Tag Archives: christmas

goldendoodle-puppy

A New Addition to Our Family

2nd January 2016

A New Addition to Our Family

My children, particularly my oldest daughter Sophie has been begging Mr. Wilson and I for a pet for years.  Since my husband is not a cat person, we decided to adopt a new puppy for the family and surprise our children for Christmas. 

I have heard a lot of great things about Goldendoodles including how great they are with children.  After an exhausting amount of phone calls and research into breeders, I finally found one that was located in Massachusetts and had Goldendoodle puppies available for Christmas time.  I drove a hour and fifteen minutes to Morningstar farm located in Royalston,  Mass., to visit with some of the puppies and absolutely fell in love with them.  The breeder did a great job matching us up with a puppy that had a wonderful temperament and would be great with small children (a puppy that was too small or fragile would probably not be a great match for my active toddler).

We surprised them a few days before Christmas with our new puppy Henry!  The kids are loving him and so are Mr. Wilson and I.

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It may be a little while until I can tackle my next DIY project, since I am working very hard to get little Henry to go potty outside and NOT in the house!  I will keep you posted on how that goes, but for right now we are enjoying our new family member.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I am linking this post up to:

Concord Cottage

 

Christmas Home Tour 2015

22nd December 2015

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Christmas Home Tour 2015

Since I started blogging this summer, this is my first official holiday home tour! I tried to keep it simple this year, because I have a two-and-a-half-year-old who has a tendency to take down Christmas decorations and put them in the toilet….I wish I was joking.  So I only decorated my living room and dining room and tried to keep a fairly neutral, gold, silver, green color palate with some burlap and other natural elements.

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The only DIY project I completed was embroidering these burlap stockings I purchased from Joanne fabrics for around $9 each.  I used some white embroidery floss and just embroidered the first initial of each family member on the stockings.

We cut down our Christmas tree at a local tree farm and when we brought it home, it had the most wonderful citrus aroma.  I really love the smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree!

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I spy our Elf on the Shelf “Elfie.”

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Here is our Christmas Card this year. I spray painted wood letters I got from Michael’s to spell out “JOY,” in gold spray paint and then I repurposed them as decoration on my mantle. 

I skipped paying a professional photographer and just took my own photographs with my iPhone. If you want some tips on how to create a great Christmas card without breaking the bank check out this post.  

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Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

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Dining Room Reveal-French Provincial Dining Set Makeover

3rd December 2015

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Dining Room Reveal- French Provincial Dining Set Makeover

Finally the moment has arrived when I can finally reveal the french provincial dining table and six cane chairs that Mr. Wilson worked so hard to finish!   Since we are hosting Christmas dinner this year, I rushed to sew the skirts for the chairs and decided that for the sake of time, I would just reupholster the arm chairs in a gray linen fabric I found at Joannes.  I actually like the contrast of the gray fabric on the arm chairs, it makes the set a little unique and not so matchy-matchy. 

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Here is a view of the back of the chair skirts I sewed from drop-cloths.  If you remember from this post, I used Miss Mustard seeds amazing tutorial on how to sew these little babies and I think it really dresses the chairs up!  

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I used these drop cloths that I ordered from Amazon, which I bleached to give them a lighter look.  The chairs were sanded down and painted in Old White chalk paint by Annie Sloan.

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I whitewashed the table top and painted the legs and base in Annie Sloan’s French Linen Chalk Paint, you can read about this transformation more in this post.

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The following photos show how I set the table for Christmas, which is quickly approaching.  The little trees I found at the Target dollar bin section for $3 each.

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The table runner and little gold candle holders are from Homegoods.

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A simple and inexpensive Christmas centerpiece is a pretty bowl or tray filled with sparkly ornaments.  I received the glass bowl as a wedding gift and the large silver ball in the middle is from the Christmas Tree Shop.

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This table is ready for a feast, now I just have to figure out what to cook!

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I am linking this post up to:

Remodelaholic

The Curator’s Collection

DIY by Design

Home Stories A to Z

Lehman Lane

French Country Cottage

The Turquoise Home

Seeking Lavender Lane

AKA Design

Confessions of a Plate Addict

Average But Inspired

Thirty Eighth Street

Funky Junk Interiors

Pieced Pastimes

Silver Pennies

C’mon Get Crafty

Elizabeth & Co.

 

How to Create a Great Holiday Card Without Breaking the Bank

4th November 2015

 

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How to Create a Great Holiday Card b

Without Breaking the Bank

Now that Halloween is over, Thanksgiving and Christmas are quickly approaching and unfortunately for us New England folks, so is the cold weather…eeek!  If you are a planner like me it is time to start thinking about a holiday cards and family photographs.  I have been kind of lazy over the years and have not sent out any holiday cards until last year.  

I have made many excuses for why I didn’t send out any cards, but the main reason was that I didn’t want to spend $$$ to hire a professional to take family photos, worrying that one of my three children would be having a bad day and ruin all the pictures!  I have seen some gorgeous family photographs taken by very talented professionals, but for some reason I always had doubts that everyone in my family would cooperate to take a great photo, and I could flush the money right down the toilet!

Here’s my son Reid trying to climb out of the wagon to escape!  There goes that photo!

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So last year, I decided to plan ahead and take photographs of my children only (excluding my husband and I to make things easier) at Thanksgiving, giving me lots of time to edit the photos, select the perfect card and mail the cards out in time for Christmas.  I was very happy with how the cards turned out, that I wanted to share some tips that I learned for creating a holiday card without breaking the bank.

 {Tips and Ideas{

Take the Photos Yourself:

Take the photos yourself or enlist a family member or friend with experience in photography to take pictures for you.  You don’t need a fancy camera (although that’s a PLUS), I take all my photos with my iPhone.

How to Take a Great Holiday Card Photograph

Plan Ahead:

If you are taking the photos yourself you need to start planning a few months in advance.  This means deciding on a location for the photographs, outfits for your children and any props you may need.  You may need to do a couple of photo sessions depending on how the photos turn out, remember if you are not a professional photographer, it may take a couple of rounds to get the perfect shot.

Locations for photographs could include your own yard, a local park, apple orchard or farm. All the photographs in this post were taken in our backyard and my parent’s backyard, so you may not have to travel far to get a beautiful backdrop for your holiday card.  

How to Choose Outfits for Your Holiday Cards

Use Outfits You Already Own:

You don’t need to purchase new outfits for all of your children, just pick clothing that coordinates well and is fairly neutral.  Work with what you have and what suites your child’s individual personality and flatters them.  You can use inexpensive accessories to make the outfits cohesive.

If you need to purchase something new, I have found a lot of great stuff at children’s consignment stores, especially high-end consignment stores that carry a lot really great designer brands for a quarter of the retail price.

Use Props:

If you have a toddler that will not sit still for a photo, get creative!  I have used a vintage wagon and an old toboggan to pull them around in.  If you don’t own a wagon or a sled, try looking on Craigslist or ask around if a friend has one you can borrow. This also makes the experience as a whole more fun and spontaneous, which will yield a better photo!  

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Tips for Taking a Great Christmas Card Photo

Take Lots of Photos…I mean LOTTTTSSSSS:

You make take 100 and only 1 will turn out great, just keep pressing the trigger and taking those shots.  You can make some slight adjustments with each shot in your positioning relative to the target (the children) to see what works the best with the light and the angles.  Sometimes you may need to move the children around to a few different spots at your location to find the perfect backdrop and light.

Edit, Edit, and Edit some more:

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There is great, free apps and software that you can use to turn mediocre photos into amazing photos.  Try different filters or changing the photo to sepia or black and white to see what works.  The ones I like to use are: 

-For my phone: Adobe Photoshop Express App

-Computer: Pixlr

Non-Edited Photo

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Photo After Editing

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 Choose a Great Card:

Since you are saving money by taking the photos yourself and using outfits you already own, you can splurge a little on the card itself.  There are many great websites out there, where you can upload your photo and pick the perfect card to fit your style and make your photo standout.

My absolute favorite is Minted because their designs really appeal to me. Some other websites include SnapfishShutterfly, and Vistaprint

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 So don’t waste any time…..start getting into the holiday spirit now!

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I am linking this post up to these wonderful blogs:

The Turquoise Home

Live Randomly Simple

Liz On Call

Chic on a Shoestring

Sweet Pea

Concord Cottage

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Cupcakes and Crinoline