Enjoying the Magic and Fun of Christmas

Shopping, parties, baking, Christmas programs, breakfast with Santa, seeing the light show, wrapping presents, decorating the tree, putting up lights, moving that damn elf every night….  It’s easy to forget why we are doing all of this.  Let’s face it, the holidays are stressful.

There are so many reasons for stress this time of year.  There are family dynamics that come up that haven’t been dealt with since last year.   Maybe you come from a divorced family, or you have a sibling who isn’t talking to anyone, or a loved one that has passed away, or your family is across the county or world that you won’t see.  Maybe your stress is financial.  Possibly you lost your job, got your hours cut, lost your home.  It’s hard to explain to your kids why Santa isn’t bringing them as many presents as the other kids in their class.  Or maybe you’re just way to busy with all of your commitments that you don’t have any time to enjoy your family.  You’re spending so much time helping here, and planning that event, and attending this party, that you are running yourself exhausted.  And then there is the stress us women put on ourselves to do everything “perfect”.   Her house is bigger and it’s decorated better, that’s why she can throw a party and I can’t.  How can she get thru the Holidays without gaining 10 pounds?  Listen up, there is no super-mom!  Just because your friend and her kids did breakfast with Santa while your family stayed home in their pj’s watching cartoons does not make you a bad mom.

Christmas Cookies

We can’t control all the people and crazy stuff going on around us.  What we can control is how we view it.  No matter who you are, we all have stressful shit to deal with this time of year.  Don’t let it drag you down!  Put your focus on what’s really important and what matters to you.  Make your own happy memories!
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DIY Art Display

For all of you who have small kids you know how all the countless art projects can start to pile up.  My daughter loves to create anything and always wants to proudly display it.  So I created this art display in her room.  I love it for so many reasons!  It’s super pretty and girly, she gets to choose what goes up on display.  And, we are decorating her room with her art work, rather than purchasing art work.   It’s very simple and inexpensive to do.  Here’s how:


_DSC00061. I found these door knobs at Hobby Lobby for $5 each.  My hubby screwed them into the wall, make sure it’s thru a stud or it will pull out of the dry wall.

2. I already had this twine in my house from a different project I had worked on, I purchased it at Joanne’s.  I tied it in a knot around the knob, pull it taught and tie around the other knob.

3. I got the clothes pins on Etsy, $6.50 for a pack of 24.

4. Let the fun begin!  Hang your art work however you feel like it!


Choosing a Family Room Sofa

I recently went through the process of choosing a sofa for my family.  I walked through countless furniture stores, looking at endless amount of styles and fabric options, fringe, roping, nail heads or no nail heads, premium down fill or deluxe down and on and on!  What an exhausting process!  The day finally came when the sofa was delivered… and no one liked it (including me)!  UGH!!!  So I sent it back and went through the entire process all over again.  This time my husband weighed in his opinion much more than the time before.  It was a double edge sword.  On one hand, I liked that he wanted to get involved and come with and help.  On the other, we couldn’t agree on ANYTHING!  Now this exhausting process became much more stressful!  The sales lady working with us offered me a glass of wine while we shopped, at 11:00am – Haha!  But in the end, we now have the most amazing couch and everyone is happy!!  Let me offer some advice that I learned from my experience.


First off, if the sofa will be in the family room of the home then the sofa is intended to be used by the family, right?  So ask your family what they want in a sofa.  If everyone uses the sofa to sit, watch tv, take a nap and lounge after a long day then you will want to focus on comfort.  This is where taking my husband toHCH6MFB_ax the furniture store helped.  I would walk around while he jumped from couch to couch.  He would lay down, stretch out, slouch down; just like he would at home.  Then he would give me the verdict.  Then the argument would come in, a sofa would be comfortable but ugly!  Where is the balance?  Here is what I suggest: Get a classic style, that is long and deep with comfortable cushions.  He will be happy with the comfort, and you can personalize it with fabric and pillows.

Which brings me to fabric.  This is something I turmoil over!  I want it warm and cozy feeling, but not to dark and the fabric must be soft, while durable.  If you go to dark you will see every lint, dust and hair and the sofa will look like a big dark hole in the room.  If you go to light you will see every spill and spot of dirt and light fabric gives a feeling of formal.  I suggest going with a neutral fabric that is solid with a little texture or movement in it.  Pick something that is not trendy and you won’t be sick of in 3 years.  During this step I made 5 different trips to the furniture store and brought home a total of at least 30 fabric samples.   And don’t be concerned if the sales person thinks you’re crazy for looking at so many samples.  It’s your sofa in your house.  In a week you probably won’t see that lady again anyway.  Take your time and don’t choose something until you are in love.

A24847618_060_bNow it’s time for fun!  The pillows and accessories!  This is where you really get to let your personality shine through.  Go ahead and get that bright chartreuse pillow with silver sparkle, or the turquoise flower shaped one, or something with a huge peacock on it.  When you purchase a good sofa, you should have it for 10 years.  With pillows, go crazy!  In a year if you are sick of it then rotate them out for063167_095_b something different.  Pillows are the inexpensive fun part, so have fun with it!

Another great place to have fun and show personality is a side chair.  A chair is so much smaller than a sofa, so a bold fabric looks great.  The compromise?  Let your hubby choose the sofa and you choose the chair, pillows and accessories.  That way you each have something in the room that you love.

My family’s favorite thing to do is snuggle up on the couch under one blanket with a bowl of popcorn and a good movie.  Make your family room a place that the whole family will enjoy!9589_XXX_v1-w2000