Saturday, December 31, 2011

Two Guidebooks for the New Year

As we are on the brink of 2012, I wanted to share a two books I plan to use as guides into the new year.  The first, I am so excited about.  I actually started reading Organized Simplicity last October during my last 20 Bags in 20 Days challenge.  It actually took the wind out of my sails a bit, as I saw that this book was asking me to take my humble attempts at organizing and purging to a whole other glorious level.

I read all the wonderfully laid out theory and vision part and then stopped at the halfway point - the point where the real work began - and put it aside for the new year...which is now HERE!  I'm tired of the disorder and the time I waste taking care of things that are not useful, necessary, or beautiful.  I'm so excited to begin the Big Purge and give my family a fresh start at clutter-free, intentional living.  So you'll be hearing more about my progress and what I learn in the next couple months especially, and I'd love to have you join me!  You know you won't regret it. : )

My second book is one I'm sure most of you have heard of.  Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. I also started this one a couple months ago and then reluctantly gave my copy it away as a gift.  It is so strongly stirring and uniquely beautiful, after the first few chapters you feel desperate to share this treasure of a book with someone else quick-quick.

So I will start this year rereading in earnest, accompanied by a little journal to record my own list of one thousand gifts.  It will be a lovely compliment to my Organizing venture, and encourage you with all my heart to get your copy today.

As the new year hasn't started yet, I've been indulging in an old favorite. Though I've read Little Women nearly half a dozen times - about every two or three winters - it always feels fresh and never fails to encourage my heart and inspire me for vigorous home living.  I've already had a good cry over it and sweet Beth hasn't even died yet. 

Oh my, I am looking forward to the new year.  
Life is not picture perfect and change along with the great unknowns can seem threatening, but after all there is great cause to be hopeful and merry.

So once again, Happy New Year to you, friend!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Favorite Projects from 2011

I started blogging in earnest last March, so it hasn't even been a year yet.  But as it seems me be the time not only to plan for the next year but also to review and take stock of what's been accomplished in the year past, here's a little collection of my favorite projects since I began nine months ago.   Goodness, has it ever been fun.

This Yellow Bed has to be my favorite.   As you may know, this picture does not represent a real room in my home.  I set it up purely for the satisfaction of creating something pretty as the bed was intending (and now in) my little man's room.  Let me tell you, it was very satisfying.

Loved these Bottle Cap Magnets.  Need to make more as my little people liked them, too!

My favorite transformation was turning my Front Closet from this:

Into this.  I love opening these doors every time I put my coat away.

My Framed Fall Mantle was so much fun to put together together.

Though I think I enjoyed my Spring/Summer Mantle even more...or maybe I'm just looking forward to spring right now.

 Finally, there's this little Turquoise Table.  I loved the way this quick, little paint project brought so much lovely personality to my kitchen.


Thank you ever, ever so much for all your sweet comments and encouraging feedback through all my endeavors this year.  They have spurred me onwards and made my heart cheery.

Happy New Year to you, friend!

{Linking to AtoZ Favorites Link

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Let Your Hearts Be Merry!


We've all been sick this week, just like everyone seems to be.
So the Christmas cookies are unmade, 
and the Christmas cards haven't gone out...until today!

There are still presents to wrap, 
and stocking stuffers to round up.

But our family is all here together, 
and I can't shake the merry feeling.

Christmas is tomorrow,
Jesus was Born,
Our Savior Reigns!

Let our hearts be glad,
And a very Merry Christmas to you, sweet friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Family Portraits: The Mattox Family

I loved this photo session.  It was unique because we did some pictures indoors as well as outdoors.   This is very unusual for me as a natural light photographer.  But I was able to make the indoor pictures work because this family had a very large west-facing window for us to use for light,  which was a good thing because it was C.O.L.D that day. :)

So I showed up at the Mattox's home and while Mom was getting herself and one little girl ready I took some pictures of her sister by the window.

Then we were joined by Little Sister.  Oh my, were these girls ever darling.

Once everyone was ready we stepped outside for some family pictures.

These lovely little dresses weren't too warm, so soon we were back inside on a bench we pulled up close to the large window.  Worked beautifully.

Then back outside real quick for a couple more shots.

Worked out so well and I loved the personal element added by shooting in and right outside their own home.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Minute Cheap! Gifts from Anthropologie

Hello, there!  I just got this email from Anthropologie - 1/2 off Sale items - Had to share with you quick-quick!

 Here's a few things I'm picking up for last minute gifts.
{They'll arrive in the mail by Friday!}

 Cute Christmas Tea Towels.

For a lovely, cheery lady I know.

 Love this!  {Yes, I ordered on for myself - how could I not for only $4.98?!}

 So fun for the new year.

Merry Last Minute Shopping to You!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sister's Dolly Shop

My Sister is a lady of many lovely ways and talents, but when she started making these little dollies, she had me in a complete state of awe - "Seriously, you made this?!"   I can't even comprehend it.

I love the delightful personality and uniqueness of each little dolly. 

 Their long limbs are perfect for little hands to hold onto. 

Every time I hear she's made a new one, I'm off around the corner to her house to ooh and aww - so fun.

 I'm especially partial to these green-haired sisters.  Their outfits and personalities are perfection.

You can find Sister's blog and Dollie Shop {HERE}.  I'm thinking she could still get one to you in time for Christmas.  ; )

It's been quite the December for our little family.   I'll try to update you all soon.  Until then, thank you very much for your patience with the scanty posting.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Fun Is in the Process: Making Cookies

Hershey Kiss Peanut Butter cookies are some of my favorites to make for Christmas.  This year, they were some of my kiddos favorites too.  I love that their were a nice number of simple steps they could be involved in.

The fun is in the unwrapping.

In the rolling in sugar.

In the placement of kisses.

And of course, in the eating. 

 And the licking of little fingers.

Hoping you are enjoying the process of preparing for Christmas as well. 
It's hard not to get frazzled and harried, but there are certainly good times to be had Right Now. 
{Trying to remember that!}

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Photos for a Lovely Family


I had the pleasure of photographing this beautiful family last week.  
Boy, did they ever put me in the Christmas spirit! :)


Loved the merry, red hats on these cute, little boys.


I've so enjoyed this season of helping people get their "Christmas card" pictures.
Now to get my own done... ;)


See portfolio and information to book your own session {HERE}.