holiday cheer

A Season of Hope {Experiencing a Joy-Filled Christmas in an Imperfect World}


I'm fighting hard to stay joyful this Christmas. To be perfectly honest, there are a lot of things weighing me down. Our schedule--normally busy even on a slow week--has been packed to the gills with Christmas programs and commitments and events and parties, and while most of it is self-inflicted, it sometimes makes my head [...]

Holiday Baking Inspiration (& Nissa Lynn Apron Giveaway)

One of my very most favorite holiday traditions is baking.  I know this is going to come as a shock, but I tend to go a little overboard.  Last year I think I baked somewhere around 30 dozen cookies.  It was insane.  This year, I'm going to try to cut back just a little.  But [...]

DIY Shaped Crayons


I love giving gifts.  Much to my husband's chagrin, my generous spirit has often outweighed my budget.  A long time ago, long before I was married and had kids of my own, I started giving gifts to all the children in my life.  It started with just my nieces and nephews, and then, as a [...]

Decking the Halls (& Kimono Cards Giveaway)

My favorite thing about Thanksgiving weekend is not the food, though I have to admit, the food is really good.  But nothing tops the day after Thanksgiving, when box upon box of Christmas decorations comes down from the attic.  We listen to Christmas music and feast on leftovers while decorate the tree, put up lights, [...]

The Perfect Gift (& TKI Designs Giveaway)

Black Friday, Schmack Friday.  Who needs to wake up at 2am to fight the crowds when you can find the perfect gift at the perfect price while sitting cozily in your pajamas in the comfort of your own home? By now you know that this year I have been searching for handmade, unique, & [...]

Christmas Card Making (& Craftin’ Crystal Giveaway)

About a year ago, when I finally got fed up with paying 5 dollars apiece every time I went to Hallmark, I started making my own cards.  Unfortunately for everyone who receives them, my homemade cards really aren't pretty--an awkward combination of scrapbook paper & some sort of greeting card appropriate vellum sticker sentiment.  Passable, (if [...]

Feeling Lucky (& Whired Whimsey Giveaway)

I have to be honest, I am feeling a little stressed about Christmas shopping this year.  We have a lot of extra people spending the holidays with us, and my role as "Santa" means I have a lot of stocking to fill. I normally love finding special and unique gifts for each person on my [...]

Girls Who Sew (& Slo Day Design Giveaway)

I have a really bad memory and most of my childhood is a bit of a blur, but I remember learning how to sew like it was yesterday.  The summer between 5th and 6th grade, my friend Sarah called me up, out of the blue, and asked if I wanted to take a sewing class [...]

How to Take Super Rockin’ Christmas Card Photos (& Simply Photography Online Class Giveaway)

Sending & receiving Christmas cards is definitely one of my favorite holiday traditions.  Husband and I have moved no less than 15 times (including 3 cross-country moves) since we've been together, so we have wonderful friends scattered throughout the entire country.  With all the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is really hard to [...]

How to Keep Your 4-Year Old Quiet in Church (and Cottage on the Coast Giveaway)

Like many families, most Sunday mornings we head to church.  Our church has 3 services at 8am, 9:15am, and 11am.  The 11am service always seems to conflict with Trouble's naptime and the 9:15am service is the "contemporary" service.  We prefer our church more on the traditional side.  That leaves us with the 8am service. Thus, [...]

Christmas Inspiration (& Soapy Soaps Giveaway)

Some people are exhausted just by the thought of the holiday season.  I look forward to it all year.  To me it is the season of hope, wonder, and childlike amazement.  I love everything about it.  Even as a little girl I had this overwhelming desire to create the "perfect" Christmas for my family.  I'd [...]

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