Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Vignette

Believe it or not, I am not a big Christmas decorator. As much as I love to look at beautiful Christmas decor, my personal Christmas decor is made up of things that have been given to me through the years. Nothing really matches and it certainly isn't trendy or in-style, but most of my Christmas decor has personal meaning. It also pains me to spend a lot of money on something that is only out about one month per year.

This year, I've been drawn to green, white and silver (especially mercury glass) Christmas pictures. Here are two favorites:

Unfortunately, nothing I have is silver or green or white. Oh, well. I did the best I could with what I have in the niche in my living room.

It started like the picture above, but the crazy colorful canvas distracted from the Christmas feel.  So, I covered the canvas in some silver wrapping paper and hung a wreath.  Much better, don't you think?

All of the snowmen were gifts from my mom while many of the other things were gifts given to Big K and I at the first Christmas party we hosted as a married couple way back in 1999.

One of my very favorite Christmas things is this nativity.  I think the figures are beautiful and I love the gold accents.

Not only is the nativity pretty, it is a reminder of the true reason for Christmas.  It is so easy for me, especially as I peruse all of the gorgeous Christmas pictures on your blogs!, to get caught up in the "stuff" of Christmas.  Maybe this will be the year, when my family and I can slow down and truly reflect on the spirit of Christmas?!?!?  I hope so. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop reading blogs, so keep the pretty pictures coming.

Linked here:
A Thoughtful Place

Suzy's House Party #19 - Link Up!

Wow!  I took a week off from hosting the party so I could enjoy some turkey last week and now it feels like I haven't been here in a LONG time.  Anyways, I'm glad to be back and I hope I still have some partiers.

Here are the features from two weeks ago.  I am coveting this dresser from Turnstyle Vogue.  Oh, how I would love for it to live in my house.

Vintage Shabby Chics gave a dated sideboard an amazing washed finish and pretty marble top.  Is anyone else as obsessed with marble as I am?

Katie from Wildwood Creek refinished this pretty dresser as part of the Habitat Heros challenge.  She donated this piece to Goodwill as part of the challenge.

Saved by Suzy
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Saved by Suzy"><img src="" alt="Saved by Suzy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

•Link up your home decor project. Pretty much anything to do with you house is fine.

•Please provide a link back to my blog. A text link is fine, or feel free to grab my "Saved by Suzy" party button from the sidebar. The more people that know about the party and participate the better for all of us.

•Be sure to share the love and leave comments for others.

•That's it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Yarn Wreath

Here's my Christmas yarn wreath.

You may remember this wreath from Halloween.  Back in October, I started by covering a wreath form with a simple gray and white yarn background.  There's a tutorial for you too in the original post.

For Halloween, the wreath sported some creepy embellishments.

I attached everything with pins, so that I could reuse the wreath for different seasons.  So, as soon as Halloween was over, I pulled out the "Boo" banner and bat and was left with some pretty fall flowers for Thanksgiving.

For Christmas, I unpinned the fall flowers and made some felt flowers in holiday colors, added a red velvet ribbon and a snowflake.  Once again, I pinned everything on so that I can continue reusing the wreath.

I've also spotted these yarn ball wreaths on Pinterest.  They are darling, but I haven't had the time to attempt one.

I'm linking my yarn wreath to Hi Sugarplum as part of this blog hop:

Linking up to some of these great blogs:
Today's Creative Blog, Sugar Bee Crafts, Not Just a Housewife, Reasons to Skip the Housework, Bella Before and After, Primitive and Proper, Home Stories of A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, DIY by Design, Tip Junkie, Type A Decorating,, The Thrifty Home, Domestically Speaking, Primp,
A Diamond in the Stuff, Restore Interiors, The Shabby Chic Cottage, Somewhat Simple, Beyond the Picket Fence, Fireflies and Jellybeans,My Simple Home Life,
Addicted 2 Decorating, Just a Girl, Remodelaholic, Miss Mustard Seed, Finding Fabulous, Tatertots and Jello, Under the Table and Dreaming, Thrifty Decor Chick, Coastal Charm, Junker Newbie, Serenity Now

Uncommon Designs Online

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pinterest Pork Chops

That quote is so true for me.  I have developed a severe Pinterest addiction.  Sometimes it feels like I've spent so much time pinning, that I've run out of time to actually make any of the stuff I've pinned.

I had a big breakthrough last week as I actually tried a recipe I pinned.  This balsamic and brown sugar glazed crock pot pork was soooo good and super easy to make too.  I didn't have pork tenderloin, but substituted boneless pork chops from the freezer and they worked out just fine.  Even my picky daughter who thinks she can live on buttered noodles and ramen noodles raved about this meal.

Do it friends...take a break from the pinning and try something you've pinned!  I'm curious have you tried anything - a recipe, a craft, a decorating idea, a cleaning tip, etc. - from Pinterest?  If so, what was it and how did it turn out?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I have taken the week off from blogging.  I apologize for not commenting, replying, and visiting your blogs this week.  My kids have had the entire week off from school and we have been busy with our new puppy, Emma, who arrived on Monday.

We had a nice Thanksgiving at home.  It was just our little family.  Big K made a delicious turkey and I made homemade rolls for the first time, as well as some other side dishes.  I have been on a carb-fest and loving it!

Emma's first Thanksgiving was exhausting!

Today we put up the Christmas tree and decorated for Christmas.  We also tried to take a family picture for our Christmas card.  We thought we would try using the tripod rather than getting a professional photo.  Not the greatest idea!  Every cent spent on a professional photographer is well spent.  Trying to wrangle everyone into position, including two dogs and props, and then running into the picture before the timer goes off is exhausting.  Here are some outtakes from our experience today.  At least it was a nice day and we all had fun outside!

I have so much to be thankful for, but having a healthy family is tops on my list.  I am also thankful for all of YOU and hope that you and your families are having a fun Thanksgiving weekend!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Favorite Things Link Party

I know we haven't celebrated Thanksgiving yet, but it's time to start thinking about our Christmas lists.  Share your posts about your favorite gifts to give and receive this Christmas season.  Hopefully, we can get some great ideas from one another to make our shopping just a little bit easier.

December is a big month for me.  Not only do we have all of the Christmas hoopla, but it is also my birthday month, so I thought I would start off sharing some gifts I would like to receive.  Just click on the links to find out where to purchase the items.

A high-quality water bottle.  I like to drink lots of water and it seems like the bottles I grab to go always leak. 

Source: via Suzanne on Pinterest

North Face Torpedo Jacket.  I run at 6am and it's cold!  I have an old North Face jacket that I love, but it is flourescent green and has some paint spatters.  I could definitely use a new one to keep me running in the cold, dark, winter mornings.

Design Books.  Fun to read and pretty to display.

Cell Phone Case.  I like the blue and orange cover on the left.

Source: via Suzanne on Pinterest

I just saw this tutorial for making your own personalized cell phone cover that looks fun and easy too.  All it takes is some cute paper and a clear cell phone case.  This might be a nice present for a friend or sister.

Jute and Chenille 9x 12 Pottery Barn Rug.  Dear Santa, Please have your elves start weaving this for me.  I would love to have it magically appear under my tree on Christmas.  You are my only hope for this rug!  Love, Me.

Teachers and Other Special People

Ballard Tote Bag.  This bag is a perfect size for teachers to lug all of their school stuff around.  Best of all, it's on sale right now for just $12!  For something extra, you could fill it with some fun books or treats for your teacher.

Gift Cards.  Starbucks and Barnes and Noble are two good choices.  What teacher couldn't use a little caffeinated pick-me-up?

Something made by the kids.  We have made these ornaments in the past and they are really pretty and easy enough for the kids to make.  Pair with a gift card.

Travel Books.  Has your friend/sister/aunt/cousin visited someplace special?  I think a beautiful book highlighting that area is a great gift.  Even better - if you went on a trip with that person, write a little personal story or memory of the trip on the book flap before giving the book.  The Beautiful Cookbook series has gorgeous pictures.  I have this book that reminds me of the time I spent in Provence:

Any friend would be happy to receive something from The Zhush or Furbish Studio.  Here are a couple of my favorites (hint, hint).

Missed out on Missoni Madness? Pick up one of these cuties instead.

Source: via Suzanne on Pinterest

Jonathan Adler Note Cubes

Source: via Suzanne on Pinterest

Trays from Furbish

Candles.  These candles smell delicious.  My two favorites are Winter Wonderland and Marshmallow Fireside.

Anything Monogrammed.  I am a sucker for monogrammed items.  I even had an Etsy shop, Sew Suzy, where I sold all things monogrammed.  However, I got too busy and closed shop, but I still love monograms.  Here's a pillow that I made for my couch.

Even though I no longer sell monogrammed things, there are plenty of Etsy sellers who do.

Source: via Suzanne on Pinterest

Source: via Suzanne on Pinterest

Source: via Suzanne on Pinterest

Parents and Grandparents
My parents are at the stage of life where they don't need more "things."  Experiences and events are much more important to them.  In the past, I've given them tickets to events I knew they would enjoy, such as season tickets to the chamber orchestra; tickets to see "Dancing with the Stars;" tickets to "A Prairie Home Companion."  We've even given my dad a ride in a glider, something he's always wanted to do.

Other ideas for events or experiences are: tickets for a hot air balloon ride, a historical tour, a train ride, a play, a sporting event; a gift certificate to a special restaurant or bed and breakfast; a day with a fishing guide; a cooking class; golf lessons; or lessons for anything your parents may be interested in.  The options are endless.

An exception to the "no more things" for parents and grandparents is this sentimental calendar.

It's become a tradition for the girls and I to bring little treats around to our neighbors.  We need to make something easy that all three children can participate in and I won't go crazy trying to supervise.  Usually we dip pretzel sticks in chocolate or white chocolate and then decorate with sprinkles or drizzles of chocolate.  This year, we might make these:  Hershey's Hugs sandwiched in between two pretzels.  What could be easier?

Pop them in a cute little bucket, Christmas mug, or even on a Christmas plate and deliver to the neighbors.

Hey, those look like our pretzel sticks from years past!

There you have it...some of the gift ideas that have been floating around in my head.  I left out gifts for my husband and kids on the off chance that they might be reading my blog.

Link up your Christmas gift guides and share your favorite things  What are you excited to give and receive this season?
  • I will leave the link party up for the next week.
  • I would love for your to be a follower of my blog, but you don't have to be.
  • Please visit the other bloggers who link up.  You might just find a new friend or a fabulous find for Christmas.