As much as I love finding Christmas cards (especially the photo cards) in my mailbox, I have to admit the actual act of getting a family picture made, bribing everyone into picture-perfect good moods, choosing a picture where all of us look normal/happy/awake/festive, addressing the envelopes, getting to the post office to buy the stamps and getting them in the mail, stresses me out--a little. (After that run-on sentence, I just remembered why I didn't send many cards last year. . . )
With all of that said, I've resolved to do better about sending cards this Christmas. In fact, we already had a little family photo session over the weekend (more details on that to come), and I've even picked my Christmas card design:
I can only hope we'll look as happy and relaxed as the Manchesters. . . .
I love the simplicity of this design and the nostalgic font. The card is oversized and will require extra-postage, but hey, I'm going all out this year to make up for the last one, or two, years. I found this card via Shutterfly. I've ordered Christmas photo cards and birthday invitations from them in the past and have always been pleased with the quality (and speed, since I always seem to be last-minute with these kinds of things). I also think their photo calendars would be great Christmas gifts for my kids. . .
Since we're on the subject of Christmas cards, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of our family's cards from years past. I only started sending photo cards once we had kids.
Doesn't everybody think it's a hoot to dress their first baby as Santa? Here we are, clueless Mommy and Daddy reindeer with a two-month-old baby boy.
Well, that was fast. Here, I'm five months pregnant with baby #2 (we didn't know it was a girl yet. . .). And, yes, I did what no pregnant woman should do--chopped off my long hair above my chin and put weird blond highlights in it. It's true, hormones make you do weird things.
I couldn't find the actual card, but here's the picture we used:
Year of the card that wasn't meant to be. But, we had a new baby girl and I was determined to show her off to the world. Unfortunately, our last minute attempt at a photo session resulted in a husband that was apparently about to fall asleep, a very enthusiastic two-year-old, and some crazy choppy bangs on my behalf. Oh, and I apparently decided to "make" our cards myself that year. I can't remember for sure, but I'm thinking these never went in the mail.
This year, Mommy and Daddy decided to drop out of the annual Christmas picture. I actually love to see pictures of the whole family when I get other peoples' cards, but completely understand that it's sometimes just quicker and easier to photograph the kids when they're in happy moods.
No cards that year, but I had good excuses. I was 7 months pregnant with baby #3 and we had just moved into our new house (after three months in an apartment so gross it will never be blogged about. . .). I was tired, fat and just trying to keep my head above water. I never ordered cards, but here's a family picture I found from that year:
Baby #3's first Christmas! It's alot of work to get a family of five ready for pictures, but we did it and I think I even managed to get a few of these cards in the mail (some after Christmas, but nevertheless. . . ).
2010: You'll just have to wait and see :)
So, what about you? Do you send photo Christmas cards?
Good morning! Time to start Christmas shopping. Hopefully, you've avoided the Black Friday crowds and are shopping from the comforts of home instead. In honor of the biggest shopping day of the year, my wonderful sponsors have agreed to offer discounts and/or giveaways on their respective sites.
I featured Shop Ten 25 on my blog earlier this week. Abbe's online store is full of gorgeous furniture and accessories (as well as a great selection of holiday decor). TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY (11/26-11/28), Shop Ten 25 is offering a 15% discount off all items.
Also, there's still time to enter the giveaway for a $100 store credit. Just go here and leave a comment. I'll be drawing a winner on Tuesday.
I blogged about Winterberry Cottage a couple of weeks ago and AmyLynn's beautiful selection of images printed on vintage dictionary pages. These make such great (and affordable!) gifts. TODAY ONLY, purchase 2 prints and get one free. Just write "BLACK FRIDAY" in the PayPal notes at checkout and specify which third print you want for you want for your free one.
Devon Baer Designs is the perfect place to shop for stylish gifts. Devon designs beautiful clothing (love her tunics!), as well as unique accessories. (I previously blogged about her work here.) In honor of Black Friday, Devon is hosting a GIVEAWAY on her FACEBOOK page for this adorable bracelet.
The bracelet is made of a thin resin, and the unique brooch on top is a bright yellow enamel bee. The width measures about 1 3/4". Wear this bracelet around your wrist or as a cuff around your fore arm. Valued at $58.00
Elegant Touch is a wonderful online resource for pillow covers in gorgeous fabrics. (I have several on my wish list and blogged about it here.) Olga, the shop's owner, is offering a 10% DISCOUNT on all pillows TODAY ONLY. To receive the discount, use promo code BLACK FRIDAY.
And last but not least, SimaG Jewelry creates some of the most beautiful hand-stamped, personalized jewelry. (I have a heart necklace with my kids' initials and a keychain designed by Sima that I love!)
And, I'm 99% sure it's going in my youngest daughter's room once she's outgrown her nursery. I'm envisioning lots of this pattern on a tall upholstered headboard, similar to this look:
I've already ordered this fun yellow fabric by Premier Prints for the curtains (at an incredible price right now, btw!). I also plan to use the green rug she has in her room now.
I'm definitely not rushing her out of the crib, but can't wait to get started on this project.
In other news. . . Catch my interview on the Wandering Airstream blog. I recently did a quick Q&A for the site. Tiffany and her husband reside in Charlotte but are soon leaving "it all" to go on the road full time in their painted Airstream, nicknamed Eddie. Their web site will document their adventures and highlight the towns and people they meet along the way.
Welcome to one of my newest sponsors, Shop Ten 25. It's a beautiful online furnishing and accessory shop owned by Abbe of Studio Ten 25 Interior Design. The pieces offered are a reflection of her wonderful taste and own design sense. (I previously blogged about her work here.)
In fact, I would be more than happy if Santa were to bring me a shopping spree on her site. . . . Just in case he does, I've already started my wishlist:
Luckily, you don't have to wait on Santa. Abbe is giving away a $100 store credit to one lucky winner.
~Browse Shop Ten 25 and come back to leave a comment, telling me your favorite item from the shop.
~For an additional entry, follow Shop Ten 25 on Twitter and/or Facebook and leave another comment letting me know.
A winner will be drawn at random and announced on Tuesday, November 30th. Good luck!
Today, I'm blogging at Cottage and Vine on "gifts for the decorista" as part of Rene's week-long gift guide series. She's had a fun line up of bloggers, each sharing ideas on what to get your husband, mother, kids, etc. Can you believe it's time to start Christmas shopping?
I was also a guest blogger this week over at From the Right Bank where I wrote about one of my favorite design topics--color.
And, finally, I shared my favorite favorite things in my home on Chassity's blog, Look Linger Love.
Okay, I think that's enough of me for one day.
Have a great weekend, and check back on Monday for a fabulous giveaway from my newest sponsor, Studio Ten 25.
If I were going to buy one new thing for my Thanksgiving table this year, it would probably be these cute bird napkin holders.
They were included on a list of Thanksgiving goodies compiled by Stephanie at Southern Momentum. See the rest of her picks here.
But, who am I kidding? It's near to impossible to have a nice, sit-down Thanksgiving meal with a six-, four- and one-year-old. It's even more impossible to sit a pretty table (and keep it that way). And, I have no intentions of cooking (or touching) a turkey. I'll be making my stand-by bacon-wrapped chicken. My mom sometimes makes this in place of turkey or ham at the holidays and it's always a hit.
Best of all, it's super easy. About five minutes of prep time and four hours in the oven so you can go do other things with your day. For those who are interested. . .
6 to 8 boneless chicken breasts
1 jar dried beef slices, rinsed and patted dry
bacon slices (one for each piece of chicken)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 8oz. carton of sour cream
Line the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with dried beef slices. Wrap each chicken breast with a slice of bacon and place on top of dried beef. Mix soup and sour cream and pour over chicken. Bake at 250 degrees for 4 hours.
We like to eat ours with mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, etc. And, it's even better heated up the next day.
So, there you have it. Don't expect to see many more recipes around here. I'm not a cook, nor do I pretend to be. I would rather decorate a kitchen than actually use one.
image via Country Living
What's on your Thanksgiving menu? Do you eat something other than turkey?
Thought you might like a sneak peak of a client's master bedroom project that I'm working on. We're using these beautiful fabrics from a new collection designed by Dwell Studio for Robert Allen Home and painting a soothing gray on the walls, paired with dark furniture.
I especially love the charcoal "bella porte" pattern. It's a fresh take on the ever popular trellis pattern and all of these fabrics are less than $16/yard! In the client's room, this fabric is going on the window. So that you can see more of the pattern, this is how it looks on a wingback (shown here in "brindle"):
We're also recovering this bench (a thrift store find) and using it as a little window seat. The legs are being painted a charcoal gray and the cushion is going to be covered in the "vintage blossom" fabric.
Queen Anne--she just won't go away. She used to be in almost everybody's traditional home and has been passed down to many a young couple. Unforunately, her style can look somewhat out of place in the midst of more modern decor.
When we bought our first house two years after getting married, we had little besides the sofa and loveseat that we bought. My husband wandered to a yard sale across the street and came home with a matching set of Queen Anne end tables, a sofa table and a coffee table. I was less than thrilled, but they were cheap and we had something to put in the room. I worked diligently until they were replaced with something else and sent to a consignment shop.
However, I've been seeing some pretty cool makeovers floating around on the web lately that have made me think twice about Queen Anne's cool factor--especially when color is used.
Take this incredible highboy dresser makeover by Cassie of Hi SugarPlum! She painted it bright yellow for her daughter's room and actually had me thinking, "I should look for a Queen Anne highboy." Really? I never thought I would say that. I like that she even kept the original hardware and just cleaned it up a bit.
Another great example is this fun coffee table makeover by Melissa of The Inspired Room. She went bold and used bright blue. (I also love how the vintage suitcase looks underneath.)
And, your grandmother's dining set can go glam with a fresh coat of paint and a graphic fabric. Love this transformation of Rene's dining chairs at Cottage and Vine.
Even Pottery Barn has gotten in on the Queen Anne makeover action by painting these dining chairs a rainbow of colors.
These end tables are everywhere (except for my house, because I took them to consignment as I mentioned earlier. Dang.) I see them all the time at thrift stores, Goodwill and on Craigslist. Next time, I might not pass them up. Especially if I can find a reason to paint them bright yellow.
And, high-gloss paint isn't your only option. I also like the distressed look of this one:
While I haven't personally tackled a Queen Anne furniture makeover, I would advise you to get your sander ready before you start painting, along with a good primer. I'm assuming the high-gloss finishes on these pieces aren't paint-friendly.
Have you completed a makeover on a Queen Anne piece? Would love to hear your best advice and tips.
Today, I would like to introduce you to a new sponsor, Old Blueprints. I was previously unaware of this company, but have spent lots of time on their website since discovering it. They offer a beautiful collection of architectural prints, drawings, photographs and related items. And, a portion of their sales goes to architecture-related charitable organizations.
I've always loved the look of architectural prints framed on a wall. I think they're a perfect "gender-neutral" art selection, fit into almost any decor style, and add a certain richness to a room.