Christmas Tour: Mantel

Back to the tour...

Can I just say, I love my mantel!?!  In the six years I've been fixing a mantlel, I finally got the look I've been striving for--natural and elegant.
 Is it bad that I actually bought those California pine cones?  We don't get those suckers here in the piney woods of East Texas.  I love them!
 After all these years, I still LOVE my simple red stockings.  I hope they are with us forever.
The verdict is still out about separating the stockings into groups of two.  I've never done that before, but I think I like it.
 {love} my basket of birch logs on the hearth
I'm on the hunt for a good fireplace set that is simple, discreet, and affordable.  Any suggestions?
I love this pine cone, cinnamon, and berry garland.
For other posts from the Tour, click HERE, HERE, and HERE.

A Few of My Favorite {Christmas} Things

I'm linking up to The Nesting Place for this post.

It's never crossed my mind to have a "Favorite Things Party".  It sounds wonderful, though. We are used to the traditional ornament exchange and the white elephant game, but a Favorite Things Party seems WAY more interesting.  I guess the gist is to bring an inexpensive item that would be considered one of your favorite things and share it with your guests.  I'm putting that on my list of party ideas...along with a Pinterest Party!

It was easy for me to think of a few of my favorite things because I narrowed the field to Christmas faves.  Here goes: Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittensBright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens/ Brown paper packages tied up with strings/ These are a few of my favorite things...couldn't resist.

First and foremost, my house wouldn't SCREAM Christmas without Aromatiques: The Smell of Christmas.  It's just a classic smell of cinnamon and clove and I. love. it.

Yes....pine cones are one of my favorite things.  I have them all over my house and I love the simplicity they bring.  I also have branches of green pine laying everywhere--natural and nice. {and an allergy attack in the making!}
It wouldn't be Christmas without The Rat Pack.  Before Pandora, before Spotify, even before iPods, I would blast this album on my good ole' CD player.

I guess any pepper jelly will do, but this stuff has a nice blend of sweet and spice.  I love it, but for some reason, I only enjoy it around Christmas.
I. Heart. World Market.  How bout you?  I. love these. candles. You?  Natural {looking} beauty!

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes/ Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes/ Silver white winters that melt into springs/ These are a few of my favorite things

By they way, this isn't my first rodeo.  I've posted a few or my  favorite things before HERE and HERE.


Christmas Tour: Main Tree

I told you the tour would continue.  And so it does...

For the past five years I have had a silver and red Christmas tree.  I didn't plan for that, it just kinda happened.  After years of the silver and red, I am ready to take the tree in a new direction, but I have so many ornaments in silver and red.  Plus, I really love all of my ornaments.  I have decided to add a rustic twist to my tree--partly because I like rustic stuff and partly because we live in the sticks!  It may take a few years to perfect it, but it'll get there.

This year, I added pine cones, sticks, and cinnamon sticks in with the silver and red for a more natural look.  Hopefully over time I can get the look I'm really wanting.  Next year, I plan on replacing the mesh with burlap.

Next up...THE MANTLE.

For other posts on the Christmas tour, click HERE and HERE.

Christmas Tour: Entryway

For the past several years, I have had a tree in my kitchen/entryway.  Most of the ornaments are baking related, but we also hang a few of our cutesy,  keepsake ornaments and a few special ornaments.
Graham's favorite Christmas book/movie is A Christmas Carol (with George C. Scott or Patrick Stewart).  He has a whole collection of ornaments related to the story.  Needless to say, The Ghost of Christmas Future is on the back of the tree.

Christmas Tour: AG's room

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart was the first year for AG to have her very own Christmas tree.  It is candy/cookie-themed, which is so adorable for a sweet little girl like Ava Grace. Agreed?

We begin with...
A Gumdrop Star
Lots of candies and cookies
...and even some ice cream

Each night, AG goes to bed with her Christmas tree lights on and her iPod touch playing Christmas tunes.  She and I are two peas in a pod!


What I'm Reading...

  compliments of The Village Church


***If you read the title of this post with Buddy the Elf in mind, then you and I are on the same page!

On Friday, we took the girls for their annual Santa picture.
Before we left, we snapped a pic with Mamaw.  It's too sweet not to post!

We expected to wait a while, but we happened to be the first people in line...

And then they told  us that their computer crashed....so we waited....and waited...

In the meantime, I talked to the girls about sitting in Santa's lap and smiling.  AG even practiced her smile.  When I asked Edy if she was excited to sit in Santa's lap, she emphatically replied, "YES!"

A picture is worth a thousand words. And.........I love it!!!


The Polar Express

While in Dallas, the girls went back to the Christmas Capitol of Texas to ride The Polar Express with Na, Pops, Aunt Cherie (Christmas), and Mamaw.  

The kids wore their pajamas and enjoyed a show, a Christmas tree maze--complete with snow, a train ride, and a Santa spotting!

From what I hear, they had a great time!

For last year's trip, click HERE.

So Thankful

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Dallas with family--lots of laughs, food, fellowship, and NO shopping!!!!

Thank you Cherie and Wayne for a great time at your house!


H-O-M-E {sweet} home

I've got a lot of catchin' up to do so you can either bear with me or skip this post (I'll understand!)...

*The girls and I headed to Arkansas on Nov. 7 for a trip across the state with lots of friends and family to see and some minor business to handle.

*First, we stopped in at my parent's house for a few days.  I had so much fun decorating my their house for Christmas.  I also got to spend some time with a very close friend.

*Next, it was off to Conway for some time with Graham's family.  It's been almost a year since we were in Conway and I love it there.  Not only did I go to college there, but I've got so many close family and friends that live there.  Thankfully, I was able to have some much needed "girl-time"with two of my closest friends.  

*Meanwhile, Graham packed up and headed on his annual mission trip to Nicaragua.  

*Last Thursday, I headed to Fort Smith to check on my house and handle a few items of business.  I dreaded that particular trip like the plague.  I haven't wanted to go in my house for a number of reasons....so...instead...I hung out with two of my best friends and bypassed my visit to my house.  I had a great time catching up, but the trip to my house was inevitable.

*Thursday night, I went to visit my sis-n-law in Springdale.  We enjoyed the night visiting and she was so kind to make the trip back to Fort Smith with me on Friday.  We went to the house, I saw that everything was in order and there was nothing of importance for me to handle, I had lunch with another great friend, and we headed back to Conway.

*Friday night, I went to see Breaking Dawn! *like*

*Graham made it home safe from Nicaragua.

*The girls and I made the long trip from Conway to Jacksonville on Saturday.
As we headed into Texas, AG said, "Mom, are we back in our land yet?"  It really felt like we were coming HOME...that was a neat feeling.  Home is definitely where your heart is!

*The girls and I were so excited to see Graham.  He had a wonderful trip in Nicaragua and brought the girls some adorable dresses.

*I'll end my long, listy post with some cute pics of my girls in their Nicaraguan attire.