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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Laura Lately - December Edition

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends.  I just got home from Michigan where I spent time with my mom's side of the family.  And turns out Santa was in the neighborhood and decided to stop by! He's so good to us and (most of) the kids were excited to see him as well.

With the new year approaching, that means this month is coming to an end and it's time for another Laura Lately.  It's a time that I share and reflect on the last month.  This one went fast!!! Can't believe we are days away from January and a new year.  

Lately I can't get enough of...


Can you believe it's kind of over?  Every year after Christmas I begin to  feel the post-Christmas blues set in... Especially when I have to start taking down Christmas decorations.  But I won't be doing that for a couple more weeks.  *Sigh* ... It always comes too soon. 

Lately I've been watching...

Every year I have a list of Christmas movies that I like to make time to watch... don't we all?  In particular: Muppet's A Christmas Carol, Little Women, Elf, The Santa Clause, and White Christmas.  I watched several of them the other week as I was decorating for and shooting our Christmas Home Tour.  It was glorious.   What's on your have-to-watch list?

Lately I've been shopping for...

Well, among all the christmas-y things... we are in a constant state of looking for furniture items.   Since we are gearing up to start on the nursery, there are some key items we are on the look out for.  Currently we use the nursery as our office/guest bedroom.  So we needed a new desk to move into our bedroom for Michael to use.  And by keeping an eye out on Craigslist, we found one that we think works perfectly!! Compact, attractive, and functional! I'll show you some other post.

Past that, we need to start looking for a crib, a changing table, a glider.... and then all the other baby related necessities that I know zero things about. 

Lately I've been munching on...

Oh my... Well 'tis the season for munching on countless good things!! There's so many yummy treats this time of year (you know who you are Eggnog!!) but there is one in particular I'd like to highlight.

We call it seafoam, crunchy candy on the inside, melt in your mouth chocolate on the outside.  I've also seen it called sponge candy, puff candy, or honeycomb candy.  It's been a family tradition for many years to indulge in seafoam at Christmas time.  We used to buy it from the South Bend Chocolate Company but the price just kept creeping up year after year... and we consume a lot!! So several years ago I was pinteresting and wondered if I would be able to find a recipe... and I did (we use this one)! So ever since then we make it a tradition to spend a couple nights in December making seafoam.  Yum!!

Lately I've been looking forward to...

Well, we're about a week away from the big day!! Next Monday we are finding out the gender of our little one (cross your fingers for no crossed legs!!) It's starting to feel real and I know it will feel even more real being able to refer to the baby as her or him.  I look forward to imagining and praying more specifically for who this one is and will be.

We have actually decided not to do a gender reveal party after much discussion and back and forth about it.  We were having too difficult of a time deciding where the line should be drawn on a guest list.  We wanted it to feel intimate and fun but couldn't help but keep expanding the guest list.  So in an attempt to simplify, we will just be creating a gender reveal picture to share.  And I will be sharing it with all of you in two know, as long as things go according to plan.  :-) 

Lately I've been thinking about... 

The thankfulness I feel for living close to family and friends.  Especially this time of year, I think we all love the idea of home.  Unfortunately for many, it can be easy to feel less than warm thoughts toward their own home and family... but everyone wants it.  Everyone wants to come to a place and be with people that feel safe and familiar.  To be loved regardless of mistakes or failings.  To be accepted and valued.  So I'm just thankful.  During a time that can be lonely for many, I'm thankful to have comfort in the company around me.

But beyond that, I started feeling like I do a very poor job of opening up my home to people who may be lonely or without family.  I very easily become selfish with my time with family and friends and don't look for opportunities to welcome others in to the warmth that I enjoy.  What would that look like, who would that look like?  I think it looks a little bit like this...

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’ Matthew 25: 35-40

I'm praying for a more hospitable heart and home for 2015.

Don't miss a beat.  
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Festive Bed & Bath

In case you missed it, last Wednesday I took ya'll through the main part of our home to share some of the Christmas decor as part of the Home for the Holidays Blog Hop. Click here for that post and links to the other 18 bloggers that joined in the festivities.

Today I plan to take you through our bedroom and bath that I have festively spruced.

Now compared to the rest of the house, I added some simple and understated additions that suggest the season but don't necessarily hit you in the face with it.  

Our bedroom is still fairly basic.  Curtains, bed, paint, furniture.  Not much in terms of accessorizing or artwork on the walls.  We're getting there.

But what I did do for Christmas was add a magnolia leaf garland to our headboard.

And the only other thing I added to the bedroom was this little gold christmasy vignette.
I got the mirror and tree at one of my favorite resale shops in town and the adorable little fawn from a garage sale this summer.  Isn't he just the sweetest little fawn..

Same kind of story in the bathroom.   Simple additions that suggest the season.

Here's what I did.

I had another garland of magnolia leaves so I just laid that across the bump out linen cabinet behind the tub. 

Years ago I bought this funky tree at a resale shop and I just felt like the soft colors go perfectly in the bathroom.

Other than that, I just added some pine cones and greenery to winterize the bathroom.

 And that's pretty much it!

Since this concludes the Christmas Home Tour,  I thought it would be fun to share what our home looked like a year ago just as we were getting ready to move in.

We've come a long way in a year!

It has been a fun, fun year of settling in.  For the six months after we bought our home, we had fun renovating and transforming this house from the outside in.  And in the last year, we have worked to make it feel like home.  We are far from done but that's OK with us! We love the journey!

Thanks for stopping in! I hope you all have a VERY Merry Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Home For the Holidays Tour

Hi everyone! Welcome to this here blog! If you are new here, thanks for stopping by! I hope you stay a while and click around.  If you like what you see.. let's be friends. Check me out on bloglovin, pinterest, or instagram

If you've been a frequent flyer here, you get 10,000 points for showin' up today.  That's just the kind of generous ship I run around here.  ;-) You're welcome!

Anywho... I know the real reason you came was to stalk through my home, checking out how I've decorated for Christmas.  So I'll leave you to that.

Let me start out by showing you my problem area.  The front porch is my biggest weakness.  Meaning, I don't know what to do with it.  And since we never enter our own home through the front door, it's out of sight, out of mind.  It gets pretty neglected.

I kept it pretty simple with a little greenery and a sweet little antique sled I have had for a couple years.

Our entryway has been pretty plain for a while... until now! It's been so fun to get it all dressed up for the holidays.  I found the mirror half off at Hobby Lobby and I made the swag from a couple picks I bought at Michael's.

I also set up our nativity scene on the entry table. I love the "Oh Holy Night" faux chalk piece next to it.  A friend gave it to me last year and I just love it. 

I kept the kitchen fairly simple - just a bit of greenery above the cabinets and something to dress up the island.

I found these pretty votives at TJMaxx that have a copper/mercury glass/frosted treatment on them and I couldn't say no.  In fact I said quite the opposite.  I said, "Yes! I'll take six!"

Then I set them on a piece of old pallet wood with a bit of greenery on it.

I'm. A. Big. Fan. 

Next, can I just say... I love our dining room.  It is one of my favorite places to decorate.

I decided to set the table for this little tour.  I probably should invite some people over so it doesn't go to waste.  Michael and I only eat at the dining table when we have guests.

This is how much I love Christmas: When we registered for dishes for our wedding, I chose these because I knew they would look great at Christmas time.  #christmasallthetime

For the centerpiece, I just wound some artificial garland that I had wrapped with silver ribbon around some candles and candle sticks.   I added in some red jingle bells and sparklies to make it pop.

The center is a cloche that I filled with some of my favorite ornaments.  I bought them at a garage sale a couple years ago.  Red ribbon to tie it all in. 

Last year I purchased these copper snowflakes at Crate and Barrel and just love them! I was having a hard time knowing what to do with them this year until I decided to attach them to the back of the end chairs.  I added some greenery behind it and secured it all with a straight pin.

And a special thanks goes to my mom who unknowingly donated all the real greenery.  I snuck over the other day and stole a bunch that had fallen from her trees.  Thanks mom!!  

Every year we get so many wonderful Christmas cards and I just LOVE it!! It always brightens my day when I get a new one in the mail.  So I rigged up some ribbon on the top of the beadboard trim and got out the clothes pins.

Finally, the living room.

I love that I was able to finally complete my vision of hanging lit garland above our openings. During the renovation we had decided to installed outlets up there for that very reason.  And it feels SO good to see that vision come to life!!

Also, I bought the garland last year after Christmas at Hobby Lobby FOR CHEAP!  It's just plain garland that I wrapped lights around and added some red sparkly picks to make them feel a little more substantial.  

I have decorated my tree the same way for years now.  I think this is the last year for the candy cane ribbon and bow.  It was fun while it lasted...

It seems like every year I have a new favorite ornament that I like to hang right in front.  This year it's this ornament.

After my grandma passed away last Thanksgiving, all the family members chose one of the ornaments from her tree.  She always had the most beautiful Christmas tree. This is the one that I chose, I just love it. And it will always make me think of her.

I'm also very attached to this one.  I found it hanging on our tree last year.  My Aunt and Uncle (remember Saint Steve!?) had snuck it on there when we weren't looking to commemorate moving into our first home.  :-)

I switched out my pillow covers for some of these H&M white and grey plaid ones.  They are so soft and a great price.  My reindeer pillow has been around a couple years.  I got it on sale after Christmas one year at Pier 1 and I am pretty sure I saw it for sale this year too.

And this red pillow is one of two that I have had for a while, I just have a cover over them when it is not Christmas time.  


And isn't this just the cutest Santa you have ever seen?! He's one of my all time favorite Christmas decorations that I have had since I was little.  He's a piggy bank but he's going to sit on my coffee table because I love him.  :-)

So this is where I was going to take you into the bedroom and show you what I did in there but I just feel like things have gotten a little long winded so I guess I'll stop here.  I will show ya'll the bedroom and bathroom decorations on Sunday... How's that sound?! Great! I'm glad we are in agreement.   You guys are the best!

Well thanks for stopping by!! PLEASE don't miss out on the other talented blogger on this blog hop! You've got to hop around and see what they've done.

You can't deny you don't love snooping into people's homes.  If you didn't, you wouldn't be here right now.  ;-) Gotcha!

Monday December 15th

Wednesday December 17th

Friday December 19th
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