Christmas Tour 2015

Merry Christmas, everyone! Welcome to my lovely Christmas house. :-) I’ve had a lot of fun decorating this year, and hosting little gatherings with friends. Christmas is a wonderful time to get together with friends and share my pretty decor and delicious baked goods. (Cookies and fudge, anyone?! Would you like a warm cup of tea with that too?) Anyway, I wasn’t going to post a Christmas tour this year… BUT then I got Matt on board to buy a bigger tree (!!!), so I figured it would be fun to share the changes here too!2015_ChristmasLivingRm

2015_Tree_lightsI had a hard time convincing Matt that we needed a bigger tree. The big ones easily run between $600-$1000 if you want a pre-lit tree… and it was hard to justify the “need” for that cost. Then it dawned on me that people MUST have big trees they want to sell. So I checked craigslist and we landed a pre-lit, 9′ tree for under $100. Matt did spend some hours replacing bad bulbs, but to him it was worth it since the tree was so affordable. He was very patient and went limb by limb to replace the bad lights. (Thanks, Matt!) And now I have a 9′ tree in my big living room and I’m so pleased! Happy Christmas to me!


2015_ChristmasVintageOrnamentOur little tree fits nearly perfectly in the music room/library (a.k.a. the Jane Austen Room!) and it is SO PRETTY in there. The tree sits between the chairs, in front of the window. It can be seen from the street and I just love it. I selected “vintage” looking ornaments from our large ornament collection, as well as music themed ornaments for this tree. We just inherited some beautiful old ornaments from Matt’s grandmother, and they are perfect on this tree. I was short on garland since the big tree needed all of what I had, but I found a large spool of ribbon from my Grandma’s collection and used that instead. I love it. I topped the tree with a folded paper star from Target (and it was only $3.00!). The whole tree is just perfect!


I added some garland to the window in my kitchen. On it I hung food related ornaments, and I think it’s adorable. (It also makes me realize that perhaps it’s time to get serious about hanging some kind of window covering in that window..!)


I have a few fun little spots around the house too. Here are a few I love.





 Oh, and my cats are cute.




Merry Christmas! :-)

Outdoor Living ~ Part 2


We have been very busy this summer improving our living spaces outside our home. Outdoor Living ~ Part 1 was about our front yard and front porch, and as promised, here is Part 2 ~ all about our back yard improvements!


The first change we made was planting two new trees. We had some great big pine trees already, but I wanted some pretty flowering trees too, and more privacy, so we planted two crab-apple trees that will flower in the spring. One will have white flowers and the other will have pink flowers! I can’t wait to see their pretty flowers next year.



Some small, but cute additions to our back yard this year are a garden spinner and a literary sign post. I gave Matt the spinner for his birthday — it’s fun to watch! And we made the literary sign post. So cute!


Deck & Pergola

DeckProgressCollageThe biggest update in our back yard is our deck & pergola! When we bought the house, it had a tiny concrete patio. It was hardly large enough for our tiny bistro table and chairs and grill. Pathetic. So we talked with my dad and planned a deck and pergola! I collected some ideas on pinterest and showed all of my dreamy spaces to Matt and Dad. There were two I especially loved: this one has a great deck, pergola & fun lighting, and this one has a pergola with a separate fire area. (This year we did the deck & pergola. Another year we’ll do something about the fire area!)

Once we had our plans and our building permit, my dad and my brother Kristofer planned a trip out here to help Matt build the deck & pergola. They were hard, hard workers and nearly finished it in only 4 days of work! My guys are awesome!

A few notes on our deck & pergola construction:

  • We used composite decking and tried to closely match it to the red-tinted treated lumber that we used for the pergola. I think we did a pretty good job!
  • We used hidden fasteners with the composite decking, and it looks amazing! There are no exposed nails or screws, so we can happily walk around out there barefoot or in socks and not catch on anything! The thing we didn’t know about the hidden fasteners was that they are tedious to use… it took the guys longer to put down the decking than they were used to with regular wood.

After the pergola was built, we arranged the furniture, Matt hung up our fairy lights and Kristofer hung up a couple of hanging flower pots too! Those final touches really make the space. It is so cute!

I love that our deck has plenty of room for lots of seating! I searched and searched for the perfect furniture too — our dining set is from Ace Hardware. The bistro set is from American Furniture Warehouse and we’ve had it since we bought our first house.


The finished product is so beautiful and even better than I’d imagined. I just love it.

Sometime in the future we’ll work on a walking path, a fire pit, planting more flowers and maybe even a vegetable garden… but for now, we’ll sit back on our new deck and enjoy the shade. :-)

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Dad, Kristofer, and Matt for working so hard to build such a wonderful outdoor space for us to enjoy.

Outdoor Living ~ Part 1

2015 Front Yard -

I am sure it will come as a shock to no one that I have grand plans for our yard. But since we cannot possibly do all of my projects at once (I have projects in mind for inside the house too, of course!), we have to pick and choose what to work on. This spring and summer we are focusing on our outdoor living spaces! First space completed: the front of our house!  Our front yard, porch and door have all received a few updates this spring and summer! :-)

First, we painted our front door — inside and out! It used to be white and boring and now it is red on the outside and green on the inside, and I love it. According to a little book I have, Fortune-Telling Book of Colors (Chronicle Books LLC, 2014), a red front door means, “Your home is filled with love, and you welcome visitors with open arms. A red door is also believed to draw prosperity into a house.” That all sounds good to me! But they forgot to mention that it’s adorable too.

2015 Front Door -

Next, we planted a new tree in the lonely circle in the middle of the front yard. Turns out the previous owners left an old stump there and just planted grass over it… so first Matt had to dig out the stump. This was a lot of work, but he finally beat the stump and on the fourth of July we cooked hot dogs and s’mores over it. Take that, stump! And our new tree is so nice and has already grown a lot.

2015 Front yard tree -

And last, but not least, our front porch is (finally) decorated! Last year it sat looking sad and lonely, and we never used it.

Lonely front porch

This summer I gave the porch some love! Now it’s so cute and we have been using it a lot. We like to sit out on the porch and have a drink or eat dessert, relax and talk, wave to and chat with the neighbors, and I’ve even watched a few rain storms from there too! It’s covered and mostly protected from the elements, so it’s perfect for storm watching.

Front Porch 2015 -


  • Swingasan chair from Pier 1 (I call it the “basket swing”) with a red cushion from Target. This chair is apparently an object of envy — I’ve had at least 4 neighbors comment on it!
    swingasan -
  • Rocking chair from Target with a floral pillow from Lowe’s
    Front porch rocking chair -
  • Red garden stool from Home Goods (Seriously, those things are SO expensive. If you want one, check your local Home Goods or a similar store. The prices there are much better!)
  • Flower pots and flowers (we have problems remembering to water them though..!)

2015 Front Porch 2 -

So that’s the front of our house this year! I’m very pleased with the changes. Thanks to my wonderful and (mostly) patient husband for all his hard work!

Update: Check out my post Outdoor Living ~ Part 2 too — we made some changes in our back yard as well!


Signs of Fall

2013 Leaves 1Fall is here! I love fall! It has nice weather, scarves and boots, pretty colors, my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the excitement that Christmas is right around the corner!

I was able to spend a little bit of fall this year in Michigan! Michigan has really pretty fall colors. I guess the colors peaked after I left, but I was able to see some pretty colors during my visit.

Back in Colorado things are pretty too! Our trees and mums are looking quite nice! Most of the colors around here are yellow, but occasionally you get lucky and spot a red or orange tree (we have a red tree at our house!).

2013 Leaves 3 2013 Leaves 4

The inside of my house is also looking nice! I have fall decorations out around the house – garland that Theo keeps chewing on, cute leaf and pumpkin bowls, candles, pillows, and a new fall sign! I was so pleased with my spring sign, that I made a fall one too.

Here is the fall sign on my mantel with my adorable fox from Pier 1!

Fall sign on mantel

Quick photo “instructions” (for better instructions, see my post on Signs of Spring):

Fall sign 1 Fall sign 2 Fall sign 4 Fall sign

Edit: a close up of the fox and the sign for my mom!

Fall sign with fox

Pillows, pillows, pillows!

Pillow CollageI love pillows and, well, let’s just say they’re not Matt’s favorite thing. So for several years, I’ve been ignoring pillows in stores and at my house – I mean, I had a few here and there… but nothing for the seasons (and I LOVE decorating for seasons and holidays) and my bed needed some serious attention… but I was letting it go. But over Christmas I fell in love with some pillows I found, and just had to do something about it. I mean, if they’re in the way on the couch, just put them on the floor – that’s ok with me, I can put them back! When the room is put together, pillows can make such a big difference in the look of a room, and after a few years of being pillow deprived, I was ready to make some statements with my pillows.  And Matt, in the end, hasn’t really complained after all. Maybe he’s just used to my decorating antics by now..? :)

And now, I must say a special thank you to my mother in law, Kristi, who has made me many pillow covers in the last few weeks. Thanks to pinterest, I had tons of ideas, and she has made all my pillow dreams come true! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You’re amazing!!

Tree Pillows

Tree pillow rectangleMy first pillow ideas were for some Christmas tree pillows I saw on pinterest that had been for sale on etsy. I showed it to my mother in law, who was so excited for a sewing project and was eager to get started. She had already made me some wonderful Christmas things, so we decided to have the trees made out of fabric that would match my existing tree skirts, wall hangings, and table runner! And they turned out beautifully!! I love them!

Tree pillow squareTree pillows on couch


Snowflake Pillows

Snowflake pillowMy next pinterest pillow find was a wonderful snowflake pillow (with a pattern!) from shelterness, and Kristi and I agreed I must have them to match my wonderful crocheted snowflake afghan I’d just completed! We picked out some blue fabric to match my blanket, and she got busy making the covers for me. They are perfect!

Snowflake pillows on couchThese pillows also inspired me to update the wall arrangement above my couch in my family room. I switched out our large picture of a beautiful and colorful sunset over Lake Michigan for a slightly smaller one of a sunset over a frozen Lake Michigan. The frozen lake goes so well with my snowflakes! And when spring arrives, I’ll put my other frame back up to bring the colors back!

 Bedroom Pillows

Bed PillowsBecause of Matt’s dislike of pillows, we never bought decorative pillows for our bed… until just recently. I would make our bed, and all we had were the pillow shams that matched our duvet cover. It was lonely. Our set has long been discontinued, so I had to find my own things to match. I searched all over town, and found the perfect pillows at Pier 1, where Bed Pillowthey even helped me match colors! I was so thrilled with what I found – especially because two of them happened to be on clearance and I had a coupon! What a deal! And now my bed is complete and I am happy. The one with the beading on it is so beautiful. Love it!

Valentine’s Day Pillows

String of hearts pillowOnce I got started finding pillow ideas, I just couldn’t stop… and since Kristi was happy to sew for me, I put in a request for some Valentine’s day pillows too! I found one idea on pinterest, and the other two from searching on google. Thanks to the following blogs and sites for their great ideas: A Crafty House, U create, and!

The string of hearts pillow is my favorite – it’s just so, so cute! But the heart and love pillows are also adorable – and the set of three just completed my Valentine’s day decorations perfectly!

Heart PillowLove Pillow

Valentine's Day Pillows on couchHeart Pillow in chair

Saint Patrick’s Day Pillow

Shamrock PillowThat’s right. I decorate for St. Patty’s day too – after all who doesn’t love green things, Irish music & dancing, Guinness, and delicious Irish food? So why not have some shamrocks and little leprechauns too? Anyway, I found this cute pillow on zazzle, and asked Kristi to reverse the colors to match my furniture better  and her version for me is perfect!

Bird Pillows

Bird Pillow on chairI love all little bird things… I just can’t resist them. So when I found some adorable bird pillows at Home Goods last month, I had to buy them! They are so cute! When winter is over and I put away my snowflakes, my bird pillows will come out to live with us for the spring and summer. I’m looking forward to their visit already! (also, note the different sunset photo in the picture below!)

Regular pillows on couch - family room

My regular living room pillows & my cat, Kiki

Regular pillows on couchThis is the way my living room couch usually looks – except now, these pillows have covers for several holidays! It’s so exciting!

I have been thinking about fall pillows and have some ideas in mind… but nothing definite yet. There are so many ideas out there! But luckily I have some time to think about it! And a wonderful and talented mother in law who’s happy to indulge in my pillow love. :)