Christmas 2017: Living Room and Kitchen

The dark and gloomy weather outside has been made infinitely better by Christmas lights, flickering candles, layers of cozy fabric, and pops of cheery red. But it’s also proved a challenge for snapping quality photos, so my iPhone captures will have to do.

I snuck in a bit more red to welcome my husband Home. He’s spent several months doing some contract work away from home in the UAE and has been dearly missed.

That candle is from Rosy Rings, and I believe it’s in its second Christmas with us. It smells like cranberry and is looking like we’ll get to enjoy it for a third. After the addition of a couple more chairs, the gifts needed to find a new home. We give gifts to our niece, nephews, a couple of other young relatives, parents, and siblings, so there is always plenty under the tree.

A little snow village and some paper whites add a bit more cheer.

This year, Momma and Daddy sold our childhood home on Branham Mill Road, so several treasures came home with me, including this wagon from our childhood. I have fond memories of packing up to head to the pool, park, or garden in this trusty radio flyer. For now, it’s the perfect way to keep packages away from a certain misbehaved beagle (I’m looking at you, Harley).I dug out the tartan pillow cases for another year of use. Fair lights were the secret to this year’s mantle. With the addition of our built-in bookshelf, last year’s outlet was hiding. 🙂 I have slowly become a more-is-more girl when it comes to garland. I layered my faux eucalyptus with fresh cedar, juniper sprigs, the fairy lights, a string of galvanized bells, and finally, our simple little nativity. This year, I flocked our tree, painted some ornaments with a bit of french blue, and used these little platforms to house a precious church and a couple of Christmas houses. The theme for the tree this year was definitely “more is more” with gold, silver, mercury glass, sparkling snowflakes, and little bits of champagne- and blush-colored ornaments.  Fresh cedar on the chandelier, wreaths in the window, little candy-can-striped bows around the rosemary and lights made it feel like Christmas in the kitchen. We may not be due for a white Christmas as this is typed on Christmas Eve, but I can at least imagine it trough a snowy canister and cloche.

Can’t you hear it?

“Where the love circles around us,
Like the gifts beneath our tree.
Well I know there’s more snow
Up in Colorado
Than my roof will ever see,
But a tender Tennessee Christmas
Is the only Christmas for me.”

That little dough bowl is now filled to the brim with Christmas cards. I’ve enjoyed looking through them with my morning coffee.  Speaking of beagles who eat gifts, how appropriate is this pillow for our guest room?

Merry Christmas!

Christmas in the Bedrooms 2017

I’ve been having such fun this season investing in some Christmas decor for the bedrooms, hopefully to be enjoyed year after year.

I’ve been on a mission to find timeless elements I’ll still like in 10 years (with a trend or two for fun). It makes me smile to think of future guests or future children enjoying the Christmas cheer all over.

Guest room 1Our larger guest room, which faces the front of the house, has been CRAMMED full with the addition of our oversized arm chair and ottoman. They had to be removed from the living room to make way for the Christmas tree. Guest room 1_2Pops of red (and a sweet little skiing mouse snow globe ornament) add some vibrant color. Guest room 1_3I grabbed these velvety shams at the Pottery Barn Outlet in Georgia. The duvet was from French Laundry Home and is good and HEAVY. It’s filled with cozy comforter, too. These things are musts for our guests because we keep our home nice and cool during the winter. The standard striped shams were also from PB a few years ago, and the quilted accent pillow was handmade and purchased at the Country Living Fair. Guest room 1_1This World Market basket is the perfect place to house a tiny flocked Christmas tree. The little frame is a welcome with our WiFi log in. Guest room 1_4Guest room 2_5Having a neutral backdrop has made it easy to incorporate vibrant Christmas reds in the tiny guest room. I even like the pale-blue Magnolia against the reds.Guest room 2_6This red quilt is from target, but it’s just folded over a fluffy comforter. I added a little extra mattress pad over each bed, and I can now say these beds are truly comfy. Maybe next year I’ll add some flannel sheets to our winter bedding rotation. Guest room 2_7Wreaths from Magnolia add a little more festivity. Guest room 2_8And yet another felt mouse snow globe. He makes me grin when I pass by the rom. Guest room 2_9The Santa signs were handed down by my Mom and Dad. 

And last but not least, our room got some holiday bedding. This quilt was a find on Joss & Main. The extra-wide pillow cover was purchased from the Hoosier Sisters booth at the City Farmhouse Pop Up Christmas Sale last year in The Factory at Franklin, TN.  master_1The other two fern prints that wouldn’t fit in the tiny guest room have found a home in our room. masterI sure hope Mr. S feels happy to be home when he walks in the door.

Your Sumner Magazine

Our home was featured in Your Sumner magazine this month.

It was a fun, unexpected adventure thanks to the sweet and smart Hollie Deese.

I had just about no time to prepare (clean and decorate), which I think made things more authentic for sure. 🙂

Screen-Shot-2016-08-11-at-2.52.22-PM-768x568.pngThis was the header they made. Though I grew up here in Sumner County, this was a warm welcome as new homeowners in the area.

Sources: paint color, Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray | dish pantry, Joss & Main | striped chair and foot stool, Ballard Designs | side table, World Market | tabletop, metal tray from Magnolia Market | turned-base lamp and copper lanterns, Red Tulip Gifts in Gallatin, TN | white chair and ottoman, IKEA Ektorp | Dresser, painted by me with Annie Sloan Old White | glass lamp, World Market | painting, me | mirror, Leaf & Petal | planters and lemon cypress, Long Hollow Gardens | tobacco basket, Antique Tobacco Barn | seagrass rug, Pottery Barn
Screen-Shot-2016-08-11-at-2.51.36-PM-768x509.pngOur room so far. Lots I’d love to add to soften this space someday, but I’m waiting patiently for just the right things at just the right price, not to mention waiting for our youngest pup to grow up.

Sources: paint color, Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray | thumbprint tree, Me | vintage mailbox and shutters: Southern Accents Architectural Antiques | nightstands, Target | lamps and bird pillows, Homegoods | demijohn, Hobby Lobby | bed, Restoration Hardware | buffalo check pillows, IKEA | boxwood wreath and linen duvet, Target | euro shams, Then & Again Home MarketplaceScreen-Shot-2016-08-11-at-2.51.04-PM.pngI thought it was sweet that they highlighted this quote, especially because it may have been the only time I effectively and concisely conveyed my meaning. 🙂 I’m the absolutely worst speaker, and my thoughts spoken aloud are often a jumbled mess. However, I hope and pray each person who comes into our home feels just like this,

Sources: paint, Sherwin Williams Sea Salt | tin vase, Then & Again Home Marketplace | concrete canisters, Tracery Interiors | floating shelves, Target | potted boxwood, Kirkland’s | wooden, whitewashed S, Target | twine and spool, Crate & Barrel | carved elephant, travels overseas| tissue box, Amazon | wooden bowl, Tracery Interiors

Screen-Shot-2016-08-11-at-2.52.36-PM.pngA little bit of my office (which I have since deconstructed).

Sources: wall color, Dovetail Gray by Sherwin Williams | chalkboard, World Market | lamps, painted by me, shades from Target | metal tool bin, Then & Again Home Marketplace | dresser, family piece, painted by meScreen-Shot-2016-08-11-at-2.52.49-PM-768x532.pngA view of our kitchen with the table Dad and Brother built.

Sources: coffee bags (framed), Southern Accents Architectural Antiques | lamps, Barn Trash from The Strawberry Patch Festival | side table, World Market | turned wooden flower pot, JBS Mercantile from The Country Living Fair | light fixture, Lowe’s | vase, Summer Classics Home | pedestal, Scarlett Scales Antiques | upholstered chairs, T J Maxx | end chair, Restoration Hardware

To read the article, click here!

Design Obsession: Pam Pierce Design

Sometimes, you just find something so beautiful, you HAVE to know more. That was the case with the simple, classic design of the Christmas decor I found on Pinterest one day. This led me to the designer, Pamela Pierce.

I’ve been intently studying her portfolio and trying to glean what lessons I can. While each photo screams “MONEY” to even the most casual observer (any one of these homes are clearly worth many millions), I can’t help but be inspired.

My source for the entire post is the Pierce Design & Associates website found here, Do yourself a favor and view the entire gallery starting with the first photo.

What struck me most is her simplicity in accessorizing; whether the interior is romantic and feminine with ruffled slipcovers and billowing curtains or whether it is masculine and rustic, the accessories are few and far between. Where someone else might use several trinkets, she uses one large piece.

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Lovely patina and texture galore. Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.36.04 PMThe rumpled linen upholstery, chippy antique table, and simple floral arrangement are sweet.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.33.50 PMSee the skirted chair? Her upholstery is often skirted like this. You’ll have to visit the gallery to see the romantic, dramatic rooms that feature more like this.

The contrast of the somewhat industrial island with the warm stone and wood, the exchange of traditional upper cabinets for perfect windows, and the clean-lined open shelving all win my heart.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.33.00 PMThis traditional dining room feels unfussy and organic in every way. Notice the lack of a chandelier in favor of candle and natural light.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.31.50 PMThis arguably more streamlined and modern residence looks warm and cozy . The brass reason lamp behind the richly-hued armchair (plum? chocolate?), natural wood, chunky planter, and textured linens beg you to sit down and rest. I find that the unfussy bed’s fluffy loft ensure that it doesn’t appear lacking in anything. Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.29.35 PM

Though the palette and choices are traditional, the layout of the room and scale of the items are anything but ordinary. I admire that risk and vision. I also adore what I’ll call her “soft” symmetry. For instance, though she does have two cream pieces of upholstery with wooden side tables on opposing side of the fireplace, there’s nothing identical about the arrangements. Instead, she marries them with color and texture.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.30.25 PMThere are too many lovely elements to name in this picture. But the three that caught my eye immediately were the black muntins and stiles, the reclaimed wood head jambs, and the fresh greenery as a focal point. Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.32.17 PMAnd finally, this loveliness. The soft stripes, lamp shades, lack of an area rug, the simple pendant, tone-on-tone walls and trim, and the oxidation on the antique mirror.

Here’s the link for you one more time. Enjoy!

Deuteronomy 6:5

New Print available in Etsy Shop! IMG_7840One quote comes to mind:

I’m IN LOVE, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!
~Buddy the Elf

Why? Because I love the nautical feeling of two trends; indigo and brass!

IMG_7843Inspired by these, I decided to create this little piece based on some earlier calligraphy practice with one of my favorite scriptures.

Isn’t it fun when multiple passions just go together like PB&J? Memorizing scripture and penmanship practice… Penmanship practice and Adobe Illustrator practice… Adobe Illustrator Practice and a love of home decor…

It all came together to inspire this totally IMperfect piece featuring a totally perfect scripture:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 6:5

Available for download at our Etsy shop here.


Hope this little printable brings you some encouragement in your walk to do just that!

XOXO,

Mrs. S

 

Valentine’s Printable

Is anyone else out there a(n obsessive) Wuthering Heights fan? I sure am! Not only have I read the book a few (too many) times, but I also even made my poor husband watch the latest BBC version. Oh, what a romance (I’m not sure if I mean Heathcliff’s maddening love for Catherine or Mr. S’s romantic-mini-series-enduring love for me)! 

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, who better to quote than Catherine herself? IMG_7011

I doodled this simple little image on Illustrator and thought I’d share in plenty of time for Valentine’s day.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day decor, I like to keep it simple! I may not go all out, but this sentimental heart cannot let the day pass without at least acknowledging it. PrintThis image is scaled for a 5″x7″ frame, but you’ll have to select 5″x7″ in your printer settings.

Enjoy!

XOXO

 

Christmas Preparations

Battling week 4 of a rather brutal cough/cold I simply cannot beat and almost healed from whiplash from an automobile collision.

I finally gave in and have taken two days off from work after much deliberation and have been feeling such a strong longing to be there, but know I will not get better if I do not rest. On pins and needles wondering how the day is going, but know that I have the best team teachers in the world.

Sadly, Mr. S has caught “the funk” from me, too. I suppose it’s the time of year in which that becomes an occupational hazard for all teachers. We are giving thanks for generally good health and for no serious injuries from the car accident. IMG_6300-1The day after Thanksgiving, we brought one of our nephews home for a slumber party. We watched Christmas movies, drank hot chocolate, and decorated for Christmas. We cherished the one-on-one time with him.

I sure was thankful to have two great helpers!
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We got the place ready for celebration. Mr. S specifically requested plenty of classic red, and I happily obliged.
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I got it in my head that we’d use a galvanized tub instead of a tree skirt for our tree, and it meant poor Mr. S was basically all on his own to find one and to situate the tree safely in the tub. Isn’t love grand?
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Little ironstone pitcher full of Christmas goodness. IMG_6312

Our simple little nativity scene brings me joy and makes me feel like a little kid again. I just play with the figures, scoot them around, and imagine what those present must have thought and felt! IMG_6303

We tied pine branches to our chairs to add a little something, too.

Merry Christmas to you, wherever you may be! Letting the true reason for the season fill my heart. No need to focus on events, parties, and fancy gifts.

Enjoying time with my dear Mr. S while he is home.

Now to get well!

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Just A Little…

I really do make it a steadfast rule that Christmas decor doesn’t go up before Christmas, but just this project couldn’t wait 4 more days.
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The sweetness of joy, apart from circumstance, comes into our hearts when we accept Christ!
My hope isn’t in outcomes in this world. I have fullness of joy, no matter the trial or season, because of this simple truth: God came to Earth as a humble baby, He died sacrificially for my sin, He rose again, and one day He is coming back!
Merry (early) Christmas, friends!

Get It Together

Blissful times are ahead as I prepare, with gladness, for that handsome hubby of mine to come on home after a long leave of absence for work.
To help make the reintegration of two busy lives as smooth as possible, I felt like it was time to update some of our organization systems. IMG_6111.JPGThis little write-on, wipe-off frame is used for evening meal planning. I simply doodled the text with a gold paint pen, used white chalk to highlight the letters, and popped it into the frame.
After trying a system in which I wrote every meal and snack on a complicated grid, I’ve realized that, for the two of us, simply having a detailed plan for dinner is plenty of meal planning.
I use a wet erase marker for writing and clean it off with a damp paper towel.

IMG_6125.JPGThis daily/weekly/monthly cleaning schedule sits below it and keeps me on track where cleaning is concerned. Having a visual checklist has always been very motivational to me, and it actually lets me spend less time cleaning by helping me to stay more efficient. I got it from The Art of Simple here and modified it a few years ago to meet our needs.

IMG_6128.PNGI snagged these wire drawers at Target and they help me to stay on top of all the mail and paperwork for work.

IMG_6129.PNGI decided it was time to make our cork board both prettier and more functional. I don’t know about you, but beauty really does inspire me in my day-to-day. This pretty brass clock, a favorite family photo, some fresh flowers, and a special necklace all bring me happiness as I pay bills and make plans.
I keep a personal planner for my schedule, but I’ve decided we’d benefit from a combined family schedule, too. I hope the calendar on the cork board will do just that. I like when I know things like whether Mr. S has to appear in court in the a.m., if there is an upcoming drill weekend or military special school, if we have social/church church commitments, etc.

IMG_6127-0.JPGThe last improvement around here is my favorite! Brother took the time to come over and build me a shelf above or washer/dryer. I cannot even express how nice it has been to have cleaning products off the washer/dryer! I finally have a flat surface for folding. Heaven! How blessed am I?
Hooray for making preparations for precious homecomings.
This heart is overflowing with praise!