Dec 14, 2015

A Simply Decorated Christmas

Merry Christmas friends!  I got the bug to blog again.  So I decided to wake up before the rest of the house does and use this quiet time to share our simply decorated house at Christmas time.  It's not a lot different than in years past.  The only difference is that my huge Christmas box is still half way full of things I decided not to use this year.  I did that on purpose.  Most years, it all begins to feel like clutter to me come December 20ish and I can't wait to box it all up again.  I didn't want to feel that way this year.  

I used a few things that trigger old memories, like this candy cane.  It used to be my mother's and then she gave it to me (I think she made it at a Relief Society meeting years and years ago.)  Growing up, I remember it hanging on the inside doorknob of our front door.

I hung a fake wreath (from Michael's) on our pantry door and trimmed it with a fancy red bow. I didn't have an extra wreath hanger lying around, so I used a gingham strip of fabric and a thumb tack to hang it.

Some tree trimmings from our live "Home Depot" Christmas tree, add Christmas life to a couple of open cupboards in our kitchen.

A large "Merry Christmas" ornament, gifted to us a few years ago, accompanies a plant on the kitchen window sill.

Spare buckets hold seasonal citrus.

One of the only Christmas decorations I bought new this year was this little manger.  The little basket (from Target's dollar spot), holds little pieces of straw.  Each time we do an act of service this Christmas season, we add a piece of straw to the manger.  By Christmas Day I hope to see this manger full to the brim and then I'll lay a little baby Jesus on top of the straw.    I hope this reminds our family daily of the true meaning of Christmas.

The other new Christmas addition this year is this red reindeer head pillow cover from Amazon.  I can always find the cheapest/cutest pillow covers on Amazon.  That black and white buffalo check pillow cover was bought on Amazin as well (for like five bucks!)

Our fireplace mantel has a couple of simple red Walmart lanterns, some Christmas tree trimmings, circle felt garland that I made a few years ago, and some tiny battery operated lights.  The lights are hard to see in this picture, but at night they look so cozy up there.

This nativity is another Walmart find from a few years ago.  I love it's constant reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

We've never had a fancy decorated Christmas tree.  Every year we get a real tree.  My husband trims the awkward branches and adds white lights.  Then we watch "White Christmas" and decorate the tree as a family.  The ornaments consist of red and white candy canes, grade school handmade treasures, gifted ornaments from friends and relatives, buffalo check red bows, and an added touch of hand strung popcorn and cranberries.  It's super down to earth and family friendly. :)

I hope you all enjoy this Christmas season!  I love the gentle reminders, especially during this time of year, to serve and love others more generously, the way our Savior has taught us to. 

Mar 4, 2015

Placemat to Pillowcase

I spotted this placemat on clearance at Target about a month ago.  ($2.78)  I was drawn to it not because it was a placemat, but because I loved the simple stripe pattern. Then as I picked it up, I realized it's two layers of fabric sewn together!  If I unstitched one end, I could stuff the inside and viola, new pillow!  THEN, I was scrolling through Pinterest  one day and realized I wasn't the first one to discover how easy it would be to transform a placemat into a pillow case.  HA!  ;) 
But anyway, if you were like me and had never seen this done before, here's the super simple how to...

1.)  Unstitch one of the shorter ends of the placemat.

2.). Stuff a pillow form or pillow stuffing inside the placemat.

3.). Stitch the open end of the placement closed.  (I hand stitched it.)

This whole project took maybe twenty minutes and curbed my craving to create something new.  I love quick projects like this when life is so busy.  

Happy Wednesday! (We're half way through the week. Woo Hoo!)

Feb 18, 2015

A New Stair Rail and Other Simple Changes

I'm blogging from my phone, right now, for the first time ever.  It's fast.  It's convenient.  And maybe, just maybe I'll find the time to blog more often if I do it this way.  We'll see.

So last time I blogged was Halloween day.  Since then, we've made a few house updates I wanted to share.  
I don't have a "before" shot of this area, but if you click on the "Our Fixer Upper" link on the right sidebar, you can see what this entryway originally looked like.  Just before Thanksgiving, my husband knocked down the seventies looking archway on the right of this picture, and replaced it with this more open, updated stair rail.  It opened up this space sooo much!  I wish I had the before picture right in this post to show you, but since I'm blogging from my phone and not my computer, I can't access it at the moment.  :(  But trust me, it's a huge improvement.

I recently replaced the white ikea curtains in our living room, with these gray and white grommet curtains from Marshalls.  (Man I love that place!)  They were like thirty dollars for the pair and I love the personality that classic stripes bring to a room.

I don't know if you can see them very clearly there, but those small white books on the bottom right are Chatbooks.  Have you heard of them?  I'd share the link here, but I'm not quite sure how to link things from my phone.   Anyway, they are pictures straight from my Instagram account, put into book form.  They include the date the pictures were taken and a little blurb about the picture. Best thing is that they only cost $6 for sixty pictures in a book.  And the best, bestest thing about them?  They've become my new easy way of scrap booking my family's life.  

Btw, you are welcome to follow me on Instagram.  My user name is keephomesimple.  I have a private account to keep my pictures safe from all the crazies out there, but don't hesitate to request to follow!

I recently cut some tiny boxwood branches for the vases on my mantle.  I'm trying to bring in as much green as possible to remind me that spring is on its way!  (Thank goodness!)

That yellow locker basket was a Target find.  It houses most of our family's scriptures.  We read together from them every morning, to start our day out right and invite the spirit into our home.  It makes such a difference in our family.  I can tell.

Did you know you can find cheap pillow covers on Amazon?  I got that black and white striped one and the chevron one, pictured above, for such good prices!  I love change when it comes to decor.  So changing a pillow cover every now and then is a cheap way to change things up when the mood strikes.

Hope everyone is getting through this winter ok!  We've been blessed with a whole week of sun recently and it's been such a blessing to my soul!

Oct 31, 2014

Make Your Home a Haven From the World - Day 31

 (Temple Square // SLC, UT // Summer '14)

"As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family.  Don't dwell on your failures, but think of your successes.  Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children.  Have joy in your husband.  Be grateful for the journey." - Marjorie Pay Hinckley

"The most important work you will ever do, will be within the walls of your own home." -Harold B. Lee

I'm grateful that I pushed myself to write for 31 days on making our homes a haven from the world.  I hope you don't think for one second that we're perfect over here at doing any of the ideas that I have shared.  By golly, we are trying, but it's an uphill battle.  A battle that is so worth it though, and so rewarding!  Thank you for reading along.  I hope that we'll all strive to have the strength we need to make our homes strong fortresses from the world, that they may be a blessing to us, to our families, and to all those who enter them.

Happy Halloween!

*This is a 31 days series:  Make Your Home a Haven From the World.  I will be writing on this topic every day for the month of October.  Click on the link on the sidebar to read the previous day(s) posts.

Make Your Home a Haven From the World - Day 30

 (summer '14)

I have always wanted to be a mom.  I went to college, got a degree, but still.  My ultimate goal in my heart of hearts was to keep a home and have babies.  It was my dream.  It is my dream.  I'm living my dream right now!  Some days are harder than I feel I can bear and others are more wonderful than I could have ever imagined!  

I have a passion for home!  Our homes are sooo important in this day and age.  Not just what they look like, but how they feel, and what is being taught inside them.  I love what Elder Richard G. Scott from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) says about this...

"As you center your home on the Savior, it will naturally become a refuge not only to your own family, but also to friends who live in more difficult circumstances.  They will be drawn to the serenity they feel there.  Welcome such friends into your home.  They will blossom in that Christ-Centered Environment...  
...One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-Centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds."

*This is a 31 days series:  Make Your Home a Haven From the World.  I will be writing on this topic every day for the month of October.  Click on the link on the sidebar to read the previous day(s) posts.

Make Your Home a Haven From the World - Day 29

This picture doesn't really have anything to do with my post today.  But on this cold, rainy, dreary October day, this picture reminds me of summer.  And making the yummiest apricot jam.  And plus.  What I want to write about today is how staying organized and keeping our homes in order, can make our homes feel more like a haven.  However, after a church Halloween party last night and then rushing a husband off to work and three children off to school, I looked around my house and saw absolutely nothing that looked organized or in order to take a picture of.  Ha!  So this post is very much for me too.  

I am not the most organized person.  It's something I really want to be better at though.  I know my life and my family's life at home run soooo much smoother when things are in order and my home is organized.  To be honest, I act cranky when my house is cluttered.  I don't want to be a cranky mom or wife.  Also, when I get asked a dozen times a day, "Mom/Honey!  Where is...", I like to know the answer to that question.  :)

Albert Einstein said, "Out of clutter, find simplicity."  I like simplicity.  So this weekend, I'm hoping to find some time to clean, de-clutter, and organize a few spots in our home.  I know our life will run smoother and our home will feel more peaceful.

*This is a 31 days series:  Make Your Home a Haven From the World.  I will be writing on this topic every day for the month of October.  Click on the link on the sidebar to read the previous day(s) posts.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...