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Well folks, Christmas is officially here! I honestly can’t even believe it. I spent the past few days wrapping presents, finishing up cookies, and spending a little time relaxing. I’ve been a slight scrooge the past few weeks and I’m not exactly sure why. I suppose the magic of Christmas seems to fade a bit every year I get a little older. The stress of the holiday seems a little bit more prevalent than the cheer. If someone would have told me this early, I would have insisted on not growing up. Anyone else feel this way this time of year?

I have been wonderfully blessed over the passed year and even more so over the past month. Unfortunately, I seem to be carrying around this heavy weight that I just can’t seem to shake. I’ve always had this way of focusing on all the bad or worrisome things instead of the good. Kind of a bummer, right? Sorry, I know this is not what you want to be reading on Christmas Eve.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I’m going to spend the next week away from the computer, a little holiday blog-cation. I’ve been chugging along pretty steady since January and just want and need a little time to figure out how I can have a truly happy New Year. It seems like 2013 is a great time to stop worrying so much and put a little happy back into life.

With all of that being said, I will see you in the New Year. Wishing you all the peace, happiness, and love that your hearts can hold this holiday season! Merry, merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

With Love,
Michael

Well folks, Christmas is officially here! I honestly can’t even believe it. I spent the past few days wrapping presents, finishing up cookies, and spending a little time relaxing. I’ve been a slight scrooge the past few weeks and I’m not exactly sure why. I suppose the magic of Christmas seems to fade a bit […]




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A couple weeks ago during the 12 Day of Christmas, I spent five days in Atlanta. Again, and I hate to always say this, but if you follow me in the social media world, you may already know this. I was invited to Atlanta by my new friends at Ballard Designs and the wonderful folks at Buick. Thankfully, and oddly enough, the invitations were for the same city and the same week. Perfect! 


So I packed my bags, hopped on a plane, and flew to Atlanta. I spent the first few days with the amazing people at Ballards  (I’ll save that story for another post.) and spent the weekend with Buick. You may remember from my post in October that Buick invited me and ten other superstar bloggers to design our version of their new Encore in their Pinboard to Dashboard competition. Amazingly, my design was one of those selected to be in the top five. 


As car companies do, Buick was hosting a media event of sorts in Atlanta to introduce the new Encore to the who’s who of the auto industry. They had the first models available to drive plus lots of wine-and-dine-type activities. They invited the five finalists to Atlanta to test drive the new vehicle and to announce the winner of Pinboard to Dashboard. 


Needless to say, the 24 hours spent with the Buick crew were just as fabulous as the first time around. On Friday, we were able to get behind the wheel of the Encore. I have to admit that driving a brand new vehicle in a strange city at rush hour was pretty intimidating. 



They sent the five of us (plus some other folks from various lifestyle magazines) to an urban farm, Love is Love Farm, to pick up some locally grown produce the chef would be using to create dinner.



We then had a fabulous dinner at Empire State South. 



This is one of the restaurants owned by chef, author, and restauranteur, Hugh Achenson. Hugh was there, did a little cooking presentation, and even autographed a book for us. The food was fantastic and the experience was unforgettable.


The next day we paired up, got back in the Encore, and drove to Toys R Us



Each pair was given a very generous gift card and we were to use it to fill up our carts with toys that lwould be donated to Toys for Tots. How awesome is that? 


I still can’t believe the number of toys we bought. It’s great to see a company use an event like this to give back. Truly amazing and the perfect cause for the season!


This is a picture of all of the folks involved in this awesomeness. 


Here are the Pinboard to Dashboard finalists. I can’t tell you how happy and honored I am to have been in the company of these four amazingly talented woman. From baking to illustration, they are truly experts in their fields. 

From the left: Julie Deily,  Jessica Sturdymyself, Katie RodgersShannon Ables


In the morning, before we went toy shopping, Buick hosted a little presentation about the new Encore. They also announced the winner of Pinboard to Dashboard. To my complete and utter surprise, my design concept was chosen as the winner. Talk about shocked, I still can’t believe it.



Next spring my design will be created (digitally, not physically) and then be showcased at the New York Auto Show. How awesome is that? I will be there all week, too! 


It’s an unbelievable honor that my design was chosen as the winner from more than 20 lifestyle editors from publications like Lucky, Oprah, Woman’s World, Good Housekeeping,and The Huffington Post. Talk about a dream come true. 


Honestly, it still hasn’t sunk in. I’m not sure it ever will. I am just incredibly grateful to Buick, the other bloggers, and everyone else involved in this process. It’s a dream come true. 


If you’d like, feel free to check out GM’s press release about the Pinboard to Dashboard program. While I was there, they also took some photos and did a little video interview. You can see me nervously talk about my experience here. I also embedded the video below.



So that’s my little Buick recap and probably a few of my fifteen minutes of fame. Totally worth it though, right? 




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Buick has treated me like a king, but I was not asked or paid to write this post. 

This one is from the heart. Photos courtesy of Buick.

A couple weeks ago during the 12 Day of Christmas, I spent five days in Atlanta. Again, and I hate to always say this, but if you follow me in the social media world, you may already know this. I was invited to Atlanta by my new friends at Ballard Designs and the wonderful folks at Buick. Thankfully, and oddly enough, the invitations […]




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Where did the past week go? As we approach the upcoming holiday, it seems as if time moves at an incredibly quick pace. Maybe it’s just me.


Anyway, as you may remember, last week my friend Shannon of Shannanigans and I shared our idea of Put a Cloche on It (which may or may not have resulted from a few too many glasses of sangria).


Shannon shared a few ideas



And so did I


Today, we are inviting YOU to show us your Put a Cloche on It creations in the first-ever PACOI Link Party! Whether it’s a crazy idea or something truly magical, we can’t waitto see it! Please note, that by linking up to this party, there is a good chance we may be sharing your projects all over our social media pages (linking directly to your fabulous blog or website, of course). 


Don’t forget to check out our PACOI Pinterest Board

Now, start linking up those fabulous creations!!



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Where did the past week go? As we approach the upcoming holiday, it seems as if time moves at an incredibly quick pace. Maybe it’s just me. Anyway, as you may remember, last week my friend Shannon of Shannanigans and I shared our idea of Put a Cloche on It (which may or may not have resulted from a few too many […]




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You may recall that back in October I mentioned I was working with Home Depot on some holiday projects this year. After being inspired by The Home Depot Fall Style Guide, and actually having time to visit one of their stores, I had a chance to create some holiday magic.


You also may remember my cloche / glitter house / bottle brush village that I showed you last week. Well, I finally got lights, and as promised, here’s what it looks like now.



Even cuter, right?

As I mentioned, I had a bunch of the bottle brush trees from last year, but I picked up a pack of these amazing dark green ones this year. 



There had to be at least 20 in the pack. Of course, I found them at The Home Depot. They are actually the little trees you use for Christmas villages.



But, I think they look perfect in my display.


So, with lights and trees, I’m declaring that project complete! 


The Home Depot Fall Style Guide also inspired me to get some paperwhite and amaryllis bulbs. 



I realize I planted these a little later than I should have, but there is nothing wrong with enjoying some beautiful blooms in January, right?



I really like these kits. They come with the pot, the bulbs, and even the planting medium! Amazing.



After spending some time planting, I’m looking forward to seeing them bloom. Then, I can really have some fun decorating with them. 



Maybe something like this?


I could even whip up a beautiful arrangement similar to this. The possibilities are endless! 


Image via Better Homes and Gardens

I could even whip up a beautiful arrangement like this. The possibilities are endless! 


Image via Better Homes and Gardens

It’s now safe to say I’m almost finished with my holiday decorating. I mean, we only have a little over a week until Christmas. Can you believe it? If you are still in need of more ideas, The Home Depot Style Guides are sure to give you a dose of seasonal inspiration and know-how. Check out the best projects, trends, and colors year round. 



In case you missed it, be sure to take a look at my wreath that was inspired by the Fall Style Guide! You can find many more wreaths in The Home Depot Fall Style Guide.


What fun and festive projects are you working on? 

Download the latest Style Guide to enter your best Holiday Décor for the chance to win a $1,000 GC to The Home Depot.


Happy decorating!! 



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The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Fall Style Guide Blog Network. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

You may recall that back in October I mentioned I was working with Home Depot on some holiday projects this year. After being inspired by The Home Depot Fall Style Guide, and actually having time to visit one of their stores, I had a chance to create some holiday magic. You also may remember my cloche / glitter house / bottle brush village that I showed you last week. […]




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Have no fear! The Link Party for the 12 Days of Christmas can be found here!

Well folks, it’s been a long time coming, but it’s here. Your patience has paid off. I’ve teamed up with my BFF, Shannon of Shannanigans, to bring you Put a Cloche on It! #PACOI


Both Shannon and I are super in love with cloches. We have come to realize and value their amazing powers to transform everyday (and often boring) items into beautiful centerpieces for your home. So this holiday season, if you are in a decorating rut, we want to empower you to Put a Cloche on It!! Hashtag PACOI! 

Like me, you probably want to see some pictures that illustrate the decorating power of a cloche. Well, you are in luck. Both Shannon and I have several inspiring images to get your creative juices flowing! (Click here to see Shannon’s cloche creations!


First things first, let’s say you are just finishing up your morning coffee and you see a family member or friend pull into your driveway, but you haven’t had a chance to clean up your mess.


Not to worry, just Put a Cloche on It!


Fabulous, right? You don’t need to clean up when you can just make your “garbage” look like a masterpiece. 



Add a sprig of pine, and you have a delightful holiday centerpiece.


Still not convinced? Is your Uncle Sam coming over for the holidays? You know, the one who is allergic to cats? Well, no need to put your cats in the basement this year, just Put a Cloche on It! 


Trust me, your Uncle Sam will be so distracted by your beautiful cloches, he won’t even notice the cats. 

(No cats were harmed in the making of this post. After I took a quick picture with my phone, they fell right back asleep. As most of you know, I absolutely love my kitties.)


Okay, okay … I’m obviously kidding here. You have to have a little fun every once in a while. In all seriousness, I love a good cloche. In fact, I have several around my house and they are always coming in handy. They really do an amazing job of making something simple, or even cheap, look really intentional, important, and special. 

Now, I am going share with you four fabulous (and serious) ideas for cloches. You ready?


First, take this little display in my bedroom. Perfectly cute the way it is. (In case you’re interested, the trees and squirrel are from Target.)


But, put a little cloche over the squirrel and tie on a dried apple slice, and now you have something unique. It’s all in the details.


Here’s another example. Take this quick display I put together on my new shelves. Perfectly delightful and sweet, right? 



Put a Cloche on It, and you have a more dramatic look. 


The small tin snowflake tied on the side turns a simple cloche into a fun, snow globe-inspired display.


As you know from my Christmas tree, I love glass ornaments. This next Put a Cloche on It idea embraces my obsession. 



This one is super simple, and one of my favorites. Just fill a large cloche with ornaments; then carefully flip it over and set it on a table.

Ta-da! Pretty spectacular, right? 



I just love this look. My only warning: make sure it is out of reach of small children (and family members who’ve imbibed too much).



 The last thing you want is someone picking up the clocheand having ornaments all over the place.


Last but not least, this is another of my favorites. Do you ever get a holiday card that is just out of the ordinary? Instead of putting it in a pile with the rest, you want a way to showcase it so that all of your guests can enjoy it. Put a Cloche on It! 


This card was made for me last year by my real-life BFF, Krista. I’ve talked about her before.



She spends hours creating all of her holiday cards. Not only are they adorable, but they are meaningful. I couldn’t think of a better thing to put under a cloche.



So that’s it! Four ways to Put a Cloche on It! this holiday season. You can also check out my little Christmas village where I used some of the biggest cloches ever! 



Talk about fabulous.


Be sure to visit Shannanigans for more fabulous Put a Cloche on It! decorating ideas!


Now it’s your turn. Shannon and I are challenging you to Put a Cloche on It! Join us back here Tuesday, December 18 for the first ever Put a Cloche on It! Link Party! We want to see how you are using cloches in your home. So have some fun! Whether it’s a wacky (or not-so-serious) idea like putting a cloche on your coffee garbage or something more beautiful like filling one with glass ornaments, we want to see it! Don’t forget your hashtag, #PACOI 


Get out there and Put a Cloche on It! 



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Have no fear! The Link Party for the 12 Days of Christmas can be found here! Well folks, it’s been a long time coming, but it’s here. Your patience has paid off. I’ve teamed up with my BFF, Shannon of Shannanigans, to bring you Put a Cloche on It! #PACOI Both Shannon and I are super in love with cloches. We […]




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Well folks! The time has come. Today’s post officially wraps up the 12 Days of Christmas. Have no fear though, we saved the best for last. 


First, I want to announce some winners! Over the course of the 12 Days, I hosted three giveaways here on IBC. Thank you to everyone who entered. 


All 12 winners will be receiving emails today or tomorrow with more information. So stay on the look out. Of course, you are welcome to check out the other blogs to see if your name has popped up on any of their lists.


Winners’ names will appear in the Rafflecopter widgets below. Again, please give the widgets a few seconds to load.


Giveaway Winner:12 Days of Christmas, Day 1 // Festive Shelves

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Giveaway Winner: 12 Days of Christmas, Day 8 // Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway Winners: 12 Days of Christmas, Day 12 // Instamas Tree

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


A big congratulations to the winners here on IBC!!! (As soon as I have your address, your gift will go out in the mail. Hopefully, you’ll have it before Christmas.)

As I mentioned above, we decided to save the best for last! 

It’s your turn to show us your Christmas cheer! 


You will notice there are five fabulous Link Parties. I have linked all of them below so that you can easily find the appropriate one to link up to.


KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm – Christmas Recipes 

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic – Christmas Crafts 

Marianne of Songbird – Outdoor Christmas Decor

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors- Christmas Junk Decor

Michael of Inspired by Charm (You’re here!)


My party is about quick-and-easy Christmas decor. Whether you are using what you have to create a totally unique tree,…



simply clipping pictures on a tinsel tree, or …



putting together an impromptu shelf display, …



it’s the little touches and details that make your holiday decorating special. Re-imagine what you have, use what you love, and you will have a perfectly decorated home for the holidays.


So bring it on! Let’s see your holiday magic! Please note, that by linking up to this party, there is a good chance we may be sharing your projects all over our social media pages (linking directly to your fabulous blog or website, of course). 


Ready, Set, SHARE!


Follow along on Pinterest!



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Well folks! The time has come. Today’s post officially wraps up the 12 Days of Christmas. Have no fear though, we saved the best for last.  First, I want to announce some winners! Over the course of the 12 Days, I hosted three giveaways here on IBC. Thank you to everyone who entered.  All 12 winners will be receiving emails […]




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Well, this is it! The final day of the 12 Days of Christmas! Can you even believe it? You know what this means – we are only 13 days away from Christmas. And I still have more shopping, baking, and decorating to do. The stress level is rising.

I’m not sure whether to be annoyed or excited (I’m choosing the latter.), but yesterday the FedEx man delivered what I needed to finish the tinsel tree that was in Tuesday’s post. Yes, ideally it would have been better to do this reveal all at once, but that’s how these things go. Hopefully, this tree will make a lot more sense now.

I’m officially naming it my Instamas Tree. Instagram Christmas. Get it? 

My obsession with Instagam is now officially out of control. 

But you have to admit, it’s pretty awesome, right?

So I had this idea to make ornaments out of my Instagram photos. During my research, I found this great company called Printstagram (also known as Social Print Studio) that I used to print my pictures. I opted for the 2.5 inch square prints based on the size of my tree. The quality is amazing. Seriously.

I also had a bunch of these little clips lying around. So instead of getting into some crazy, ornament craft project, which I clearly don’t have time for, I decided to keep things simple. Here’s how this came together.

Pick two photos.

Place them back to back.

Clip them on the tree.

That’s it.

I told you. Super simple.

Now, not only do I have a pretty snazzy tree, but I have a collection of beautiful memories from this past year as well

There is Grammy Barb and a brother in an elf hat.

A few friends and the world’s best ice cream cone.

You may even find Leslie Knope and a worm. 

Kisses from my niece. Even Santa makes an appearance.

Not only was this the easiest Christmas project I’ve done all year, but it was also the most meaningful, and thus my favorite. After all, this is part of what this season is all about. Friends, family, special memories, and a whole lot of love. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

What do you think of my Instamas Tree?

I also have the pleasure of hosting the final giveaway for the 12 Days of Christmas. 

Now, I know some of you were disappointed that the first giveaway I hosted was a surprise gift. Let me apologize in advance because I’m doing it again. So, for those of you who are interested in having a fabulous surprise gift packed and shipped from my home to yours, please use the  Rafflecopter Widget below to enter. I promise you won’t be disappointed. 


Please answer the following question: What is the most meaningful part of Christmas for you?

Additional / bonus entries are available for following each 12 Days of Christmas blogger on Twitter. That’s right, you can enter this giveaway SIX times! 

The Rafflecopter Widget will appear below this sentence. Please give it a few seconds to load. Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, everyone!

I also want to extend a ginormous thank you to the five extremely talented ladies I’ve worked with to put together this 12 Days of Christmas event. Their talents and posts this past week (and always) blew me out of my Christmas stockings. They are truly some of the most creative women I know. It’s a privilege to be able to work with them! Thank you so much, Donna, KariAnne, Marianne, Whitney, and Ashley!!

Thanks to all of you for following along. I hope you picked up a few ideas and are feeling just a little more inspired! 

Don’t forget to join us all for our link up parties tomorrow! We are so excited to see (and share) what you all have been up to at your houses!

Well, this is it! The final day of the 12 Days of Christmas! Can you even believe it? You know what this means – we are only 13 days away from Christmas. And I still have more shopping, baking, and decorating to do. The stress level is rising. I’m not sure whether to be annoyed or excited (I’m choosing the latter.), but yesterday the FedEx man delivered what I needed […]




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Well folks, there are only two days left of this 12 Day celebration. Can you believe it? Don’t worry, though, I still have lots more Christmas cheer to share once this party ends.

 

 

Welcome to Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas!

 

 

As many of you know, my Gift Shoppe occupies what used to be the living room in my house. I haven’t had a room to just relax in, so this fall I created that space. What was once a bedroom is now my living room. I’ve painted the space and added shelves, but I’m still figuring out the exact look and style I want.

 

 

So, as I work though this design process (which is really on hold until after the holidays!), I decided to bring a bit of Christmas to my space.

 

 

I found this adorable silver tinsel tree on eBay and decked it out with some ornaments I picked up at Crate & Barrel. I actually have a really cute idea for this tree, but I’m waiting for a few supplies to arrive by mail. Hopefully, they will be here this week.

 

 

I also had several large mason-style jars that I filled with some ornaments that didn’t make it on my tree.

 

 

While Christmas shopping last week, I even purchased an orchid. I never had the right spot for one before, but I think the light and temperature in this room will be ideal. Fingers crossed.

 

 

I found a home for a few of the bottle brush trees that didn’t really fit with the look of my Christmas vignette. Perfect!

 

 

You probably noticed that I hung some cheap Roman shades. I still have no idea what I’m doing for window coverings / curtains, but the lack of blinds was driving me a little crazy. I also picked up another adorable chevron-inspired pillow at T.J. Maxx. Seriously, I have more pillows and lamps than I know what to do with.

 

 

So that’s it! A few little holiday touches and I’m ready to go. Who says you need to have a space fully decorated before adding some seasonal magic?

 

 

Do you have any spaces in your home that could use a touch of Christmas?

 

And remember, there is a giveaway every day!

Check out all five bloggers to see who’s giving away today’s Christmas gift.

 

Follow Along:

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 

Marianne of Songbird

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Michael of Inspired by Charm

 

Follow along on Pinterest!

 

 

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Well folks, there are only two days left of this 12 Day celebration. Can you believe it? Don’t worry, though, I still have lots more Christmas cheer to share once this party ends.     Welcome to Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas!     As many of you know, my Gift Shoppe occupies what used to be the living […]




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Have no fear! Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas can be found here!


I love getting ready and having friends and family over for the holidays. Well, as much as I hate to say this, I don’t think my dreams of a felty Christmas are going to come true this year. I had the best of intentions, but itís starting to become†very stressful, and when that happens, I know I need to cool it.

Has this ever happened to you? You got†a really great plan or idea, but you just couldn’t find the time, energy,for money to bring it to life. Such a bummer!

Regardless of how my tree turns out, I am seriously in love with so many ornaments on the market this year! Wow. While Iíve barely even scratched the surface, I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you today. Maybe they will inspire a new look for your tree or tie in with the look you already have going.

Take a gander at these wonderful ornaments.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Beautiful stuff, right? This seriously makes me want to have a tree in every room of my house.  I suspect that by the age of fifty, after going through several Christmas-tree phases, I most likely will. But thereís nothing wrong with that, is there?  As long as I donít end up on that hoarder show as the man with a hundred Christmas trees.

What do you like best about spending time with your family during the holidays? Curious minds want to know!


Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a $50 Starbucks gift card!

Rules:

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

Please, no duplicate comments.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. 

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. 

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.


The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 12/10/12 -12/16/12.

Visit the Starbucks brand page on BlogHer.com. 

You can read other bloggers posts and find more chances to win!


Have no fear! Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas can be found here! I love getting ready and having friends and family over for the holidays. Well, as much as I hate to say this, I don’t think my dreams of a felty Christmas are going to come true this year. I had the best of […]




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Welcome back! It’s Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Well folks, I have a little confession to make. Some of you may know this already, but I spent the last week in Atlanta, Georgia thanks to the wonderful folks at Ballard Designs and Buick. I just got back in the wee hours of Sunday morning after my car literally died in the final stretch. I also returned home to no Internet until 5 p.m. At this very moment I’m sitting in my dinning room next to my refrigerator, waiting for a work crew to replace my kitchen floor. While I am pee-my-pants excited about getting the new floor, I’m really regretting the timing. In an effort to “keep it real,” my point is that life is a bit messy right now. But to keep in the spirit of the 12 Days of Christmas, I decided to visit some projects of past Christmases. I know a number of you are new to IBC, so I’m hoping this will be new information to you.

Please pardon the photography. My skills have obviously improved a bit (as did my camera) since some of these photos were taken.

For those of you who have been with IBC for a while, thank you, and I hope you enjoy this little walk down memory lane with me!

A few years ago my gift shoppe had a peacock-inspired tree.

Yes, this is the same “loo-who”-inspired tree you saw in the shoppe this year.

I made the easiest fudge in the world.

Seriously, it only requires three ingredients and it is the creamiest fudge you will ever eat. Believe me.

You can take a look at my Christmas tree from years past.

As much as I still love this beauty, I’m so glad I mixed things up this year with my tree of a different color.

I obviously have an obsession with old glass Christmas balls as evident in this colorful centerpiece.


These are just some Goodwill candlesticks painted white with Christmas balls on top!


This was one of my favorite projects.

I also love my ribbon-embellished dining room wreath.

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

These cookies are a must-try when you are in the final hours of your holiday prep.


No one will ever know you used store bought cookie dough. I promise I won’t tell. Find the recipe here.

So that’s it! A little trip through Christmases past. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. And thank you so much for bearing with me today as I attempt to catch my breath.

I will fill you in on my Atlanta adventure next week. Lots of exciting news to share! Stay tuned.

And remember, there is a giveaway every day!

Check out all five bloggers to see who’s giving away today’s Christmas gift.

Follow Along:
KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm
Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 
Marianne of Songbird
Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Welcome back! It’s Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas. Well folks, I have a little confession to make. Some of you may know this already, but I spent the last week in Atlanta, Georgia thanks to the wonderful folks at Ballard Designs and Buick. I just got back in the wee hours of Sunday morning […]




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*Many apologies for the delay in today’s post. The internet in my area was down. Thanks for your patience.

Well, we just spent a couple days crafting and baking; now it’s time to show you a little holiday vignette I created in my upstairs hallway. How’s that sound?

Welcome to Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Last year I decided to start a bottle brush tree collection. They were popping up all over the Web, and I just had to have some.


Thankfully, at the end of the holiday season, I was able to find several amazing trees at a great price. I also came across a few of the vintage putz-inspired paper glitter houses. Clearly a match made in heaven.

Then, through one of the companies I order merchandise from for my shoppe, I found an incredible set of cloches. I mean, one is literally three-feet tall. I’m in love!

So I decided to combine all three of these amazing things into one purely magical holiday display.

Dreamy and beautiful with a dash of fun.

I topped everything off with this funky paper star from Ikea. It was too cute to pass up and it was a steal at about $10.

I ordered these tiny lights that I’m hoping to also incorporate into the display, but they have yet to arrive. If they work out, I’ll give you a little update.

So that’s it, a quick, simple, and festive vignette.

What do you think? Do you have any fun holiday collections?

And remember, there is a giveaway every day!

Check out all five bloggers to see who’s giving away today’s Christmas gift.

Follow Along:
KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm
Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 
Marianne of Songbird
Donna of Funky Junky Interiors
Michael of Inspired by Charm

*Many apologies for the delay in today’s post. The internet in my area was down. Thanks for your patience. Well, we just spent a couple days crafting and baking; now it’s time to show you a little holiday vignette I created in my upstairs hallway. How’s that sound? Welcome to Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas. Last […]




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Welcome back, everyone!! It’s Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas.


Yesterday I showed you how to make dried apples. We used those apples to make cute little wreaths and simple ornaments. Today we are making cinnamon applesauce ornaments!  



Although these ornaments aren’t for eating, they are as cute as a button and will make your entire house smell fabulous! 




Let’s get crafting!


Here’s what you’ll need:

2 cups applesauce

3 cups ground cinnamon (Buy it in large-size containers at a variety store. So much cheaper!)

Additional cinnamon is needed for rolling out the dough.


You’ll also need:

Cookie cutters

Small drinking / stirring straw

Baker’s twine or ribbon

Fine grit sandpaper 


Let’s get going.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine applesauce and cinnamon until a smooth ball of dough is formed. Using about half of the dough at a time, roll it out on a surface generously dusted with cinnamon. The dough will be sticky. If needed, add more cinnamon while rolling it out. 



Using cooking cutters, cut out shapes.



With a straw, make a hole at the top of each ornament. Place the ornament on a baking sheet. 



Bake for two hours. Turn ornaments halfway through the baking process for even drying. 



Cool ornaments on a wire rack. If necessary, use a fine grit sandpaper on the ornament edges to eliminate any imperfections. Insert baker’s twine or ribbon through hole. 


That’s it! It’s time to decorate.



I used my ornaments, along with dried apple slices from yesterday, to decorate some twigs. 



This makes the perfect festive display for a hall table or a dining room table or sideboard. So cute, right?


 I also hung some of my painted acorns on the tree for a splash of color. You can learn how to make those here.


Like the dried apple slices, these cinnamon applesauce ornaments make such a cute addition to any package you may be wrapping. 

You can literally tie them anywhere for an adorable (and great smelling) detail.



Now it’s time for another little surprise! Guess who is hosting today’s giveaway? Yes, I am!! 



Since so many of you loved it, I’ve decided to give away a 100-yard (yes, 100-yards) spool of burlap ribbon! Remember, I used it to decorate my tree? It’s also great for wrapping around presents, tucking into a garland, or handing wreaths. The possibilities are endless!


I’ll also be throwing some surprise gifts into the package! 

Use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter.

Answer the following question: What is your favorite thing to make/craft for Christmas?

Additional / bonus entries are available for following each 12 Days of Christmas blogger on Twitter. That’s right, you can enter this giveaway SIX times! 


The Rafflecopter Widget will appear below this sentence. Please give it a few seconds to load. Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good Luck!



Follow Along:

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm 

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 

Marianne of Songbird 

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Michael of Inspired by Charm 

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Welcome back, everyone!! It’s Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas. Yesterday I showed you how to make dried apples. We used those apples to make cute little wreaths and simple ornaments. Today we are making cinnamon applesauce ornaments!   Although these ornaments aren’t for eating, they are as cute as a button and will make your entire house smell fabulous!  […]




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Welcome back, everyone! Thank you again for all of your kind words about my Christmas Tree. I am loving it, too. I just want to sit in my dining room for hours and take it all in. 


Today is Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas, and I thought I’d share a craft from the past! I can remember when my mom would dry apple slices in our kitchen and make dried apple wreaths. Apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (Pun indented.) 


Below is my simplified version of a dried apple wreath. I’m also going to use some apple slices to make a few quick ornaments.Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to make cinnamon applesauce, and then, we can put it all together into a Scandinavian-inspired display. How’s that sound?

Let’s get crafting!


Here’s what you will need:

1 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons salt

8 Red Delicious apples 


embroidery hoop

hot glue gun and glue sticks


In a large bowl, mix together lemon juice and salt.



Slice apples about 1/4 inch thick. For a star shape, slice the apples horizontally. If you prefer a heart shape, slice them vertically.



Place the apple slices in lemon juice and salt mixture for about five minutes. Also preheat oven to 150 degrees F.



Remove the apple slices from the lemon juice and salt. Pat dry and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack or broiler pan rack.


Bake apple slices, keeping oven door slightly ajar (I used a wood spoon.), for 6-8 hours. – Apples should be dry to the touch. Turn apples every two hours to minimize curling.


Once the apple slices are dry, hot glue them onto an embroidery hoop.

That’s it! 



You can also tie a piece of baker’s twine to an apple slice to create an instant ornament! 


Other than the 6-8 hour drying process, this project couldn’t get much easier. I love a natural touch throughout the holidays and these apple slices are perfect. Not only do they make a great wreath or ornament, but they can also be used as vase filler, a place card holder, or a fun package topper! The possibilities are endless.


Here’s a little sneak peek at what we will tackle tomorrow.



Hope you are loving the 12 Days of Christmas. Have you been visiting the other bloggers? What are your favorite ideas so far?

And remember, there is a giveaway every day! 

Check out all five bloggers to see who’s giving away today’s Christmas gift.


Follow Along:

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm 

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 

Marianne of Songbird 

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Michael of Inspired by Charm 

Follow along on Pinterest!



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Welcome back, everyone! Thank you again for all of your kind words about my Christmas Tree. I am loving it, too. I just want to sit in my dining room for hours and take it all in.  Today is Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas, and I thought I’d share a craft from the past! I can remember when my mom would […]




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It’s Day 6, and we are halfway through the 12 Days of Christmas! Can you believe it!?

I am thrilled you are loving the beginning of my new tree. I’m so pleased with the way it turned out and I’ve really been looking forward to sharing it with all of you! Are you ready for the big reveal!?



Tada! I’m calling it my tree of a different color. 

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to change the look of my tree this year, but didn’t have the time or money to spend creating or buying something completely new. What I did have were hundreds of vintage glass ornaments in various colors and a spool of burlap ribbon. 



I knew I was short on certain colors like purple and green, so I picked up a few boxes of new glass ornaments from a local Christmas shop.




Other than that, this tree came together with everything I had on hand! Don’t you just love that?


The tree skirt is actually a tablecloth. You may remember seeing it in earlier photos on IBC.



For a fun topper, I just tucked in some glittery picks with a bunch of different sized orbs that I picked up at the craft store a few years ago. 

I set the color order so that the yellow/gold would be at the top to perfectly blend in the picks. 


Using the burlap ribbon was a bit risky for this particular look, but I love it! It adds a touch of rustic texture that is so important to me. In the end, I think it was a perfect choice.



So that’s it!  


After spending only $20 and using what I had on hand, I have a fabulous new Christmas tree! 


I can’t wait to hear what you think of my Tree of a Different Color! 



And remember, there is a giveaway every day! 

Check out all five bloggers to see who’s giving away today’s Christmas gift.


Follow Along:

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm 

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 

Marianne of Songbird 

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Michael of Inspired by Charm 

Follow along on Pinterest!



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I’m linking up to the fabulous Kim of Newly Woodwards! 

It’s Day 6, and we are halfway through the 12 Days of Christmas! Can you believe it!? I am thrilled you are loving the beginning of my new tree. I’m so pleased with the way it turned out and I’ve really been looking forward to sharing it with all of you! Are you ready for the big reveal!? Tada! I’m calling it my tree […]




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Day 5 is here! Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas!



Several weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to change up my tree this year. I was inspired by some amazing felt ornaments I’d found via Etsy. The goal was to get a huge collection of felt ornamentsand a real tree for a completely different look. Well, that plan didn’t materialize. Time wasn’t on my side and neither was my wallet.

So I decided to use what I had (with a few additional ornaments) to create a completely new look.

Today I’m going to tease you a little bit and show you the beginning of my process and then tomorrow I will reveal the full tree.


If you want to take a look at my tree from last year (and the year before that), you can see it here.


First things first, the tree. I found this bad boy about eight years ago at Target. I love these slim trees, though this one is showing a few signs of age. Last year I had to cut off the prestrung lights. Talk about a nightmare! I don’t think I’ll ever buy a prelit tree again. Also, a few branches are just barely hanging on.

Anyway, after the tree was up and fluffed, I decked it out in some classic white lights. I also put on a strand of rice (really tiny) lights in an orange color. I love a tree with just a little bit of twinkle.

Ribbon on a tree is another must for me. It really fills things in, helps to hide the light wires, and totally finishes things off.

To give a little nod to my rustic side, I’m using this burlap ribbon. I love this stuff!  


I simply move around the tree, tucking the ribbon into the tree at various spots. I try to keep the rows of ribbon on a slight diagonal to prevent having horizontal stripes across the tree.


Pretty on its own, right?


So, this is where I’m going to leave you for now. Tomorrow I will add the ornaments, the topper, and my tree skirt (which is actually just a tablecloth). Spoiler alert!


Here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come.

Stay tuned! 

What’s your tree look like this year? Do you wrap your tree in ribbon?


And remember, there is a giveaway every day! 

Check out all five bloggers to see who’s giving away today’s Christmas gift.


Follow Along:

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm 

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 

Marianne of Songbird 

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Michael of Inspired by Charm 

Follow along on Pinterest!


Day 5 is here! Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas! Several weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to change up my tree this year. I was inspired by some amazing felt ornaments I’d found via Etsy. The goal was to get a huge collection of felt ornamentsand a real tree for a completely different look. Well, that plan didn’t materialize. Time wasn’t on […]




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It’s Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas! What do you think of things so far? Have you been able to find all of the daily giveaways? You can enter all of them throughout the 12 Days, so don’t worry. There is still time.


Since this week is all about Christmas, it would be kind of silly of me not to show you what’s on my front door, right? This is the same wreath I had last year, but since the holidays pretty much consumed me last year, I never got a chance to show you.



Here she is!


A couple summers ago I found these adorable antique wood skis, but I just couldn’t figure out how or where to use them. 


Actually, I think I had too many ideas on how to use them, so I never did. Does that ever happen to anyone else? 


Anyway, I attached them to a plain fake pine wreath, added a couple fun accessories tied on a pretty bow, and I was set to go! 

The bow matches one on an antique wood sled to the right of the door. 


Here’s the thing, my porch decorations are outdoorsy and minimal for two reasons. First of all, my house is pretty close to the road so things get dusty and dirty very quickly. This happens even faster in the winter when salt and cinder trucks are throwing their stuff everywhere. Secondly, though my porch has a roof on it, a lot of snow still accumulates on the porch. If there are a bunch of fancy decorations around, snow removal is almost impossible. 


As much as I would love to decorate my porch like they do in the magazines, it’s just not practical.


For sanity’s sake, I’ll stick with my beautiful wreath and a couple trees and call it a day.


What do you think of my ski-inspired wreath? What’s hanging on your front door?

Follow Along:

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm 

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 

Marianne of Songbird 

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Michael of Inspired by Charm 

Follow along on Pinterest!


It’s Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas! What do you think of things so far? Have you been able to find all of the daily giveaways? You can enter all of them throughout the 12 Days, so don’t worry. There is still time. Since this week is all about Christmas, it would be kind of silly of […]




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On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: three French hens, two shopping guides, and a really cute holiday card.


That’s the way the song goes, right? If not, let’s just pretend.


Now, I know Christmas isn’t about the presents, but I have a confession to make. I love giving (and receiving) presents. Shopping for, wrapping, and giving gifts is actually one of my  hobbies. I genuinely enjoy it. 


This year I had the opportunity to put together two fabulous gift guides for my friends at Better Homes and Gardens and for the creative minds at Uncommon Goods. Putting a shopping guide together is an especially fun thing to do! It’s like being able to shop without actually having to spend money. Too bad I don’t get all of my selections delivered to my door! 


My BHG shopping guide was inspired by the color red. Because, when I think of the holidays, red is the color that comes to mind.. From the jolly man’s suit to cranberry sauce and a famous reindeer’s nose, red signifies a season of cheer and pure merriment. Inspired by this color, I chose this fantastic collection to help you decorate, bake, and celebrate this festive season. 



Click here to check out the full collection.


On the other hand, my guide for Uncommon Goods was inspired by my inner entertainer. I love a good party. From the food and drinks to the special memories with family and friends, nothing beats a fun night at home. This collection is all about keeping the “entertain” in entertaining. These unique accessories are sure to add a touch of whimsy to your home and leave your guests smiling all evening long. 

Click hereto see the entire collection.


And last but not least, my Christmas card. If you follow Broadway+Thresher’s Blog, you probably already know this, but my dear friend Rachel of Funnelcloud has me swooning again! Rachel has created one of the most memorable and unique cards I have ever seen – “Octopus and Candy Canes.”



I know many of you Christmas-tradition lovers might not be fans of this, but I am head-over-tenticals in love. Lots of people send cards with a tree, Santa, or a few reindeer – very few folks send holiday greetings with an octopus. I love these cards so much that I have already placed my order. 

What do you love more, giving or receiving? 
What do your holiday cards look like this year?


And remember, there is a giveaway everyday! 

Check out all five bloggers to see who’s giving away today’s Christmas gift.


Follow Along:

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm 

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 

Marianne of Songbird 

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Michael of Inspired by Charm 

Follow along on Pinterest!


On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: three French hens, two shopping guides, and a really cute holiday card. That’s the way the song goes, right? If not, let’s just pretend. Now, I know Christmas isn’t about the presents, but I have a confession to make. I love giving (and receiving) presents. Shopping for, wrapping, and giving gifts is actually one […]




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Welcome back to Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas! 

Any fun ideas or projects you are loving from all of the bloggers? I know I have a few favorites already.

Yesterday I showed you my dining room display with those fabulous burlap trees. 


Today, as promised, I’m going to teach you how to make them! 

Here’s what you’ll need:


burlap – in varying colors (about 2.5 yards per tree or wreath)

12-inch Styrofoam wreath form or 12-inch tall Styrofoam cone form

straight pins (200 – 300)

scissors

cardstock

tacky glue

pencil


Let’s start by creating a tree: 


Cut a small piece of burlap large enough to cover a Styrofoam cone. Apply glue to the burlap and wrap it around the form. 

Use straight pins to help secure the burlap while the glue dries. Trim offany excess burlap, including the top and bottom. Using more pins, secure the burlap to the top and bottom and cover all surfaces.



Next, you will need to cut burlap circles to create the tree. First, make templates by drawing two circles on cardstock. One should be three inches in diameter, the other two and a half inches. 


Using your circle templates, cut circles from the burlap. I found it easiest to first cut strips of burlap and then cut the strips into squares. You can easily cut through three or four layers of burlap when cutting out circles. 


Once all circles are cut, it’s time to apply them to your burlap covered cone. (I’m using an uncovered cone for demonstration purposes.)


Beginning with your three-inch circles, fold the circles in half twice to form quarter circles. Insert a pin near the bottom corner, about 1/8 inch from the point. 


Attach the quarter circles to the cone,starting from the bottom. Keep the open ends of the quarter to the right and work clockwise around the cone. 

Once one row is complete, start the next row about a half inch higher than the previous. Position the first quarter circle of the new row in between two from the previous row. This will give you a more variegated look.

Continue working up the cone until about 75 percent of it is covered.


 At this point you’ll want to switch to smaller circles. This will create less volume toward the top. Continue adding rows.


Before placing the last row on your tree, you’ll want to create the top point. To do this, simply fold one three-inch circle in half and roll it into a cone shape. With the point facing upwards, pin the opening to the top of the tree.


For the final row of the tree, you’ll want to hide the top of the pin. To do this, you’ll insert your pin under the first layer of burlap in your quarter circle.

Once secure, place a small amount of tacky glue under the top layer. 


Then, place another straight pin through the top layer securing it temporarily until the glue is set. Once dry, carefully remove the straight pin. 


That’s it! Now find the perfect spot in your home and display the tree with pride. 


Now, let’s create a wreath to go with your new tree.

As with the tree, the process begins by cutting circles from burlap. See the instructions above. You will just need three-inch circles this time.


Once all of the circles are cut, it’s time to apply them to your wreath form. Fold the circles in half twice to form quarter circles. 


Insert a pin near the bottom corner, about 1/8 inch from the point, then attach to your wreath form. Continue adding folded circles in a random pattern. 


They should be pinned close enough so that no Styrofoam can be seen. The tightness, or lack thereof, will create different looks for your wreath. Adjust until you are satisfied with the look.


Feel free to get creative by adding stripes or other patterns to your wreath. When adding stripes, I found it easiest to work in a straight line and then fill in as needed.


This process will take some time, but continue adding circles until you’ve completely filled the wreath. When finished, you can pin a piece of twine or ribbon to the back of the wreath to create a hanger. 

That’s it! Your wreath is ready for hanging. 


As I said yesterday, the burlap trees (and wreath) are pretty time consuming, but really easy to put together. I know you are going to love them! 


Have fun playing with different patterns and colors. I can’t wait to see your creations!


And remember, there is another giveaway today! Click on over to the other blogs to see who’s giving away a special gift.

Follow Along:

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm 

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 

Marianne of Songbird 

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Michael of Inspired by Charm 



See you back here for Day 3!

Follow along on Pinterest!


Welcome back to Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas!  Any fun ideas or projects you are loving from all of the bloggers? I know I have a few favorites already. Yesterday I showed you my dining room display with those fabulous burlap trees.  Today, as promised, I’m going to teach you how to […]




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Welcome Back! Guess what today is…


How excited are you? 

Today I thought I’d share my dining room shelves all done up for Christmas. You may remember my summer and fall displays. This is the first year I’ve had these shelves and I was excitedabout decorating them for the holidays. 



I had a few friends over on Thanksgiving Eve so the shelves’ new look came together quickly and without too much thought. 



It was a bit of impromptu decorating, but I liked it so much that I decided to keep it. Perfect!


I found the nutcrackers at T.J. Maxx and Target. 


The white lace pattern votives were a steal at Ikea. I think they were around $3 each. With a little tea light, they look like a million bucks! 

Everything else I had on hand, including the green vases that were in my Ode to Oz display.  I picked them up for a few dollars this fall at Goodwill. 


The little felt deer are from my shoppe as are the white vases. (Yes, having a gift shoppe in your house has some benefits.)



The real centerpiece of this display, however, are my burlap trees. I made them last year for FOLK magazine. Remember? They are probably one of my favorite Christmas decorations.

They are not for sale, but I will teach you how to make them tomorrow here on the blog. Is that fair? Although they are pretty easy to make, they are a bit time intensive. If I remember correctly, I watched both seasons of Pushing Daises (great show by the way) as I put them together.



Anyway, that’s my Christmas dining room shelf display! What do you think?

Now it’s time for a little surprise! Guess who is hosting today’s giveaway? Me!! This is a fabulous and surprise holiday gift from my house to yours. It just may be something in the pictures above, but I can’t tell. It’s a secret!

Use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter.

Answer the following question: What is your favorite space to decorate for Christmas?
Additional / Bonus entries are available for following each of us on Twitter. That’s right, you can enter this giveaway SIX times!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!


Don’t forget to see what all of the other bloggers are up to! 


KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm 

Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic 

Marianne of Songbird 

Donna of Funky Junky Interiors

Michael of Inspired by Charm (that’s me!)


Have a great Saturday, and I’ll meet you back here tomorrow!


Welcome Back! Guess what today is… How excited are you?  Today I thought I’d share my dining room shelves all done up for Christmas. You may remember my summer and fall displays. This is the first year I’ve had these shelves and I was excitedabout decorating them for the holidays.  I had a few friends over on Thanksgiving Eve so the shelves’ new look came together quickly and […]




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