Happy Christmas!

Today was a baking day in our home and I also sent out the last of our Christmas cards. Phew! We decided to take family pictures this summer on the beach, which was fun. My sister-in-law took our pictures and then we swapped and I took her family pictures. The cousins had fun at the beach so there were no tears or boredom. #nomeltdowns and win win. We printed them from Tinyprints, which were great. I'm sure you're like me and have things to get done before Christmas (still have wrapping to do) but I thought I would share a few things I will be doing for this season.

                                           This recipe makes your house smell so good!

I will be making these cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve so we can enjoy this treat on Christmas morning.

                Our family has loved watching this video this Christmas season and drinking cocoa. 

                                           We've been baking our favorite cookies!
                                                          Jam Thumbprint cookies

          I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and spend time with your family & friends. 


A Simple Christmas Home 2015

Dear house loving friends!
It's been awhile since I showed our dear home. I hope you are all having a festive holiday season.
For those of you who haven't visited my blog before, welcome! I love design, D.I.Y projects and creating a beautiful, comfortable home for our family. I'm also all for thrifting, yard sales and auctions to add unique pieces to our home. Let's take a look around our Christmas house shall we?
We've had our artificial tree for years. It's holding up well and it's slowly accumulating gifts under the tree and in the basket.
I love these pillows I got this year and the snowball garland. I used some fresh garland from Costco on the mantle. 

  Paperwhites add such a simple, elegant feel to the decor and I'm so happy I grew me some this year.

View of our kitchen with some sun shining through! 
Fresh citrus and cut greenery add some pretty color. I love that little ribbon wreath I made above our microwave.
                    I made the book wreath awhile ago and thought it would look fitting in the library.

                                                                  Our front entry

      Don't you love to get Christmas cards? I enjoy putting them all up and see our dear friend's faces.

Our four girlies made these darling gingerbread houses this year and we displayed it on the blue and white hutch.
Well, I hope you can feel the Christmas spirit in our home. Thanks for sticking around. I hope you have a very merry Christmas!

Linking this post to the Christmas Home Tours Party


Latest Happenings

Hi friends! I don't know how many of you are reading this blog anymore since I haven't shown up for a couple of months! Some of you have been kind to reach out to me to see how I'm doing, which is really nice of you! I didn't really mean to take this much time off but it just happened. It all started with the summer, I decided not to blog and enjoy my kids and spend time with my family, which I really needed to do. Then, I got busy with helping a client, planning our 15 year anniversary trip to Germany and Italy with my husband, being a chauffeur for our four children and all their music & sports and taking on a new church assignment.
My hubby and I did go on our trip and had a wonderful time and just like that it's now November! More to come about this great European adventure and planning it on a budget.
I also haven't done much in way of  DIY projects in awhile. However, I did work on painting our guest room before my parents came to stay with our girls while we went on our trip. It went from builder's grade paint and nothing in there except a bed to looking a little more cozy. The color is my favorite, Sea Salt, by Shermin Williams. Luckily, we had an extra gallon laying around. Here's a before and after for you.
 I don't feel done with this room, but I thought I would show you anyway since it is an improvement and on a good path. 

This Fall, I went to my first auction...
 I was the girl jumping with excitement when I got these four classic beauties for $35. We really do need some dining chairs since what I have is only a few random chairs together. Amid some of the junk are really great things at auctions and I highly recommend you going to one!  I had so much fun and I can't wait to find some new fabric for these chairs.
Hope you are all doing well and having a great Fall. It's amazing to be planning Thanksgiving and Christmas now. Don't you feel like time is going so fast?


A slice of our Summer

Helllloooo! It's been awhile since I last wrote a blog post. I had a friend recently ask me if I still planned on blogging and thought, 'boy, I guess I took enough time off it's time to get going again'. Did you have a great summer? I hope you made time to play, relax and explore. There were not a lot of home projects except for the farm table the hubs is working on right now (more of that to come). Our children went back to school this week so it's back to routines, which is good for everyone. I thought you might like to see a slice of our summer:
Our family had a great time visiting Martha's Vineyard in July. We had a big family reunion with cousins and Aunts and Uncles. There was plenty of card playing, ice cream, boating and beach days. 
                                       There are some impressive old Captain's homes to walk past.
                                                                and pretty gardens.
                             Oh, and of course, the many darling ice cream shops were visited frequently.

                       Many bursting window boxes on white painted homes add New England charm.
                                                              Quaint little fishing villages                  
Pretty sailing days to the beach. 
Farmer's markets 
On Instagram I showed a couple of rooms in our beloved family home. The original part of the house used to be a carriage house in which my grandparents made into their home. We love coming here to be with lots of family and gather. I love the chart room and old nautical lantern my Uncle put up.
The main part of the barn is cozy and has a gallery wall with many of my grandmother's paintings. A few years ago my sisters and I did a makeover in the loft and you can see more pictures of the chart room.

Now, it's back to schedules and non-beach days, but I think it's important to take time and disconnect for a bit. I can't wait to show you some projects from our Art camp that I taught with my friend this summer. Are you still in summer mode or school mode? Either way, I hope you're doing well and look forward to showing more projects and adventures with you.


Design Inspiration Friday: Patriotic & Coastal

One of my favorite looks for any space is a coastal look and what better way to pair it with red,
white and blue! I collected some classy ways of displaying your patriotic colors mixed with a coastal 
feel. I feel like 4rth of July weekend is full of great activities. I can't wait to watch fireworks, have a 
cookout and a kids' bike parade in our neighborhood. I hope you all have a great long weekend too. 
Happy 4rth of July! 

                                                                         A Beautiful Mess

                                                                            My Domaine

Patriotic & Coastal Inspirations


A Penny A Page

Summer break starts tomorrow for my girls and we are all excited. We started a tradition which has helped my girls read through the Summer. We call it "Penny A Page' program. Here's how it works:
For every book our children read this summer they can earn a penny for every page read. I also have them write down a summery, title and author and other details in their 'Penny A Page' notebook so we can all keep track. The librarians loved it when they showed their work for the Summer reading programs in the past (these notebooks came from Target).
Last Summer, both my older daughters loved doing this so much that they are talking it up to the younger ones about how they can earn some extra cash. One of my daughters earned $35! Reading and writing about what they read helps them so much over the Summer months. Both my older daughter's writing improved too, because I would correct their spelling and grammar and then they would need to correct it. Yes, I'm one of those moms! They also have liked keeping track of their money earned and it motivates them to read more.
What are some other ways you motivate your kids to read for the Summer? I love to hear your great ideas!