve!)  and that is also on my list for 2016!
More guests!!!
Let me know what you want to about...
I'd love to hear from you!
and drum roll please....
coming in at #1...
Thank you, thank you, thank you
for all your beautiful comments and kind words of my home!
It's not easy to put yourself out there.  Thank you for being gentle to this newbie!  :)
My home is such a work in progress but I am hoping to share more of my home in 2016.
Here are a few of my personal favorite posts of 2015!  Click on the links to see the posts in their entirety!
Again, thank you for your support of my blog!
Sign up to receive an email notification of when I post at the top right of this blog page!
I hope you have a wonderful, healthy and prosperous new year!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Twas the night before Christmas 2015

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
 The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
 The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
-Clement Clarke Moore
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Home Tour 2015

It's Christmas week!!!!!!!

My absolute favorite week of the year!

It feels like I blinked and now it's Christmas!  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Teacher Gift Ideas

What's REALLY on your TEACHER's
wish list!!
Because we're in the midst of the season of giving, I thought I would pick the brains of a few of my teacher friends.  I asked them to answer 10 questions.  I asked them to be brutally honest.  I didn't want the generic, "I love every single gift I've ever received from a student" answer.
Yes, it's good to be grateful...
but wouldn't it be nice to know what your teacher's are really thinking?
Their answers may surprise you...
or they may validate you.
This exercise isn't meant for either!
It's meant to
e d u c a t e
you!!  :)
*These questions were answered by teachers and principals who are currently teaching school age children ranging from preschool to high school.
1. What has been your favorite Christmas gift ever given by a student?

The number one answer...drum roll please...GIFT CARDS! 
Some other top contenders:
  • Heartfelt cards
  • Gift basket
  • Handwritten memory book made by the kids
  • Class got together and bought me an ipad mini 
  • Gifts that I can share with my family
2. What is the worst gift you've received from a student?
  • Coffee mugs!!
  • Anything perishable
  • Nick-knacks
  • Anything apple related!
3. What should be on the "what not to give teachers" list?
  • Baked goods (some teachers are trying to eat healthy)
  • Meaningless gifts that have no thought put into them
  • School supplies!
"I am not a big fan of anything that says teacher or has apples on it. For a first or second year teacher maybe, but after that you have so much "teacher" stuff it becomes clutter. The only exception, when it's made by the student."

4. What 3 things should be on the "top 10 teacher gifts" list?
  • Anything that shows you know your teacher!
  • Hand written notes from the student
  • Gift Cards
5. What are some gift ideas for a male teacher?
  • Favorite sports team memorabilia or tickets to a game from the class
  • Movie Tickets
  • Amazon Gift Card
6. Do you like to receive homemade gifts?
This response was 50/50.  Some teachers love the homemade gifts and others do not.  The key is to know your teacher! There was a resounding NO to the homemade sweets. The reason being that they tend to get a lot of it and it will go bad.  Most teachers stated they love getting an ornament with their students name and school year on it.
"We all know many parents are working parents and don't have the time or energy for a homemade gift. A thoughtful card expressing gratitude is the best thing ever. Really."

7. Are you a fan of class gifts?
Almost all teachers agreed that class gifts are wonderful. "I like a class gift if they pool their money and get one large gift. In the past I have gotten gift cards to my favorite stores to buy things that I wouldn't normally buy myself. Also, I have been asked what Item I would really like (for example, I got an office chair for my desk at school) and they collect money and purchase the item. "

 8. Is alcohol an appropriate gift to give a teacher?  This response varied...some teachers were adamant about it being very inappropriate and others stated alcohol is how they keep their sanity!  lol
"No alcohol...not a fan. It can be awkward and not something you want to open with 20 kids staring at you."  
"yes (depends...if they drink. If they don't or you don't know, then better off not to)."
" It is if the parents give it to you in the parking lot! Nothing wrong with that!" :)
9. Have you ever re-gifted a gift given to you by a student?
Almost all said YES...
"Yes, but not because I didn't like it, but I thought it was so good I wanted someone else to have it."
"I know for a fact that many, many gifts have been donated to charity once I get them home because I don't know what to do with the item."
10. Would you rather receive a gift for your classroom or for yourself?
Most teachers stated they would rather receive a gift for themselves than for the classroom!
"Classroom gifts are usually pretty thought and something we can either use in the class or a memory we can cherish to remember that school year. But I'm not going to lie feeling appreciated by a student and parent always makes you feel all warm and fuzzy!"
"Myself (insert wink emoticon) but u know a public school teacher has to buy a lot of their own supplies, so I would probably like a class gift. I did receive a Keurig for my class and LOVE it."

"As a teacher with four kids, I find out my kids teachers favorite places and give them gift cards and a Christmas picture. I always write a nice letter of appreciation and thanks. The letters that I receive are better than anything someone can buy."

I hope you loved reading these as much as I did!  I learned that the key is to get to know your child's teacher and give him/her something heartfelt and meaningful.  I also learned not to neglect teachers in upper grades.  Some of my middle school and high school teacher friends stated it's rare for them to receive gifts.
We need to change that.  These teachers have one of the hardest jobs in the world!

Finally, I'd like to thank all of my teacher friends who took the time to answer the questionnaire!  Thank you for your honesty!
Merry Christmas!  Enjoy your break!  The rest of us who are not in the academic field are jealous of your sweet schedule!



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Step by step Christmas Tree decorating tips

I get asked all the time how I put my tree together.
Is there a science to the madness that ends in such beauty?
To be honest, I was going to write an entire post about it but then found someone who already did!
One of the blogs I follow is Worthing Court.  She shared her tips and tricks for decorating her tree the other day and I just knew I had to share them with all of you!
She does a lot of the same things I do.
Click on this link
 to see her post in its entirety!
I hope you're having fun getting your home ready for Christmas!
I'm getting ready to photograph our home for my Christmas home tour!  Stay tuned....

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Merry Christmas ~ 2015

Good morning!!!
I hope you were inspired yesterday by my friend Dianna's post.

It's always good to be reminded that Christmas isn't just about the decorations, Black Friday shopping, the music, etc...
it's a time to spread good cheer to all men.
Thank you Dianna!

speaking of Black Friday....
did you shop till you dropped?

I'm a huge fan of Black Friday but my love for the shopping madness has dwindled since it was moved to Thursday night!  I love Thanksgiving and hate that it's being shoved in the back corner by these super sales!  

Nobody puts Thanksgiving in the corner!

For the last couple of years I have stood my ground and boycotted the Thursday night shopping...

but this year....
I caved!

We did our usual Thanksgiving dinner. (we were at my husband's aunt's house)
I didn't rush anyone...
we enjoyed our visit...
we weren't the first ones to leave...

but when we got home...

My baby girl and I hit the ground running!

Target was our first stop and we got some AMAZING deals.
I love how organized Target is on Black Friday or Thursday in this case!

We then went to JCPenney thinking it wouldn't be too crowded!  Boy were we wrong!  That place was mayhem!

We did get some super deals there too.

We picked up our Christmas cards at Walgreens and called it a night!  Did you get any shopping done this past weekend?

I hope you've enjoyed the pics of one of the Christmas trees in our home.  We have 5 total!  


This one is our "family" Christmas tree and it is filled with so many beautiful memories.  

It's not what I've seen posted on the many blogs that I follow and love, but I wanted to encourage you to be true to YOU when decorating your home.  

I love this picture I captured with my cell phone the other night!  Caught my baby girl looking through the gifts trying to find hers!

I will be sharing the other trees and some of the rooms in our home that are decorated for Christmas soon!

As much as I love sharing my home with all of you, I also enjoy peeking into homes and looking at their Christmas decorations for inspiration!  The Canadian Bloggers Christmas home tour is going on now.  Just click on the below links to take a look!