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Holiday Tablescape

Hi all -

Today I'm linking up some more photos from my (mega) Thanksgiving table to Centsational Girl's Tablescape Link Party (and HomeGoods Giveaway).  And this was just the grown-ups table. ;-)  And no, I didn't make my guests eat with their hands - the silverware was added by the time everyone sat down to eat.

Come on over and join the fun!

Linking to:
Centsational Girl - Tablescape Link Party
Between Naps on the Porch - Tablescape Thursday
The Lettered Cottage - Tablescape Link Party


A Different Noel

I know we all get wrapped up in the hustle-bustle of the holidays. It's easy to do, with all that needs to be done, after all. But I wanted to take a moment and remember a Noelle that I always think about and remember, especially this time of year. Noelle is the beautiful daughter of a dear friend of mine, who passed away, seven years ago today. She was four years old.

Noelle loved to dance to ABBA's, "Dancing Queen".

She loved books, puzzles and Ariel.

She loved her family.

I called her mom this morning, and we talked about not giving this day any more power than necessary, and not dwelling on this day. So, in the hustle bustle of the season, stop and remember that there are people among you that are bearing these crosses daily. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be genuine.

I have done some random acts of kindness in memory of Noelle. Maybe you could too. To take back this day, and give it a different kind of power.

Noelle's parents have established a foundation in her memory, and are close to raising $150,000 to date. You can read about Noelle, and how those donations have been put to good use.  They have donated it to wonderful organizations like Make-A-Wish, and do amazing things to keep her spirit alive.

Please keep all of them in your hearts, and share some random acts of kindness in Noelle's name today.


Decking the Halls (with Wreaths)

Hi all!

I hope you had a marvelous Thanksgiving and are back into the swing of things, because while I have the first part covered, I'm a bit slow on getting back into the swing of things.  You forget how exhausting it all can be!  But, I'm getting there.  With the last of my houseguests leaving on Sunday night, I started decorating my mantel, and the tree will be going up this week.

I don't know about you, but I cannot resist any sort of holiday decor that involves wreaths.  I just love them.  Inside.  Outside.  Anywhere.  Anytime. 

During the holidays, I decorate with wreaths throughout my home - both inside and out, to the point that when I came home with more Ballard Outlet wreaths last year, my husband made the comment, "Do we not have enough wreaths?  Where are you even going to put them?"  Oh don't you worry - I can always find a place for more wreaths. 

You can never have enough wreaths, right?

Source: via Sydney on Pinterest

Will you be using oodles of wreaths in your holiday decorating?


Giving Thanks

My Thanksgiving table is set, and I have been a cooking fool, getting ready to host my largest Thanksgiving gathering to date.

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I hope you are taking the time to give thanks for those things that are truly the most important in life.  Family.  Friends.  Good health.

As some of you might remember, my husband was a stem cell donor for his twin brother's bone marrow transplant earlier this year.  Last year, his twin was very sick, undergoing chemotherapy, and not at all himself.  These identical twins didn't look so identical.
I'm thankful to report, that this year is a whole different story...
Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving.


Evolution of a Kitchen

With the kitchen cabinets painted, the only unfinished (kitchen) project was to paint the walls and put away all of the additional kitchen crap that is still littering my hallways.   The added bonus is that there really isn't a whole lot of wall space to paint in the kitchen.

But, it's just enough wall space to make a nice impact.  I took the color that I painted the little nook near the pantry (featured here) - Benjamin Moore's Mountain Laurel.  I love this color, and it's a great contrast to the freshly painted cabinets.

As a refresher, here is the before:

I love this rug in the hallway, but I'm going to have to get a new one to go with the new color palette.

And finally, here is the Evolution of the Kitchen - beginning with a photo of the kitchen before we moved in (one year ago), to where we are today.

 Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking to:
Emily A. Clark - Working with What you Have

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday Treasures
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Feature Friday
Just a Girl - Show and Share


Kitchen Reveal!

Happy Monday!

I am thrilled to report that my biggest DIY project to date is now complete.  After three weekends and nearly every weeknight in between, my kitchen cabinets are finally painted, and I am over-the-moon-giddy with the final result!  They look light, bright and beautiful - like a brand new kitchen!

Best yet, I'm so proud that I did it all myself.  Every now and then during this process, I would catch my husband saying, "We're repainting the kitchen cabinets."  Um, no honey.  I'm repainting the kitchen cabinets.  ;-)

I was hoping to have the walls painted too, but ran out of time and didn't want to delay sharing the end result with all of you.  (So, don't mind the overspray - it will be fixed soon)

So, let's get started with the photo overload, shall we?

And what reveal would be complete without some before and after photos?  I'm particularly happy with how the white cabinets completely change the look of the granite.  Before, I was happy to have granite, but I didn't love it.   Now, I am really loving the granite - it doesn't look so muddy anymore.

Here is a picture from when we first bought our house, almost a year ago (to the day).

(Pay no attention to the big, lazy black dog in the doorway.)

UPDATED:  Here is a glimpse of the kitchen after the walls were painted.  You can see the full Kitchen Evolution here and a complete tutorial here or click on the photo below.

Honestly, a year ago, I never would have imagined having the courage or the confidence to tackle this project on my own.  Watching so many of you make amazing transformations in your own homes, has, in turn, not only inspired me, but also given me the confidence to do this myself.  

And for that, I thank you.

Come on over and check out a new feature at A Vintage Vine, called "Did You See This Friday".  Lisa is featuring great projects from around the blogosphere, and I'm thrilled to be included in this series debut!

Linking to:

Dittle Dattle - Amaze Me Monday
Between Naps on the Porch - Metamorphosis Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday
Jennifer Rizzo - Impromptu Link Party
Somewhat Simple - Strut Your Stuff
House of Hepworth's - Hookin' up with HoH
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Feature Friday
The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday
Chic on a Shoestring - Flaunt it Friday
Beneath My Heart - Best DIY Projects of November
Thrifty Decor Chick - Before and After Party
Just a Girl - Show and Share Day

Best DIY Project of 2011 Contest - Not JUST A Simple Housewife