A Colorful Christmas

A Colorful Christmas

Y’all, this holiday season has been busy… which is great for business, but that also means that this girl is TIRED!

The sad truth is I was too worn out to put up all of my Christmas decorations this year.  As much as I love my Snow Village, garlands, nativity scenes and Santas, I didn’t have the time or the energy to do it.  I also didn’t want all the STUFF out.  When I put the decorations away, I’m always relieved that my house is clean and clutter-free…  so I decided to bring on all of that feel-good happiness a few weeks early.  The decorations were minimal, and I used a lot of rearranged everyday items, but it was a welcome change that I’ve enjoyed.  Below are a few of my favorite details  from this year’s “Colorful Christmas”:

The Mantle – I opted for retro bottle brush trees and a watercolor painting from my grandmother.  I had the hardest time finding “pastel” stockings, so I ended up spending an hour or so with my mom’s trusty Singer sewing machine to make my own.  They’re not pretty up close, but they’ll work for now.  (These trees are so fun – we even used them to dress up our lockers at the store this year.)dsc_1072sm


The combination of the colorful trees and bright pillows (borrowed from the guest room) make for a cheerful and cozy fireside spot (Lucy agrees).


My Tree – This year I went with a Nordmann Fir, adorned as usual with white lights and my colorful plastic balls.  It’s dog-friendly and easy – exactly what I needed!

dsc_1204smNostalgia – This is my favorite nativity.  For no good reason other than I’ve always loved it.  Since I’ve lived in this house, it’s been an amazing addition to my kitchen decor, mostly because I can keep it safe inside a cloche on the counter.

dsc_1221smA Paper Lover’s Nativity –  I bought this cardboard nativity a few years ago at an estate sale because it’s the same one my mom got from her mother. It fits perfectly on top of my grandmother’s mini piano.


A Bright Entry – A colorful ball ornament wreath and abstract painting by my grandmother at the door kicks off the colorful feel for this year’s decor!


Red/Green Books – Instead of packing up all my books, I decided to utilize the red and green ones for my entryway display.  One less thing to pack up, and a great way to use something I already have out.  It’s a win-win, right?


The Church – This new addition to my decorations has been a favorite – it’s a wooden church for holiday cards!  It checks all the boxes:  cute, useful, and efficient.


Halloween Details 2016

Halloween Details 2016

Decorating for Halloween is a highlight of the season – it means that fall is officially here and I can get geared up for my favorite season.  I don’t do anything super scary or gruesome because… well, I’m a wimp and can’t take it. ha!  (Truth is I’ve never even been in a haunted house because I’m certain it would give me a heart attack.)  The past few years I’ve used books and birds to decorate, and this year I did the same –  with a twist.  To keep the color palette more neutral, I only used white pumpkins, and I turned the books around so the pages faced forward.  The bird cage I use year-round but in another location and the “mirror” is one that I made look old in this DIY. A few cobwebs and plastic spiders complete the look.


img_0014smIf I have a Halloween party, I hang the “Come In My Little Pretties” sign on the front door.  And plug in the ampersand metal light.


img_0016smI use a garden gate panel in my hallway to create a witch hat rack.  Several years ago, in a magazine (I can’t even remember which one), I had seen a “witch hat check” that featured tags on the hats – so I printed up some of my own.




img_0030smHappy Halloween!

Rug Cleaning

Rug Cleaning

This summer was unusually WET for West Texas, and I mortified to discover my porch rug looking pretty green and mildew-y.  Instead of throwing it away, I decided to try to clean it instead.  It was successful, so I thought I would document it here for future reference.  See the sad state it was in?  Green and gross!  Yuck.

img_5960-smThe supplies needed:

  • one bottle of Lysol concentrate (I knew it would kill 99.9% of germs, but I wasn’t sure if it would discolor the rug – luckily it didn’t!)
  • a scrubbing brush
  • a bucket
  • water hose with spray nozzle
  • a open area with plenty of draining and sunlight (I used the street in front of my house, but a driveway would have been more ideal for drainage purposes)img_5962-smFollow package directions for diluting the Lysol in a bucket (and add a splash more for good measure).  Then pour over the rug and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Repeat the process again, this time working in quarters of the rug to make sure you get the entire area.

img_5963-smUse the scrubbing brush to work in small sections and brush away the mildew and stains.

img_5966-smOnce you have the entire rug scrubbed down, use the water hose to rinse it off.  At this point, I used the brush to help push away excess water to the edges of the rug.  As you rinse, you might also notice trouble spots that need additional attention.

img_5969-smWhen you’re done, let the sunshine do its job to aid in the drying process!  Or you can sling it over a fence or railing to make the excess water run off faster.

Ta-da!!  Looks like a brand new rug!  Clean and ready for all of my Fall weather porch sitting.


Guest Room Refresh

Guest Room Refresh

After living with my poor decision to get a chevron duvet cover long enough, I decided the guest room needed a refresh.  Nothing major – I left the furniture and layout of the room the same – I just replaced the textiles to give the room a whole new look.  I was surprised how just a few new items made a big difference:

  • navy blackout draperies
  • white duvet cover and pillowcases
  • white sheets from LL Bean (these are my absolute favorite sheets!)
  • blue patterned throw from In2Green – it’s made from recycled t-shirts and we sell them at the store.  I just love how cozy it is and that it’s machine washable.
  • pink Mexican blanket – I got this at a gas station for $20 in Sweetwater, Texas (driving home from a weekend trip to Dallas)
  • wool pillows (made from heirloom vintage Peruvian rugs/blankets) – these were by my favorite detail!  I just love the bright colors and textures.  They were one of my favorite finds from Market!

I know a lot of people are scared to have white bedding, especially with pets – but I think it makes a bedroom so serene.  It’s worth the extra trouble.  Anything to make my guests feel more comfortable in the guest suite, right?

Now, who’s coming to visit?


Football Mantle

Football Mantle

As soon as September arrived, I felt an itch to put up festive mantle decorations, but I wasn’t quite ready to deck it out for Halloween… so I went with a football theme!


For this project,  I started with the framed artwork on the mantle- normally, it’s a painting of bicycles – but since I enlarge a photo at Christmas to change it up, it made sense to try the same trick here too.  Mom scanned in my dad’s sophmore football photo and I had it printed at FedEx Office, then mounted it on foam core. (cost approximately $15)


I try to utilize items that I already have, but it’s fun to toss in a few new pieces too.  Since I couldn’t find a loving cup, I improvised with my champagne bucket and a vintage football that I found at the antique store last weekend.  The clipboard came from at an estate sale awhile back, and I just printed out the Texas Tech football schedule to put on it.  (The books I already had, of course, because I have book addiction – more evidence of that here and here.)


For the other side, I found a few treasures on ebay:  a youth football helmet ($11), a personal chalk board ($4) and a Texas Tech pennant (from concessions stand sales in the 70’s, brand new condition, $12).

UPDATE:  I had to correct the chalkboard play, as my football coach father was embarrassed that it wasn’t even “a real one”.  For the record, I asked him to send me a play to use, and he DID… they just weren’t very pretty.  My brother drew out a new play, and I think we’ve got a good compromise now:

A fresh coat of red paint on an old megaphone (who knows how long I’ve had that thing, maybe junior high?) add a nice pop of color to the left side of the fireplace.


For the right side, a folding stadium chair (from an estate sale for $5) and my bucket of fireplace tools (yes, it’s almost time for fires in the fireplace!) make themselves at home quite nicely.


So here I am, all ready for fall, and especially ready for football season!

How do you deck out your mantle for fall?  I’d love to hear!


Prettying up the Porch

Prettying up the Porch

Last summer  was my initial “investment” in the patio project.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, but I knew that I had to start somewhere, so the World Market Outdoor Furniture Sale was my first stop.  **TIP:  Apparently they have this sale annually,  mid-June to July, so if you plan ahead and watch for it, you can save BIG time.  I just happened upon the sale last year and a sales associate told me their goal is to have everything cleared out by July 4th.**

I ended up choosing this Catalina Occasional Deep Bench (it’s seriously deep – probably twin bed size!), Occasional Chair, Coffee Table and Side Table.  It took a little extra work to acquire the set (my local store didn’t have them all), but between my mom and I, we did it.  And even better, everything was 50-75% off because they were on sale (and some were store displays)!  {Retail value:  $600, Actual cost: $250}

Next up, I ordered a rug from Target {approximately $70}


This summer I decided to add COLOR.

First I bought a slipcover for the bench and chair cushions (the day the went on sale because I was watching for the email)!  Actually, I bought a few so I can change them out – red, turquoise and off white.


Then I mixed in a few colorful pillows and a lantern from Garden Ridge.

DSC_0007smOriginally, I thought some flameless candles from there would work too… but they melted after about 10 minutes in the heat.  So I went online and found these fab ones that are made specifically for the out of doors.  I like that they flicker, have an optional timer, and their glow isn’t that fake bright orange.

DSC_0016smI planted a few new flowers {in existing pots}, added a Patio Egg to keep the mesquitoes away and… DONE!


I know it will probably always be a work in progress, but at least it’s cheerful and it’s a good start.

Cheers to prettying up the porch.  Now I just need to have a porch party to break it in!

PS- If you like the succulent tower, I’ve got instructions for how to make one here.