Home & Garden

A Christmas Buffet and a New Back Splash

My husband and son and I were hanging around after dinner last night when we heard a beeping from the basement. My husband went downstairs to see what it was and our carbon monoxide detector was beeping. After determining the batteries were good in both the basement detector and the main floor detector, he opened the basement patio door and the alarm soon quit.

And then the one in the family room, where we were sitting, went off. We got out of the house and called the emergency line for the company that takes care of our heating system.

When our heat guy came over, he told us the carbon monoxide levels in our basement had been dangerously high (5,000 ppm by the heater) and the detectors had saved our lives. We spent last night without any heat in the house but so thankful to God that He protected us. If you have gas logs or gas powered heat in your house, please get these detectors. The gas is odorless and we would have passed out and unless someone had found us quickly, died. 

On to more pleasant things!

One of the things we really love about our home is the open floor plan. It's especially nice for the holidays and entertaining.

Our dining room, kitchen and family room are divided by this large 'island.' This gives me tons of counter space and I use it like a buffet at the holidays.

It's also nice that I can talk to everyone while I'm cooking!

I moved my gold sled to the buffet and surrounded it with treats.  This little chalk board that I found at Tuesday Morning is always fun to change to match the season.
On Christmas day, this spot is filled with appetizers, desserts and drinks.

While I'm cooking, someone is always sitting right here - snacking.


When we redid our master bathroom this summer, our tile guy was nice enough to help me with our back splash. I already had the 4" travertine tile. He advised me how to seal them and what products to use. 
He had his wet saw set up on our drive way and when I got to the point where I needed the tile cut, he paused working on our bathroom and cut the tile for me!  But I did all the tile laying and grouting myself.
I love how it turned out and how well the tile matches the colors of the cabinets. A friend asked me how I got the pattern of the tile so perfect. I didn't do anything! I just kept grabbing the nearest tile.

I'm also really thankful for the advice and help that our tile expert gave me because I would have missed some steps without him! Thank you, Neil, at Carpet Gallery!
These are cardboard letters that I bought at HobbyLobby. I decoupaged them with blue and white napkins that I found at Tuesday Morning a couple of years ago.

Hope you've got all your shopping done! We've got a couple of Christmas parties this week and will be picking our son up at the airport tomorrow for a week long visit.

Also, our wonderful 'heat guy' is coming over today to get our heat working again! I've got both our gas logs going and I'm wearing several layers under a thick blanket. It's 59 degrees in our house.

love and blessings~
"So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them." Luke 2
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Home & Garden

A Christmas Buffet and a New Back Splash

My husband and son and I were hanging around after dinner last night when we heard a beeping from the basement. My husband went downstairs to see what it was and our carbon monoxide detector was beeping. After determining the batteries were good in both the basement detector and the main floor detector, he opened the basement patio door and the alarm soon quit.

And then the one in the family room, where we were sitting, went off. We got out of the house and called the emergency line for the company that takes care of our heating system.

When our heat guy came over, he told us the carbon monoxide levels in our basement had been dangerously high (5,000 ppm by the heater) and the detectors had saved our lives. We spent last night without any heat in the house but so thankful to God that He protected us. If you have gas logs or gas powered heat in your house, please get these detectors. The gas is odorless and we would have passed out and unless someone had found us quickly, died. 

On to more pleasant things!

One of the things we really love about our home is the open floor plan. It's especially nice for the holidays and entertaining.

Our dining room, kitchen and family room are divided by this large 'island.' This gives me tons of counter space and I use it like a buffet at the holidays.

It's also nice that I can talk to everyone while I'm cooking!

I moved my gold sled to the buffet and surrounded it with treats.  This little chalk board that I found at Tuesday Morning is always fun to change to match the season.
On Christmas day, this spot is filled with appetizers, desserts and drinks.

While I'm cooking, someone is always sitting right here - snacking.


When we redid our master bathroom this summer, our tile guy was nice enough to help me with our back splash. I already had the 4" travertine tile. He advised me how to seal them and what products to use. 
He had his wet saw set up on our drive way and when I got to the point where I needed the tile cut, he paused working on our bathroom and cut the tile for me!  But I did all the tile laying and grouting myself.
I love how it turned out and how well the tile matches the colors of the cabinets. A friend asked me how I got the pattern of the tile so perfect. I didn't do anything! I just kept grabbing the nearest tile.

I'm also really thankful for the advice and help that our tile expert gave me because I would have missed some steps without him! Thank you, Neil, at Carpet Gallery!
These are cardboard letters that I bought at HobbyLobby. I decoupaged them with blue and white napkins that I found at Tuesday Morning a couple of years ago.

Hope you've got all your shopping done! We've got a couple of Christmas parties this week and will be picking our son up at the airport tomorrow for a week long visit.

Also, our wonderful 'heat guy' is coming over today to get our heat working again! I've got both our gas logs going and I'm wearing several layers under a thick blanket. It's 59 degrees in our house.

love and blessings~
"So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them." Luke 2
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Home & Garden

Our Home in the January 2017 Issue of Romantic Homes!

The January 2017 issue of Romantic Homes is out and our home is featured in this special 30th anniversary issue!

There are eight page of photos and a wonderful article telling all about our home. My husband is particularly pleased about how many times he was mentioned. lol You can order a copy here.

Kristen Wheeler was the photographer that came to our home. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of her photos that didn't make it into the magazine. All the following were taken by Kristen. The styling and editing is mine.
Our Entry




as you step into our living room
our living room



our dining room




our family room

master bedroom



guest room



kitchen


I'll be back next time with more Christmas!

love and blessings~
"Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You. Teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8
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Home & Garden

Our Home in the January 2017 Issue of Romantic Homes!

The January 2017 issue of Romantic Homes is out and our home is featured in this special 30th anniversary issue!

There are eight page of photos and a wonderful article telling all about our home. My husband is particularly pleased about how many times he was mentioned. lol You can order a copy here.

Kristen Wheeler was the photographer that came to our home. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of her photos that didn't make it into the magazine. All the following were taken by Kristen. The styling and editing is mine.
Our Entry




as you step into our living room
our living room



our dining room




our family room

master bedroom



guest room



kitchen


I'll be back next time with more Christmas!

love and blessings~
"Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You. Teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8
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Home & Garden

A Christmas Tablescape

We've always had Christmas and Thanksgiving at our house, but since our daughter and her family have moved back to Big Rapids, we've split the holidays. She has hosted Thanksgiving, and I have continued hosting Christmas.

We usually eat brunch as we're opening gifts and then snack all day while we wait for our big dinner.

A couple of years ago, we had my daughter's family over for dinner one night and I added a pretty centerpiece and battery-operated, child-safe candles to the table. Our sweet Levi was about four years old and when he sat down at the table he exclaimed, "This is pretty!!" His little face was low to the table, because he was short, and it was all lit up and sparkling. I've never forgotten it and always been surprised that a little guy would even notice.  But apparently, everyone loves a pretty table!
We don't sit down to the table until dinner time and every year I use the same dishes. My husband bought them for me when we were still on a tight budget and I've had them for about twenty years now. They bring back memories of when our children were little and all the Christmases we've shared.
This plate set has been a great neutral and has worked every year, no matter what color I was decorating with that decade! :) The last several years I've placed them on gold chargers.
I replaced my large sleigh centerpiece with this small wooden sleigh and some gold deer that echo the plate pattern. Faux evergreen boughs line the middle of the table, draped with gold ribbon and ornaments.
Every year I buy paper napkins at HomeGoods. They always have the prettiest patterns for the holidays. This year I tucked them into my gold stemmed wine glasses.
The candlesticks are from Ballard and come in a set of five. For some more bling, I added some ornaments to our chandelier.
My favorite combination this year is this dark blue and gold. 








If you're still looking for that perfect gift for someone, my dear friend, Kristin Malloy, has a beautiful Christian worship CD out. I just got it Friday and have just about worn it out. It is beautiful! You can purchase a download on her website KristinMalloy.com  If you live in the Big Rapids area, you can buy a copy at Resurrection Life Church.
I'll be back soon with our Christmas buffet and our kitchen. We finally got our back splash done this summer and I'm excited to show it to you!

love and blessings~
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. Luke 2
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Home & Garden

A Christmas Tablescape

We've always had Christmas and Thanksgiving at our house, but since our daughter and her family have moved back to Big Rapids, we've split the holidays. She has hosted Thanksgiving, and I have continued hosting Christmas.

We usually eat brunch as we're opening gifts and then snack all day while we wait for our big dinner.

A couple of years ago, we had my daughter's family over for dinner one night and I added a pretty centerpiece and battery-operated, child-safe candles to the table. Our sweet Levi was about four years old and when he sat down at the table he exclaimed, "This is pretty!!" His little face was low to the table, because he was short, and it was all lit up and sparkling. I've never forgotten it and always been surprised that a little guy would even notice.  But apparently, everyone loves a pretty table!
We don't sit down to the table until dinner time and every year I use the same dishes. My husband bought them for me when we were still on a tight budget and I've had them for about twenty years now. They bring back memories of when our children were little and all the Christmases we've shared.
This plate set has been a great neutral and has worked every year, no matter what color I was decorating with that decade! :) The last several years I've placed them on gold chargers.
I replaced my large sleigh centerpiece with this small wooden sleigh and some gold deer that echo the plate pattern. Faux evergreen boughs line the middle of the table, draped with gold ribbon and ornaments.
Every year I buy paper napkins at HomeGoods. They always have the prettiest patterns for the holidays. This year I tucked them into my gold stemmed wine glasses.
The candlesticks are from Ballard and come in a set of five. For some more bling, I added some ornaments to our chandelier.
My favorite combination this year is this dark blue and gold. 








If you're still looking for that perfect gift for someone, my dear friend, Kristin Malloy, has a beautiful Christian worship CD out. I just got it Friday and have just about worn it out. It is beautiful! You can purchase a download on her website KristinMalloy.com  If you live in the Big Rapids area, you can buy a copy at Resurrection Life Church.
I'll be back soon with our Christmas buffet and our kitchen. We finally got our back splash done this summer and I'm excited to show it to you!

love and blessings~
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. Luke 2
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Home & Garden

Christmas in our Master Bedroom

We are in the middle of a blizzard here in Michigan. Church was canceled today and if the snow continues like expected, schools will be closed tomorrow. So it was a perfect day to take some pictures of our master bedroom and post them.

This skinny tree is perfect for our bedroom. It doesn't take up much room but adds a big punch of Christmas.
A couple of things have changed in here since summer. The large framed art I had here stuck out from the wall too much for us to open our barn door all the way so I got this classic from Joss&Main for this space. I have always loved this painting.
This rug was in our living room and when I bought the new rug, I put this one in here. I like the lighter color.
I added a wreath, some faux amaryllis and a deer to our dresser.
A garland of evergreen, gold ribbon and ornaments is draped across our headboard.

You can tell in this picture that it's a white-out outside. And this is a perfect spot to read and watch the snow fall.


I filled this little tree with satin wired ribbon and gold and silver ornaments.
This is also a perfect place to 'hide' the grand kids presents. They get so excited and shake everything when they come over! lol

We had a fun family photo shoot yesterday. We took a million photos and got about fourteen good ones, and only two that had all three of them looking good. lol
Levi, Rhynn and Lucas


Hope you're staying safe and warm if you're getting this storm too!

love and blessings~


And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2

I'm joining these parties:
dwellings
thededicatedhouse
stonegable
astrollthrulife
impartinggrace
seekinglavenderlane
RattlebridgeFarm
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Home & Garden

Christmas in our Master Bedroom

We are in the middle of a blizzard here in Michigan. Church was canceled today and if the snow continues like expected, schools will be closed tomorrow. So it was a perfect day to take some pictures of our master bedroom and post them.

This skinny tree is perfect for our bedroom. It doesn't take up much room but adds a big punch of Christmas.
A couple of things have changed in here since summer. The large framed art I had here stuck out from the wall too much for us to open our barn door all the way so I got this classic from Joss&Main for this space. I have always loved this painting.
This rug was in our living room and when I bought the new rug, I put this one in here. I like the lighter color.
I added a wreath, some faux amaryllis and a deer to our dresser.
A garland of evergreen, gold ribbon and ornaments is draped across our headboard.

You can tell in this picture that it's a white-out outside. And this is a perfect spot to read and watch the snow fall.


I filled this little tree with satin wired ribbon and gold and silver ornaments.
This is also a perfect place to 'hide' the grand kids presents. They get so excited and shake everything when they come over! lol

We had a fun family photo shoot yesterday. We took a million photos and got about fourteen good ones, and only two that had all three of them looking good. lol
Levi, Rhynn and Lucas


Hope you're staying safe and warm if you're getting this storm too!

love and blessings~


And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2

I'm joining these parties:
dwellings
thededicatedhouse
stonegable
astrollthrulife
impartinggrace
seekinglavenderlane
RattlebridgeFarm
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Home & Garden

Our Christmas Entry

For the last several years, I have put our nativity on the 'island' that separates our whole main floor. This year, I thought I'd let it be the first thing you see when you enter our house.

I love this nativity. I got it at Hobby Lobby several years ago and the last time I was there, they still had them. It's such a nice size and so easy to put out because it's one piece.
I placed a gold star behind it to give it more presence and surrounded it with faux greenery, sparkly trees and a Merry Christmas greeting.
I filled my French shopping basket with evergreen and added a small tree to my little wheelbarrow.


I haven't shown you the other side of our entry for a while. Right now, our armoire that used to be in our family room is there - waiting to be sold. It doesn't look bad - it's just not a design decision and is just temporary.
You can see the edge of it in this picture.


I'll be back soon with our master bedroom changes and Christmas decor.

love and blessings~


"Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2

I'm joining these parties:
.dwellings
thededicatedhouse
stonegable
astrollthrulife

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Home & Garden

Our Christmas Entry

For the last several years, I have put our nativity on the 'island' that separates our whole main floor. This year, I thought I'd let it be the first thing you see when you enter our house.

I love this nativity. I got it at Hobby Lobby several years ago and the last time I was there, they still had them. It's such a nice size and so easy to put out because it's one piece.
I placed a gold star behind it to give it more presence and surrounded it with faux greenery, sparkly trees and a Merry Christmas greeting.
I filled my French shopping basket with evergreen and added a small tree to my little wheelbarrow.


I haven't shown you the other side of our entry for a while. Right now, our armoire that used to be in our family room is there - waiting to be sold. It doesn't look bad - it's just not a design decision and is just temporary.
You can see the edge of it in this picture.


I'll be back soon with our master bedroom changes and Christmas decor.

love and blessings~


"Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2

I'm joining these parties:
.dwellings
thededicatedhouse
stonegable
astrollthrulife

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Home & Garden

Christmas in the Living Room

Our living room and dining room are really all one room. I kept things simple in here this year since you can see both trees from this room.





I got a new rug this summer at HomeGoods. I originally got it for the family room but didn't like it in there.
When I moved it in here, I loved it! The rug that was in here is in the master bedroom now and I'll show it to you soon.
It's hard to show you a good picture as the rug is very muted. It has a silvery background and medium blue print. I like that it's so subtle and it's very soft. It's thin so I got a rug pad for underneath and now it's plushy. :)

I also got another fireplace screen. I moved the one that was in here to the family room and put the new one in here.
All of our evergreen is faux. My husband has severe allergies and real evergreen in the house makes him feel bad.

My little desk in the corner is the perfect spot to address Christmas cards.



I stashed all my Christmas wrapping paper in this corner to get it out of the way and then I liked it here!



I'll be back soon with our entry way! Have a wonderful week!

love and blessings~

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid."  Luke 2

I'm joining these linky parties:
betweennapsontheporch
thededicatedhouse
myuncommonsliceofsuburbia
stonegableblog
dwellings
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Home & Garden

Christmas in the Living Room

Our living room and dining room are really all one room. I kept things simple in here this year since you can see both trees from this room.





I got a new rug this summer at HomeGoods. I originally got it for the family room but didn't like it in there.
When I moved it in here, I loved it! The rug that was in here is in the master bedroom now and I'll show it to you soon.
It's hard to show you a good picture as the rug is very muted. It has a silvery background and medium blue print. I like that it's so subtle and it's very soft. It's thin so I got a rug pad for underneath and now it's plushy. :)

I also got another fireplace screen. I moved the one that was in here to the family room and put the new one in here.
All of our evergreen is faux. My husband has severe allergies and real evergreen in the house makes him feel bad.

My little desk in the corner is the perfect spot to address Christmas cards.



I stashed all my Christmas wrapping paper in this corner to get it out of the way and then I liked it here!



I'll be back soon with our entry way! Have a wonderful week!

love and blessings~

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid."  Luke 2

I'm joining these linky parties:
betweennapsontheporch
thededicatedhouse
myuncommonsliceofsuburbia
stonegableblog
dwellings
Standard
Home & Garden

Joyeux Noel Bleu

It's the most wonderful time of the year! There's something so magical about Christmas decor! Our house goes from 'normal' to sparkling, with twinkle lights, blingy trees and piles of beautiful gifts!

I have had a Christmas Pinterest board for several years and when the holidays are nearing, I begin to look through it again for inspiration. Our house was all French Country reds and golds a few years ago and it was easy to decorate for Christmas.

When I redecorated a few years ago and went to blues, I gave away all my red things and began to figure how to do a 'Blue Christmas.'  So I thought it would be fun to share with you all the ways I have found to have a blue French Country Christmas.


Charles Faudree-Traditional Home
This beautiful room was featured in Traditional Home many years ago. I had the magazine and stared and stared at this photo. I love the mix of rustic, tapestries and fresh blue and white and the tree is filled with vintage ornaments, including some reds and golds. Mr. Faudree was probably the start of my love for French Country. I'm sure he was for many others, too!

You know I love blue and white and it's so fresh and lovely in the winter with Christmas greenery. And I love paper whites and white amaryllis. My mom used to force them at the holidays and I always thought they were so wonderful and smelled so good.

I forced some paper whites several years ago and was so proud when I had a beautiful bunch growing. Then my guys started pursing up their faces whenever they walked past them and asking, "What stinks?!" Ha! So I haven't gotten any since then. Fortunately, the amaryllis don't smell.
House Trends Magazine
 This blue and white breakfast room is so pretty with the yellow toile walls and the red ribbons.
Charles Faudree
This entry has red mixed with blue and white all year round. This another picture that I have loved over the years. I may have to add some red to my home again in the future - at least at the holidays.
Traditional Home
 Isn't this topiary wonderful?! It looks like gold pears. I love this!
Traditional Home
It goes so beautifully with the blue and white toile. And I love the mix of fabrics on the chairs!
My French Country Home
 Sharon Santoni's blog and home is always so beautiful and inspirational!

Traditional Home
This room was also featured in Traditional Home. Even though this chair is actually purple, it initially looked blue to me, and I immediately started shopping for deep blue chairs! So beautiful!


These two dining rooms are so similar and both are so beautifully filled with fresh greenery and over the top bling! The gold ribbons are beautiful!
Amy Chalmers
 Amy Chalmers does blue so beautifully!  I love her blog Maison Decor and find lots of ideas there!
Veranda

Ballard


Traditional Home
I included photo credit everywhere I could find it. Please let me know if you know where a picture came from that I did not credit. I'll be back this week with more of our rooms all decorated for Christmas.

I hope you'll have a beautiful, blue Christmas~but only in your decor!

love and blessings~
 "So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2

Standard
Home & Garden

Joyeux Noel Bleu

It's the most wonderful time of the year! There's something so magical about Christmas decor! Our house goes from 'normal' to sparkling, with twinkle lights, blingy trees and piles of beautiful gifts!

I have had a Christmas Pinterest board for several years and when the holidays are nearing, I begin to look through it again for inspiration. Our house was all French Country reds and golds a few years ago and it was easy to decorate for Christmas.

When I redecorated a few years ago and went to blues, I gave away all my red things and began to figure how to do a 'Blue Christmas.'  So I thought it would be fun to share with you all the ways I have found to have a blue French Country Christmas.


Charles Faudree-Traditional Home
This beautiful room was featured in Traditional Home many years ago. I had the magazine and stared and stared at this photo. I love the mix of rustic, tapestries and fresh blue and white and the tree is filled with vintage ornaments, including some reds and golds. Mr. Faudree was probably the start of my love for French Country. I'm sure he was for many others, too!

You know I love blue and white and it's so fresh and lovely in the winter with Christmas greenery. And I love paper whites and white amaryllis. My mom used to force them at the holidays and I always thought they were so wonderful and smelled so good.

I forced some paper whites several years ago and was so proud when I had a beautiful bunch growing. Then my guys started pursing up their faces whenever they walked past them and asking, "What stinks?!" Ha! So I haven't gotten any since then. Fortunately, the amaryllis don't smell.
House Trends Magazine
 This blue and white breakfast room is so pretty with the yellow toile walls and the red ribbons.
Charles Faudree
This entry has red mixed with blue and white all year round. This another picture that I have loved over the years. I may have to add some red to my home again in the future - at least at the holidays.
Traditional Home
 Isn't this topiary wonderful?! It looks like gold pears. I love this!
Traditional Home
It goes so beautifully with the blue and white toile. And I love the mix of fabrics on the chairs!
My French Country Home
 Sharon Santoni's blog and home is always so beautiful and inspirational!

Traditional Home
This room was also featured in Traditional Home. Even though this chair is actually purple, it initially looked blue to me, and I immediately started shopping for deep blue chairs! So beautiful!


These two dining rooms are so similar and both are so beautifully filled with fresh greenery and over the top bling! The gold ribbons are beautiful!
Amy Chalmers
 Amy Chalmers does blue so beautifully!  I love her blog Maison Decor and find lots of ideas there!
Veranda

Ballard


Traditional Home
I included photo credit everywhere I could find it. Please let me know if you know where a picture came from that I did not credit. I'll be back this week with more of our rooms all decorated for Christmas.

I hope you'll have a beautiful, blue Christmas~but only in your decor!

love and blessings~
 "So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2

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