Homemade Christmas

Some of you may have noticed I took a few days off.  But now I'm back and I can finally show you some of my homemade Christmas gifts I made this year.  For several years now we all have been on a pretty tight budget, and me and my sisters make our gifts.  This year was no exception.  Thankfully we are all somewhat crafty and we can score some pretty cool things.  Both my sisters are very artistic, one being a potter/art teacher. The other a baker, seamstress, artist, and all around crafty person.

Here is a little something I made for my mom.
I bought these small pots, painted them and then put a chalkboard label on.
And a few of the cards I made for my grandma and mom.
 I used burlap cuttings for some, and rub on transfers

 For these, I recycled an old calendar we had.  Cutting out pictures of maps, and using Mod Podge glued them to the burlap.

We actually got a white Christmas this year!  Never in my life have I seen snow here in GA on Christmas day!
It was very exciting :)
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well.


Making guests feel welcome

I'm sure a lot of you are entertaining guests over this holiday season, and I have some helpful tips to make them feel at home in your home.  

~One of the major things to remember is that most guests are unsure as to how comfortable to get at your house.  Even if you make it clear they can help themselves to anything they want, you should always be sure to offer them the things they might need.  

 The guest room:
This should be a room that makes guests feel cozy and relaxed.  If they will be staying for more than a night, be sure to have items in the room and bathroom they may need.  Like towels, extra blankets and pillows, trash can, toothpaste, shampoo, soap. Sometimes my guests like to sleep with a fan, so I make sure to have a little one handy just in case.  It goes with out saying that the sheets be fresh, the room vacuumed and dusted.
Even if you don't have a guest room, and they are sleeping on the pullout in the living room, try your best to make that room inviting.  If you are lucky enough to have a bedroom for them, fix the bed up pretty and try to make it look homey.  Have the lights on when they arrive and a place for them to put their luggage.  There should be enough room in the closet for them to hang clothes.
Knowing that you went to the trouble to set the room up just for them, shows them you care and you are glad they are visiting.
~Another idea is to add some greenery to the room.  If you can't afford fresh flowers, try a houseplant or some pretty cuttings from the yard.
I like to set things on the bedside table, like an alarm clock, lamp, pad & paper, or anything else you can think of.
These nice little touches really say a lot to your guest.  It makes them feel special and loved.

~As far as food, you should buy quite a bit before your guests arrive.  Maybe even ask what they like for breakfast, and have it for them.  Lots of snacks and plenty of drinks is always a good idea.

~Make sure they know where a key is so if they are out and need to get back to the house with out you, it will be easy for them to return.

These are just some basic tips I follow when hosting,
it also helps to be a laid back and flexible hostess. Anything can happen when you have house guests.

If you have anything to add, please feel free to leave a comment :)

B&A Friday

Today I decided to show some before/after shots of some basements. Since we are in the process of re-doing ours, I have been looking around for some inspiration.

 For more photos go here

I'm so excited to add my before after pics to this line up.  I really get inspired by all of you out there who take on your own home improvement projects.
Thank you!

If you would like to be featured, please send me pictures of your before/after projects!

Spinach and Sausage Quiche

People either love or hate Quiche. My family loves it and I plan to make this for our Christmas day brunch.
It also works well for dinner.
This is a very quick and easy meal, and I'm sure even kids will love it!
  • 1 pound ground sausage (I use chicken sausage)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked 9 inch pie crust
  • 2 C chopped spinach.  (use less if you want)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). 
  2. Crumble the sausage in a large skillet, cook on medium-high heat until the meat is lightly browned. Drain off the grease. Add the parsley.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, adding the cream, spinach, cheese and salt. Pour into the sausage mixture; blending well. Pour mixture into the pie shell.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until crust is well browned and the filling is set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 

I'm Dreaming of a Painted Staircase

I really want the stairs going down to the basement to be funky, and different.  So when people see them, they say "ooooh cool stairs!" Here are some inspiration photos I've been looking at.

 Southern Living
 I think these are my favorite
And here are our stairs so far, we managed to rip the carpet off over the weekend.
So. many. staples.
Me and my man did a happy dance when we saw that the stair treads were rounded instead of flat on the edges. Makes for a much more elegant step :)
Any ideas for painting my stairs?

Christmas Cheer

Here are some photos I've taken over the past week getting ready for Christmas.  I have not worked on a piece of furniture in weeks, and I'm feeling kind of sad about it.  If the temp rises above 50 I'm all over it.  In the meantime, I've been relaxing and taking in all the fun that is Christmas time. Take a look....
 We made a trip out to a Christmas tree farm
 Saw this creature, 10 points for whoever knows what this is.
Fed some very friendly goats
  It also snowed over the weekend and it made for a perfect time for this
Made from scratch chocolate chip cookies, recipe from Nestle Toulouse(said like Phoebe on friends)
Does anyone remember that episode? 

Quick, easy and free mantel decor, I went outside and cut some holly and used free cuttings from our local Whole Foods store. Then I just used stuff from around the house to decorate.
I hope you all have a great week!

B&A Friday

This before and after comes from Julie. She bought my cute side tables a while back, and she was kind enough to share her awesome mantel make over.

I love a fireplace.  We bought our house almost 4 years ago and loved the big masonry fireplace.  What our poor fireplace was missing though was a good mantel.  This did not deter me from buying the home.  I simply thought “oh we’ll get one soon to put up there…no big deal”.  Well guess what…it was a big deal.  Everyone I saw in Home Depot or Lowes was just boring and didn’t seem to fit.  I once bought a shelf to try but it wasn’t substantial enough.  Then I decided to ask some contractors about it…their quotes were about $600.  Um…no thanks…I don’t want to pay $600 for a mantel.  But  I really wanted one

Then my good friend Robin asked what she could make me for my birthday. On top of my list was a mantel for Christmas.  I have wanted to hang my stockings and have a beautifully decorated mantel every year.  So she and I scoured the web and came up with a design plan.  We headed out to Lowe’s and picked our wood and trim.

 It’s done! And here it is all decorated for Christmas.  I’m so happy!  I sit and stare at it and I am so grateful that my friend loves me enough to build something so special for me for my birthday.

I love it!  It looks like it has been there all along.  I love a great success story don't you?
Go on over to Julie's blog to check out the rest of the story

Burlap Stocking. Take 2

I was a little more than slightly obsessed with making this burlap stocking last night.  I just knew I could do it. So using this tutorial,  I mentioned yesterday, took it step by step and finally finished it just now.  I was very excited about how it turned out, and had to share it.
 I decided to go with a different color thread, so it would go with the trim.
My daughters name will either be stitched on, or glue with glitter
 See, this is the difference when I really put my mind to something.
                         Before                                                                                                 After

This was my first experience with pleats, it took a few tries but I finally got it!
I'm so pleased, much better the second time around.  Click here for my first attempt.
I always thought this sewing stuff looked so difficult, but with a little (or a lot) of patience one can sew almost anything!
I will continue trying new projects, I appreciate your support on this new endeavor I'm taking on.  I hope you have been inspired to try something new as well.
The high here has been hanging around 40 all week, so there has been little motivation to get out on my driveway and work on any furniture.  So I've had to release my creativity in other ways...

Sewing and Learning

Like I've said before, I'm not a seamstress by any means.  But ever since I did this bumper for a friend, I've caught a sewing bug.  I've been seeing these cute burlap Christmas stocking all around.  They look really easy to make so I thought I'd try it out.  I found this great tutorial over at Cozy Cottage Cute, it looked easy enough.  But hers is way cuter, she took the extra time to do pleats for the cuff.
 Here's how my first attempt turned out
Yikes! Very messy indeed, but I will try again.  Isn't that what sewing is all about, if at first you don't succeed....
I'm learning as I go along, but if it wasn't for all of you and this blog land stuff, I probably wouldn't even be attempting this.