Christmas Door Decoration Ideas

This conversation is sponsored by AtHome. It is my honor to share news with you from a company that I enjoy and support! 

This is Julia’s senior year. This will be our last Christmas of her childhood. That sounds heavy doesn’t it?

I want everything to be beautiful and perfect, but I know that it isn’t about things. If I’ve learned one thing as I’ve navigated motherhood with my oldest, I’ve learned it’s all about making memories. So, I’m reflecting on what I’d like Julia to remember about childhood, and especially Christmas. I want her to remember that our home was  a soft place to land for anyone who walked through those doors. I want her to remember hugs and laughter and songs and love.

I want her to remember that our home is always welcoming.

Wherever this beautiful life takes her, I want her to know she is always welcome to come home. Making our front door beautiful is an easy way to set the mood for this season. I love classic, I love tradition, and I love simple.

Christmas Door Decorations

I want our front door to reflect what you will feel when you walk through the door. AtHome had so many beautiful pieces to choose from to make the door just perfect. Brian and I wandered the aisles and he put up with me trying different color combinations and themes. Of course, I always go back to classic and simple. I’d like to pretend I could try something exciting, but really, I like a good traditional feel.

Decorating the door this morning, made me so happy! I’m so excited about this holiday season. As I walked up this afternoon after picking everyone up from school, I had the biggest smile on my face. Yup. I’m ready to celebrate. Time to start making memories for this little guy’s childhood!

Mary Thompson - I love the little vignettes you create. They make cozy corners
And visual reminders of the seasons. You are so clever and

Ellen Casper - Love the simplicity of these decorations!

Thanksgiving Traditions

I was talking with a sweet new mom and she looked at me and asked what some of my Thanksgiving Traditions were, especially when my older kids were little. Of course I thought about the food, but then I was at a loss. I couldn’t put into words all the ideas I had and all the activities we did as a family. On my drive home, memories started flooding back to me and it made me smile.

I was reminded again that sometimes traditions seem very small at the time, but they are the things that your children will ask for again and again. I was trying to think of the perfect way to describe traditions, and I saw this quote on Instagram.  I think it sums up what I was trying to say about traditions perfectly!

Yes ‘planned habits with significance’. This is exactly what I was trying to say! These are all simple, fun things that have made up our Thanksgiving holidays.

Things to Print

Things to Eat

Things to keep little hands busy

What are your family thanksgiving traditions? I’d love to know!

deanna - I love the Thankful Tags. Thanksgiving is a fun day at my house.

The perfect holiday hostess gift with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and McCrea’s Candies

This conversation is sponsored by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and McCrea’s Candies. It is my honor to share news with you from a company that I enjoy and support!

Maybe it’s a Southern thing, but mama told me never to arrive at a gathering without a gift. Even if that means that I stop by the grocery store to run in for a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers, I’m not gonna show up without something. I can hear her saying it as I walk out the door and you know that I’ll always do whatever it is she tells me to do!

When I opened the box from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and McCrea’s Candies, I was stunned. It was so elegant. The products are packaged beautifully and almost too pretty to open. Of course, I said almost!

Other than flour and sugar, vanilla is my most used ingredient whenever I bake. I have tried many different brands, and I can tell you that this one is absolutely decadent. It is sweet and tasty and makes everything you bake smell amazing!

So, I’m thinking this gift would be perfect when you are heading over to the home of the woman who just loves to host. Give her a little something to bake with and a little something to enjoy and relax with!

Items included within the gift basket:

  • McCrea’s Black Lava Sea Salt Caramels (5.5 oz tube, $14.95) — Rich, creamy caramel with crystals of Hawaiian black sea salt. A moment in paradise.
  • McCrea’s Classic Vanilla Caramels (5.5 oz tube, $14.95) — McCrea’s original caramel generously infused with sweet, aromatic vanilla. For the purist
  • Nielsen- Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar (7.5 oz jar, $23) — A flavorful blend of gourmet baker’s sugar and the pinnacle of all vanillas, Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. Use it in any recipe where vanilla and the sweetness of sugar are desired.
  • Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Coffee Extract (2 oz bottle, $9) — The rich, freshly brewed flavor is achieved through our careful distillation of premium coffee beans. This concentrated extract is easy to keep on hand, unlike ground coffee or beans, which rapidly lose their flavor.

From their websites:

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

Throughout its 110-year history, Nielsen-Massey has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products includes: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Alcohol Free Madagascar Pure Vanilla, Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans. Nielsen-Massey Fairtrade products are certified by FLO-CERT.

Nielsen-Massey also offers a full line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are All-Natural, Allergen-Free, GMO-Free, and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

About McCrea’s Candies

McCrea’s Candies was founded by husband-wife team Jason and Kate McCrea.  Building upon backgrounds in biology and chemistry, the McCrea’s transitioned into the sweet science of candy making after double layoffs.  Started in a home kitchen, McCrea’s Candies now offers a full line of mouthwatering caramels to retail outlets throughout North America.

Guess what?! Just in time for the holidays, they would love to send one of you a set! I love this part of my job! Be sure and enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sean C - I’d love to spoil my sister who would enjoy this very much. She’s a great hostess and this would be great to give her.

Stafford - I’d gift this to my best friend that loves having get togethers and cooking and baking.

Alina - I’d spoil my mother-in-law who loves hosting and baking!

Dee Johnson - My sister; she’s the best cook in our family.

Jackie - My mom is the hostess I would LOVE to spoil.
thank you!

Annette - My cousin is the hostess I’d love to spoil. She’s always volunteering her house for family events and does most of the cooking.

The season of calm

This conversation is sponsored by Grove Collaborative. It is my honor to share news with you from a company that I enjoy and support!

We’re in that magical and ridiculously busy stretch of the year where the calendar is overflowing with school plays, parent-teacher conferences, holiday parties, celebratory dinners, and family get-togethers.

For the most part it’s fun, but sometimes I just want to close the doors and hide.

In those moments, it’s especially important to me that our home feels like a retreat from all the busyness.

Scent is one of my favorite ways to create a calm, restorative atmosphere, so I’m thrilled that Mrs. Meyer’s is bringing back my favorite seasonal scents: peppermint, orange clove, and Iowa pine. 

Cheerful orange clove is a great stress reliever and crisp Iowa pine instantly puts me in the holiday spirit.

Now you can experience the magic of Mrs. Meyer’s for free with this Holiday Set from my friends at Grove Collaborative. Whoop!

When you place your first order of $20 using my link (click here), you’ll get:

  • Mrs. Meyer’a holiday hand soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s holiday dish soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s holiday multi surface spray
  • Grove Collaborative seasonal kitchen towel 

Existing customers using my link (click here) will get a free set of Grove walnut scrubber sponges. I love handing these sponges to the kids to use during cleaning. They really do a great job without being too rough.

Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I like to pray during everyday tasks like doing dishes or washing my hands. I pray over my kids or my husband’s job. I pray for my neighbors and my friends who are ill.  Just a few minutes in prayer can really bring me back to remembering what is important in this world. 

This Grove kitchen towel feels like such a treat to use, too. It’s perfect for streamlining a busy kitchen, since you can use it to dry dishes, drape it over bread dough while it’s rising, and even grab hot cookie sheets out of the oven. It also works like a charm with Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface spray for whisking away messes on the stove or counter.

Another way that I bring order to my home this time of year is by using Grove Collaborative. Grove ships my favorite natural household products like laundry detergent, paper towels, and soaps to my doorstep on my schedule. No more rushing around stores and fighting crowds! It really helps me feel organized and on top of things which is essential during the holidays.

Once you submit your first Grove order using my link (click here), you’ll also be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you’ll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service — perfect if you’re trying to stretch your holiday budget!

I hope your holidays are wonderful and peaceful! I can’t believe they are already here upon us! Have a wonderful week!

Dee Johnson - Wonderful. I love this brand! I am excited they are bringing back seasonal scents too.

Alina - Love the idea of free shipping and the price matching makes it insanely great to use!!

All Hallows Eve – 2017

This year our crew consisted of Meg from Hercules (Julia), Shirley Temple (Mary Alice), and a clown (Riley). Riley basically just wanted any excuse to have his hair sprayed green.

It was a beautiful night with our annual tradition of chili and cornbread, friends and neighbors, kids running in every direction, and wonderful memories.

Nate decided to go with our neighbor at the last minute after all. He dressed as an every original Rugby player.

It’s hard to believe this is Julia’s last year in high school. It’s hard to believe that this might be our last time all dressing up together. The funniest part is, we didn’t even start dressing up for All Hallows Eve until we moved to Arizona. I grew up not participating in Halloween activities, so I just figured that is how my own family would work. And now, I’m gonna miss it.

Julia did an amazing job putting her costume together out of her closet. She always amazes me at her thoughtful designs that turn out perfectly!

A few weeks ago, Julia took Riley shopping at thrift stores for a costume. When they got back, he told me how much fun he had. They came back with one bottle of green hair spray and no costume. It took four days to wash out and it made me smile every single day. Worth it.

I wish I had gotten a better picture of Mary Alice. But it was late and she is two, so you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

And I can’t leave out Julia’s dear friend Julia. Can you believe this makeup? It is absolutely incredible! Awesome job, Julia!

I love this little tradition of ours. It always makes for a special evening!