Best Posts and Projects of 2016

Please forgive me for the super cliche New Year post- the end of the year never seems to pass without me blogging or writing in my journal about it. Do people still even have journals? I don't write in mine nearly as often as I should, but I still like to keep one. I guess for personal reasons. 

It seems to me that people have mixed feelings about 2016- which is understandable. But me? I'm always sort of sad to see a year end, no matter how good or bad it was. It means my kids, my family members, are another year older, and I'm always left dumbfounded that a new year came and went so quickly. This one especially. The older I get the faster they go. 

2016 was especially good for my family- and my "professional life" I mean, if you want to call it that lol cause we all know the last thing I am is professional! No but seriously- when I started focusing on my blog in September, I had no idea I would have so many readers, people who actually enjoyed what I had to say. I had no idea I would inspire so many people, or that so many people would come to me with personal stories of their own, I had no idea that people would feel open enough with me to discuss their struggles and their successes. It truly has been such a beautiful thing, I am SO EXTREMELY THANKFUL and I can't thank you all enough for opening up your hearts to me. I get emotional talking about it every single time. When people ask me what I do for a living, I'm always scared to tell them I have a blog (although my hubby or Nick Jr. always does it for me before I can get the words out!) I don't think people understand how much goes into it, or just how much friendships you'll make and how if you let it, it will change your life. Mostly for the better. 

I was able to travel the world with my family- visit exotic places for the first time, and really learn a lot about who I am. It's been such a great year for me spiritually as well. I found God in such a profound way and am extremely thankful for all of the wonderful GOD FEARING women who have been brought into my life. Thank you for building me up. Especially on Instagram, and on days when I'm struggling. 

WOW, this post got super emotional fast- and all I was going to do was show you some of the best loved posts and projects from the year! Ha, sorry about know once I start rambling I can never shut up (uh, do you WATCH my Instagram videos?) LOL. 

So without further ADO (is that how you spell that word?) I bring you..
You all LOVED these DIY Industrial Shelves-
..that Nick and I built one Sunday afternoon, and trust me- so do I! I'll be sharing the full powder room bathroom reveal shortly! I can't believe I've never shared it ya'll. Time is seriously slipping away from me. 

I answered a question I get asked a ton in this post about hanging stuff without damage
and it became one of my most viewed posts ever. It's always funny when a post you don't think people will really care about becomes one of the best. That's why I blog every single little thing. I'm always surprised to hear what people want to know more about. 

I blogged about my absolute favorite neutral paint color in this post here.
I shared my thoughts on owning the Ikea Ektorp Sofa and what I thought everyone else needed to know before buying it here in this post. 
I talked about the often most overlooked thing when it comes to refreshing or rehabbing a space in this post, here.
and got a little more personal in my post talking about how I deal with comparison and try not to get caught up too much in it-in this post here and this post ended up being my all time highest viewed post, LIKE, EVER. After that I was encouraged to share more then just my home with you- and was inspired to open up my heart as well. 

2017 is looking to be even better then 2016 as far as house projects and this little blog goes, but you can bet, I won't get caught up in Sponsored posts- or change my way of sharing things with all of you. I really want to keep my blog small, and quaint and personal, so I don't lose sight of what's important, and that's all of you. It's my readers and my friends that keep me blogging. Even on days when I want to delete all my social media and hide in my house forever. It's the sweet comments I get saying I inspired someone to tackle a house project on their own, or that I encouraged them to love their home again. Those are the things that mean the most to me, and while I'm not going to lie to you- it's certaintly nice to be able to make money if I'm able- that is not and will never be the prime goal here on, I won't conform to "fitting in" with other bloggers- I won't ever share anything I don't 100% love with you and I won't ever forget that it was YOU who started all of this and gave me a small little place to come and be myself. While 2017 is looking big and bright- I hope that it still remains small in the sense that my blog continues to display my heart with you. 

Happy New Year my friends! I sure hope it's great! 

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Why We Celebrate Santa in Our House

The other day over on my instagram, while making my cup of coffee, I talked about a topic that recently came to light, well, at least to me it was new information. 

It was about Santa, and it was about how some parents don't DO Santa. 

Yes, people. You heard me right. There are some people that never tell their children to believe in Santa. They don't do Santa presents. They don't put out milk and cookies. They don't take mall trips to see Santa. 

I don't know why this was such shocking information to me. I'm not a close minded person. I swear I'm really not. But I guess growing up in a family that just loved Christmas and everything about it- It never occurred to me that people do things so differently.

And quite frankly, it made my heart hurt a little bit. You see in my house, Santa was extra magical. 

Let me give you a little backstory about Santa in my house growing up.

My Dad went through extreme measures to keep me believing in the big man as long as possible. He would write me letters every year, long letters where he went into detail about how good I had been. We'd put out milk and cookies and half of them would always be eaten in the morning. And under the tree? Oh under the tree there would be the biggest and best presents. One year it was a little tykes kitchen. I still remember it in detail to this day. Another it was a Pink Barbie pink with tinsel on the handles. Another it was a Baby Born doll with all of the accessories. I watched a video of our Christmas the other day, I was about 8, the room was so full of presents that my brother and I could hardly move. But that's not what I saw or paid attention to in the video. What I  saw when I watched the video was how much thought and love was put into making Christmas so magical for my brother and I. 

My parents- you see, they never really got along. But on Christmas? They tried really really hard to make things special and be kind to each other. And you could see it on their smiling faces how happy it made them, seeing their kids so excited. 

When I was eight- that is when I learned my first lesson of what Christmas meant. And it didn't mean presents. It meant kindness. It meant giving. 

It meant doing something to make someone else happy. 

I now understand that there are a very good amount of people out there who don't do Santa because they want to focus to be on Jesus Christ. They don't want their kids thinking or believing that Christmas is about presents. While I completely understand this, and while it also reminded me to remind my children the real meaning of the season this year, I can tell you first hand that even though we did Santa in our house, I never once believed that Christmas was about presents.

 And I still don't.

My children are taught his love and kindness 365 days a year. We do work in Jesus' name every single day. We pray for our friends and family. And give back whenever we can. Nick won't pass a red bucket and a ringing bell without dropping every bit of money he has in his pocket inside. If we pass a veteran on the street holding a sign? Nick insists we stop and ask him if he's hungry. 

There was one year when the tenants in one of our rental properties didn't have a Christmas tree, or a single present for their 4 children. Nick and I went out and bought $400 worth of toys for them- and also a Bible. 

We are very blessed that Santa puts lots of presents under our Christmas tree every single year, but I don't believe that stops my children from learning about kindness, or giving. Or Christ himself. 

In my eyes, Santa is all that IS good in the world. He represents the good in ALL OF US. The kindness in ALL OF OUR HEARTS. 

And while I certainly want my kids to know that Jesus is the reason for the season, I don't believe that having Santa in our house takes away from that, at all. I believe it helps our kids learn even more about giving and kindness. And it keeps their imaginations alive a little longer, and in today's world I believe our kids need a little more of that. There are so many things and people out there telling our children to "grow up" and why? 

I like to think that in many ways- I'm still a child. I believe in magic, I believe in love. And I believe with my whole heart that Santa exists. He is with us all in spirit if we just open our hearts to him. My heart is open to Jesus every single day- but Santa? Sometimes he gives me the little extra push I need to be extra kind, giving and selfless. 

I'm not saying any of this to offend or hurt anyone. I truly believe that Jesus shows us all individually how to do these things, and we are all different. And this is completely okay. But please stop shaming people who teach their children to believe in Santa. I'm not lying to my children and just because Santa brings them gifts doesn't mean they are any less kind or giving then a child that only celebrates Jesus at Christmastime. 

Of course Jesus is the reason for the season, but sometimes Santa reminds me to keep him in my heart the whole year long. 

God Bless you my sweet friends, and Merry Christmas! 

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A Cozy Plaid Christmas Corner

Hey my friends! Oh how I have missed all of you! We had an AMAZING time on Vacation and I feel so rejuvenated and refreshed to be back home. It's so great how we can go away and come home again- seeing our homes with fresh eyes. I have so many plans and exciting projects I want to start and am looking forward to sharing with all of you! 

Today though, I wanted to share one of my favorite little corners all decked out for Christmas week! (Christmas WEEK! Can you believe it!) This is by far one of my favorite cozy corners in our home, and I absolutely love dressing it up and changing up the pillows and blankets for the seasons. It's so cool how just updating the pillows and blankets can allow me to see this space in a whole new light. It's proof that sometimes all you need are a few things to create a space you LOVE. 

Today I bring you our Cozy Plaid Christmas Cottage Corner (try saying that five times fast!) 

I loved the neutral look this space had earlier in the season-(check it out here) but I wanted something a little more festive in the Living Room since I sort of went with a "Red" theme this year. The plaid blanket added the perfect little pop of color. Don't you think?

 Plus I mean..Plaid. ALL THE HEART EYES FOR PLAID. Oh and P.S My blue frames got a little makeover too that I'll be blogging about later this week!

I really can't wait to knock our next project off our list and that's HARDWOOD FLOORING in the living room. I've been wanting to do it forever but it just always took a back burner to other projects. But this is our very next PROJECT and I'm so excited to show you my new vision for this space!

 I've blogged so much about this awesome pillow from Farmhouse on Boone and I'm not about to stop now..  Can I just decorate with it all year long? Merry and Bright doesn't just have to apply to Christmas..Right? haha.
I just recently made this DIY Antiqued Window Mirror and if you're curious to know how I did it you can check out my post on it here!

I truly do love the soft whites and red accents of Christmas this year! It brings peace to my soul and just gives me all the cozy Christmas vibes! I had so much fun decorating this season and I don't know what I'm going to to do when it all has to come down. But it's not time to think about all of that right now. For now, we just enjoy the season and the spirit of it! I hope you're having the best holiday season with your family and friends!

What do you think about this space? Do you like the red accents? I'd love to hear from you! Let's chat on Instagram, Facebook or leave a comment for me below. I just love to hear from you guys! 
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Girls Shabby Chic Christmas Bedroom Tour

The Christmas Vibes are strong over here at TGF!! I sure hope you love Christmas because if you don't my blog has probably been boring you to death lately. I would say sorry, but I'm not.;) 

Savanna loves Christmas, just like her momma. So of course she wanted a Christmas Tree in her room. But momma wanted to take things a little further and add some little bit of Christmas Cheer in her Vintage Farmhouse Chic bedroom that we gave a makeover too back in February of last year. 

It was kind of hard adding decor to her room because everything I have is so..well. RED. At least when it comes to Christmas. But thankfully, Target came to the rescue and we were able to find a few little bits of Christmas cheer at reasonable prices. 

I didn't want to go overboard in here, simply because I went so overboard everywhere else and the thought of putting it all away in a few weeks is giving me a complex. LOL #truestory. So I just added a few simple Christmas touches to keep her happy. Now I bring you- the Girls Shabby Chic Christmas Bedroom Tour!:)
The garland, blanket and little tree pillow are both from Target and super cute, right? They blend well with the pinks in her room. I loved this pom throw soo so much from the moment I laid my eyes on it but it didn't fit in with any of the Christmas decor anywhere else in the house so I was excited it worked in here. Savi loves it too. ;) 
This GORGEOUS tee-pee is from @benderbeecompany on Instagram and Etsy. Seriously. This tee-pee is SO amazing and just so well made. I'm basically obsessed with it! Savi loves it too. She sits in her and plays so much! She reads to her babies, gives them "check ups" with her doctor kit and tells me it's "her house".

 I was so in love with the gorgeous and dainty lace detail of this too. It's just so cute and girly. 
But don't worry- she makes adorable tee-pees for girls AND boys and I mean, I think this would just make the perfect Christmas gift! You can use code 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' for 10% off from now until December 25th. 

Originally I wanted a white tree for Savs room but then Savanna saw this gold tree at Target and well- the rest is history. Good thing it turned out to be the perfect size for her room. Tall enough to make an impact but still skinny enough not to take up a ton of space in her already super small bedroom. I kept things simple with the ornaments and let Savanna decorate it. I could have made things fancy but she probably would have just moved things around so I wanted to keep things minimal. Plus the tree itself is adorable and I didn't really want to cover it up. 

What do you think of Savi's little Shabby Chic bedroom? 

Are ya'll ready for Christmas? We're SO excited!! 

I'd love to know what you think of this post! We had so much fun with this and Savanna just loves it. I'd love to chat with you. Come find me on Instagram, Facebook,or leave a comment below. It just makes my heart so happy hearing from you my friends! 



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Six Quick Budget Friendly Ways To Decorate For Christmas

Back in the fall- I put together a fun post of my tips for decorating for fall on a budget- it was such a hit and ya'll asked for more posts like it! I also had fun putting it together for you because let's face it. Most of us our on a budget- especially when it comes to this time of year. With all of the amazing decor and inspiration on social media, Instagram and Facebook, it's super easy to get caught up.. and feel like we can't decorate our spaces because we don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on decor. I'm here to tell you that information is just not true! I'm going to share with you 6 ways you can decorate for Christmas- quickly and on a budget! 

1. Put up a Christmas Tree-

This is probably super obvious- but I wanted to tell you that you don't have to put up a huge tree to help you get in the mood for the season. Any size tree will do. Especially if you don't have a large space to work with. Home Depot carries the most adorable real live mini trees and they are so festive and fun! You don't even have to decorate it, if you don't have the time or funds. Just having a tree will help put you in the mood. I promise!

2. Hang a Wreath-
I LOVE wreaths! I hang them everywhere! On doors inside my house, on old windows, on chalkboards, the backs of chairs and even on my kitchen cabinets. Adding wreaths to any space in your home will instantly help things feel more festive and get you in the Holiday Spirit. One of my favorite and most budget friendly options to decorate your kitchen for Christmas is to hang little wreaths on my kitchen cabinets, you can get wreaths at the Dollar Store! This is a super great and budget friendly option to make a big and festive impact in your space. 

3. Add some Festive Throw Pillows-

Target Dollar spot has a GREAT selection of festive throw pillows this year for $5! So it's a great budget friendly and easy way to add some Holiday Cheer to your living room, entryway, front porch or wherever! I love throw pillows, and they are probably my favorite thing because they are so easy to switch out and change up with the seasons. It's so fun how much just swapping out throw pillows can transform a space and get me in the festive spirit! 

4. Hang some Christmas lights-

Literally anywhere! Just adding Christmas lights to space can instantly add some fun and Holiday Goodness to any space in your home. There is something just so darn magical about them. The soft glow of lights at Christmastime while I'm snuggled up with my hot cocoa watching Christmas movies is seriously the most magical thing ever. Hang some and see for yourself.

5. Fresh Garland-
I absolutely LOVE Fresh Garland and you can get fresh garland for a steal at places like Lowes, Home Depot and even your local tree farms (sometimes for free!!) You can often grab clippings from these places for free to make your own garland or greenery displays. If you don't have the time to craft, the garland is still budget friendly. And it will make a huge impact hanging from a staircase or draped over a mantel- plus the smell! If Christmas has a smell, I'm pretty sure it's fresh garland. ;)

6. Create a Festive Hot Cocoa Station-
It doesn't have to cost a ton of money! Just use your current coffee maker, buy one or two festive mugs (target has a GREAT and budget friendly selection this year!) and be prepared to cozy up and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa every night as you watch your festive Christmas movies. I shared some tips on creating a fun, easy and budget friendly coffee/cocoa station- in this post here.

So there ya have it my friends- My easy and quick tips for decorating for Christmas on a budget! Have you done any of these things already? What is one of your favorite things to do to decorate for the season? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this! Let's chat over on Instagram, Facebook, or leave a comment for me below. I just love hearing from you all! 

I sure hope you're having the merriest of Holiday seasons my friends! 

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Cozy Christmas Cottage Kitchen Tour

I sure hope everyone is having a great week! I seriously can't believe that Christmas is in 2 weeks. I MEAN WHERE DID THE TIME GO? I know I say that all the time but I'm literally over here so confused right now. This is absolutely one of my favorite times of the year, there is so much to love about the season and I just try to soak up every single second.

That being said, since I've spoken once or twice about my love for Christmas (okay..maybe a little more than once or twice..) you probably also know that no space in our humble abode is spared from some sort of Christmas decoration (or decorations!) I decided to add some festive cheer to the kitchen using a few simple things that made a big impact.
So today, I bring you my Cozy Christmas Cottage Kitchen Tour;)

 Let's talk about the wreaths..oh my gosh, the wreaths! 
I got so many questions about them over on Instagram. I got them on Amazon but unfortunately they are all sold out now.:( I've been looking all over for a nice budget friendly alternative with no luck but I did find them here but $20 each is kinda pricey. Maybe every other cabinet? Or maybe you don't have a lot of cabinets like me so the cost wouldn't be overwhelming for them.

 I will keep ya'll up to date on if I see them again. Promise!

I've also been asked how I attached the wreaths to my cabinets and the answer is super simple, I just use an upside command hooks on the back of the cabinet. I used Twine because that's what I had handy, but any ribbon will do! If you don't have luck finding boxwoods, you can find adorable mini wreaths at the Dollar Tree for your cabinets.

This is a great way to make a BIG impact in your kitchen with minimal work and money. 
Wreaths are just so festive anytime of year and I just don't really think you can ever have enough;) 
This is also the first time photographing our new back splash in the kitchen! It's been completed for a few weeks, but I haven't had time to blog about it. I'm going to do an in depth post shortly but for right now I wanted to focus on Christmas decor in this space. With the new back splash it gives off a very cozy cottage vibe that I just love! 
What do you guys think of it?

I found the little white house at Target in the Dollar Spot, I bought it not knowing what I would do with it  but thought it was cute on my Pier 1 cake stand, and it fit perfectly once I placed it around some faux snow. This is a super simple, budget friendly way to decorate your kitchen or any space really..most of us already have a cake stand sitting around;) 
I blogged a little more in depth about the coffee area in this post here if you want to take a peek. This is probably my new favorite space;) 

I'm obsessed with these cute little tea towels with fun sayings! I don't even know if people still hang tea towels on their ovens anymore, but I do. And I think it's a great way to add some fun in the kitchen;) 
Things are feeling pretty festive in here;)

 Annnnd of course- I couldn't forget to share my favorite tray!!! I filled this one with lots of Christmas goodies! 

There are still a few things I hope to do in the kitchen, but those things will have to wait until 2017. For now, I hope you enjoyed this little Christmas Tour;) 
What did you think? Do you like the back splash?

You can drop a comment below or pop over to instagram and let's chat! I always love to hear from you!! XOXO


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