Welcome To Our Christmas Home



If you celebrate Christmas, today is probably a very busy day for you. I wrapped a mountain of presents last night while the entire family sat down to watch “White Christmas.” We went to dinner at a local Irish pub after I finished making four chicken pot pies (three of which are for dinner tonight). I also made these appetizers and when I wake up today I plan on making Pioneer Woman’s Best Chocolate Cake for dessert.

My father, stepmom, my sister, brother-in-law and nephew will be joining us for dinner tonight. I purchased three dozen premade plain Christmas sugar cookies for the children to decorate and leave out for Santa. I think my three year old nephew will enjoy that. I know Santa will! Tomorrow it is just our little family celebrating the day together. I like simplicity.


I decorated the house the same this year as I did last year with a few new additions.


I strung some wrapping pompoms on the chandelier in the living room. My husband picked this chandelier out a few years ago at a local antique store. I love the mellow mustardy color. I also love that he picked it out. I would never have noticed it. I never look up. I remember when he showed me his find while we were in the store together and being filled with wonder and happiness that I can always count on him to look up for me. It is nice to have a partner who completes you. This chandelier represents that to me. He looks up and for that I am grateful.


My husband came home several times in the last two weeks with sweet surprise gifts of ornaments for our trees.


I changed the slipcover on our couch to accommodate a velvet one I purchased from eBay many years ago. It was a nice change this winter. I made the giant pillow from an old feedbag, but the two Kantha pillows were recently from Anthropologie and the neat feather pillow in the middle is from World Market.


Murphy has enjoyed lounging on the “new” old couch. I wish I could join him, but there is always so much to do!



I love using paper pompoms as flowers in December. They are over the top and last forever. These are four years old. The pink pompoms are actually from Michael’s craft store. They were $4 but with a coupon, I paid $2 a piece. I purchased four and strung them on this vase chandelier from my first apartment.


And on our antique mirror.


Tonight the kids will unwrap their new pajamas. The house will be filled with anticipation, although this is my very first year with wise children, if you get what I mean, so the anticipation will probably not be quite the same as years past. And I have to say, this has very much hampered this Christmas and made it a little less special.


Hold on to those little ones. Enjoy the magic. I, myself, will be looking for Rudolph’s nose tonight. I wish I had taken more pictures… Of the pompom wreath at the front door with the fox nestled inside like two odd long lost soul mates… Of our bathroom where the embroidered hooks hold wreaths and ornaments… Of the garlands above our kitchen sink… But I didn’t. I guess that will have to wait until next year.

If you celebrate Christmas, how do you decorate? Do you do the same thing each year or do you have a theme? Are you ready for the big day? What is on your menu? On Christmas day, my husband makes chicken enchiladas and we spend the whole day in pajamas. I cannot wait!


Merry Christmas to all (if you celebrate, if not, Happy Thursday!)! And I hope you have the coziest and sweetest of days!

A Gnome Lover Picnic


When I was a very young girl, my favorite thing to do was twirl around the living room listening to the song, “Teddy Bear’s Picnic,” on the record player. Yep. Record player. Have you listened to that song as an adult? It is kind of creepy. Almost as creepy as the pictures I decided to take below.


When I saw Anthropologie’s Inez Dress, I decided what I really wanted was to take some artistic pictures wearing the dress surrounded by gnomes instead of bears. As one does… When you are me or crazy. You can interchange one word for the other.


I was kind of bummed, because the pictures did not turn out like they had in my head. Few things ever do.

For one thing, the gnomes would not sit still.

For another, they are notorious dirty joke tellers.

I had to scold the one on the left in that picture. He could not really help it. His head is full of holes.


I guess I have to let it go. They are the stars of the show afterall. ; )


Then I decided that I really needed to take pictures laying down. I had seen the most wonderful picture on Free People Me of a girl doing that. I have no idea how she did it. My try at it was a dismal failure. But it did make me laugh, although this position did not really help with stopping the gnome’s favorite distraction.


I finally gave up and took some standing pictures. These were not the shoes I had originally planned with this outfit. I will definitely pair this dress with booties in the future. However it was a long day and I needed something I could run around in. Any type of heel was not going to cut it. It would have been too easy to trip over those naughty gnomes.


I do have to say that this dress is one of my top ten in my closet. I love absolutely everything about it.

Yes, it is big. Yes, it has no shape from the front or side. But did ya see how this baby swings? It is just perfect for a Teddy Bear Picnic.

Not a Gnome Picnic.

They are no longer invited. They have to stay gnome with the dogs.

Did you go on a picnic this summer? Do you like swing dresses (it is okay if you don’t. I get it. I have friends who like more structure and fit, too). Did you have a dress like this in the 1990s? I did. I guess I am regressing. First “Teddy Bear’s Picnic,” then a dress from my teenage years. What next? No, seriously, what next? I just had a picnic with a bunch of gnomes. My good judgement is obviously gone. If it ever was really there to begin with.

THE Room: Summer 2014


I never know what to call this room. Technically it is the Formal Living/Dining Room. But since there is nothing formal about my 1800 square foot house, I try to come up with other alternatives for its name. Let’s see…


The Gnome Room? There are a lot of gnomes hidden throughout this room.


The Music Room? Well, there is the piano that I force my children to play. Hmmmm. They would probably call it “the torture room” or “my mommy is the meanest room”.

We can’t have that.

Let’s move along.




The Art/Antique Room? We do have a lot of antiques in here, including these old industrial spools. And there is a lot of art, but not as much as in other areas of our home. In fact in the Music Room picture, you can see we have just now begun climbing up the arched wall. The kids’ head sculptures will be going up there this week.


The Library?

This would perhaps be closer to the truth, because we do have a ton of books. But I have never seen a library with book shelves that messy. I am sure libraries would disassociate themselves from a room like this.

But it was almost what I called it.


Well, except when I was putting together this post and looking through the pictures, one theme seemed to stand out. It was rather unexpected. I don’t know what to think about it.

Can you guess what it is?






We have a flippin’ Dog Room. What the heck? They’re everywhere. From being there in person to their gigantic mugs on the wall, I think they have claimed this room.

CanIne do anything about it?

Probably not. But it makes me laugh nonetheless.

Do you have a mish/mash room at your home? Do you always wonder what it really is? Have you finally decided on a name? You might be surprised at what the room ruffeals.

It’s The Little Things: On Our Fireplace Mantel

Sweet Brynne asked me last week if I would do a post about the items on my mantle. I thought it was a great idea. I take most of my outfit photos in front of my fireplace, because of the convenience. I love the items on my mantle. Each piece is special to me. I am excited to share!


First, let’s talk about the painting above the mantel in case you missed my post about one of my favorite artists, Ginette Callaway. In 2004, I commissioned sweet Ginette to paint me a peacock for above our newly tiled fireplace.

Ginette really came through. She painted three paintings and let me choose one. My biggest regret is not buying two. I loved another one as well. Actually all three were stunning. The other one I vividly remember showcased a smaller peacock with a giant fan of feathers in colors of the rainbow, but mostly lavender hues. Gorgeous.

But I love this painting. I love Ginette. The painting makes me happy every day to look at it.


In the center of our mantel is a Lego VW Bus. My husband and son love Legos. My husband has a 1967 VW Bus that we adore. I bought this for my husband as a Christmas present a few years ago. They built it together.

This year, Lego offered a free (my favorite word) mini Lego VW Bus with an online purchase. It happened to be near my son’s birthday. Score!


The felted gnomes riding the dragon and the VW Bus are from Moongoat on Etsy. I love her shop. I have many of her gnomes hidden throughout my house. I cannot resist a felted gnome.


The little girl gnome is from ABC Carpet and Home in New York. It is the most amazing store. Every time I am in New York, it is my favorite shop to visit. I cannot afford most things there, but I have managed to snag a deal on each of my trips.

I had seen the gnome when I had gone on a family trip in June three years ago. She was part of a trio (a scruffy male gnome and a wizard gnome). They were $48 a piece (the store is pricy). I do not know if the gnomes were antiques. They had been loved on. Hard. I obviously was not going to spend $144 on three felted gnomes. I left them behind.

In September of that same year, I took a trip to New York with my girlfriends. We visited this store. The gnomes were still there. Their tags were removed. I asked the sales girl how much they were now. She sold them to me for $10 each. And she wrapped them up so cute.

I gifted them to my husband when I got home.


Every year my husband and I go on a two to three night trip for our anniversary sans kids (this year it is Vegas). On one of the trips, we went to San Francisco. In a small little store in Chinatown, I spotted this amazing rope dragon (my husband collects dragons). I remember he was $45. And he always has a gnome riding him. Although, it may not always be the same one. ; )


About three years before my grandmother passed away, she gifted me this jar of buttons. The jar was my great grandmother’s. Her and I looked very much alike. She was Polish. And I once got chased through the college campus by a little old man who wanted to know the exact place I was born in Poland. Anyway, I never met her. Half of the button’s were also my great grandmother’s. The other half my grandmother purchased off of eBay. My jar of buttons is one of my favorite things in my home. I like the idea of my grandma shopping on eBay. I also like the history of the jar and the buttons.


The green candle hanging from the jar was made by my daughter in the fifth grade. Fifth grade is when the children in California learn about Colonial Times. At our school, they have a day where all of the kids dress up in colonial clothes and participate in activities that they would have done back then. I have been waiting to add a candle made by my son for years. This year he is in the fifth grade. I have made him promise me he will choose candle making as one of his activities. Hopefully, the mantle will have a new addition soon.

And the beehive candle was a Christmas present from my stepmom. It is made from my dad’s beeswax (he is a beekeeper). I LOVE it.


The small blue candlesticks were a Christmas gift from my mother some years ago. I love the color. I love everything about them. They are perfect!

The beaded purple candle holders were some of my first purchases from Anthropologie. I waited for them to go on sale. This was many years ago.


The felted gnome on the jar of buttons wearing the snail as a hat is also from Etsy. This one was done by Eve’s Little Earthlings. I think they are extremely cute.

I think with the snail on his head he looks like the man with the bird on his head from one of my favorite movies, “Labyrinth.”


The little pig next to them is from my favorite video game. The video game is Monster Hunter. The pig’s name is Poogie. In the video game I fight jelly beans (just kidding. We obviously fight monsters. I am quite the Monster Hunter. Not to brag or anything). My husband and I play it together. We each have Poogie in our house in the video game. You can change his clothes. If you pet him right, he does a backflip and little red hearts spring from his head.


I actually have a stuffed Poogie on my husband’s desk in our bedroom. And I am also the proud owner of a blow up stuffed giant piece of meat (also from the video game). Maybe I should pose with it sometime.

Or not.


On either side of the mantle are two little roosters. I purchased them at an antique store a few years ago. They have remains of a cork on the bottom of them, so I assume they used to be wine stoppers. I think their colors are fantastic.


The little chipmunks were painted by my children many years ago from a pottery place in town. We have pieces like them all over the house.


The blue vase was a purchase my husband and I made on a family vacation to Arizona when my son was a year old. It was our only souvenir.

He bought me these orange roses on clearance this week (they are not doin’ so well). One of his favorite things to do is buy huge amounts of flowers for me after a holiday when the stores have a surplus of flowers to get rid of. One year, he bought me seven dozen beautiful red roses for $7!

He is sweet.

Next big after-holiday flower discounts? Easter and Mother’s Day!


It’s The Little Things: Displaying what you love, because the items mean love to you.

What is on your mantle? What is your favorite piece to display?

Thanks Brynne for the great idea! : )