Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House

Happy New Year!  It’s officially 2019.  I think this is going to be an amazing year.  For some thoughts on how I’m approaching the new year, head here

Last night it was just me and Kuma at home — Grey was working.  It was a relaxed night puttering around my house and reading.  I read ‘A Christmas Carol’ and I think that was the perfect story for a night like that.  Have you read it?

I wanted to post some of our Christmas decorations that I took photos of at night.  It’s magical at night — I am going to miss this!  The greenery is crispy and it took me a million matches to light all of the candles because I am afraid of matches and fire in general, but this is my favorite Christmas house ever in the history of Christmas houses.  I feel cozy here.  I feel special here.  I feel at home here.

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

True story: the pillows are covered in Kuma fur.  😉  The snowball candle is a nod to Greyson’s Grandmom.  The beads were my Gramma’s.  I loved to play with them when I was little.

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

I improvised Kuma’s stocking holder — treats in a jar, with twinkle lights, of course.  Also a true story — I never filled his stocking because I forgot where I put his presents…  I just found them last night.  Sometimes it goes like that!

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Our tree makes me so happy.  It’s a hodge-podge.  Ornaments that are old, some new, some from my Gramma’s old tree, some that I made, and some paper chains I made when I was feeling sad.  Because making paper chains makes me feel happy.

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

I have had these frames for three years and have been meaning to do just this with them.  I’m not sure why it took me so long, but I love them so much.  Our boy is everything.  ❤

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

I hung some pictures up this year.  Some featured events include — our wedding, the day we signed our mortgage, past Christmases, Grey and Kuma snuggling in our bed…  Just the best days.  🙂

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

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Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

I’ll share this stovetop scent recipe soon.  It smells so good!

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

Happy New Year! + Our Christmas House {Details Blog}

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season.  I learned a lot.  I felt a lot.  I figured some things out.  I still have things to figure out.  I felt happy.  I felt sad.  I was content.  I was anxious.  I loved.  I got angry.  I felt grateful.  I feel grateful.

Heading into 2019 with perspective.  Goals.  Appreciation.  Love in my heart.

2019, I welcome You.

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Here’s To a New Year

I’ve been away for a month, and I wasn’t sure I was coming back.  That’s the truth of it.

As of today, I have been off of social media completely since the day after Christmas, and I honestly am making an intention not to return to it.  Some realizations

-Feelings of “not good enough” and comparison creeping in far too often

-Content that I didn’t wish to see and then could not unsee

-Seeing things that people would post that I found offensive or insensitive and then I would get mad, and it might make me feel angry or sad on a day that I was otherwise feeling happy before

-I am not a parent, but if I saw one more picture of a baby crying or screaming on Santa’s lap, I was going to lose my mind

-Too much time spent scrolling and looking at all the things; not enough time spent doing the creative work

It feels vulnerable to put this list out here for all to see.

And then with a self-imposed social media ban, what about the blog?  Can I still write the blog and not promote it on social media?  I honestly still am not sure.  But as it stands this morning, I am going to try.  Writing this blog brings me joy.  That is my reason for writing and posting.  I have some friends and family members who lovingly follow me and I am really appreciative of that.  I am creative and therefore I must create.  I aim to focus on the content I am creating and less on how many people see it.

We live in a world of Pinterest Perfection.  It is really hard.  People all over the internet are completing grand and expensive projects and I’m over here like Look!  I put flowers in a teapot!  Which is cute and fun… and a huge room reveal it is not.  For me, the reason I wanted to start a blog was because I saw a couple of other bloggers who were sharing ideas that were simple and attainable.  Things I could do with what I had in my own house or apartment already.  Ways that I could love the space I was in by shopping my house.  It was all so simple.

It’s so different now.  But I don’t want to be.  I have a little corner of the internet where I plan on sharing my usual simple, little things that I do when I putter around our humble home.  I’m always discovering things about our house.  Things I love.  I love the home I have and I don’t need anything fancy or anything grand to feel that way.  And I want to inspire anyone who comes by my little blog to not have to go out and spend a fortune just to “keep up” with me.

I’ve never been a New Year’s Resolution kind of person.  I think a few years back I began the year saying I wanted to go to the gym more, which is a fine goal for a new beginning but like most people who make resolutions, it didn’t stick.  This year I have a sentence, I have a word, and I have an intention.

My sentence is: “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck

My word is: Hospitality

And my intention is: Be Maria

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Some goals — to declutter, “need” less…

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Take care of people; love on people; consider people; host more… I want to become less afraid of last-minute plans…

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Read more.  Create more time for mindfulness activities — coloring, painting rocks.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Get better, more consistent sleep.  Try to stick to a schedule, but don’t be too rigid about it.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Simplify.  Let fresh flowers and plants be all I need to nest most times.  And twinkle lights never hurt.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

More stovetop home scents.  Discover new recipes.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Next Holiday season — do more to feel present; do less things with more intention.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Savor this guy.  More snuggles, more pets, more love.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

And this guy.  My protector.  My dream.  My wish.  My heart.  Just looking at this picture brings tears to my eyes.  Spend more time cuddled up on the sofa with him.  Simple coffee dates.  Just be with him.  That will always be enough for me.

Happy New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good morning!  I was at the grocery store at 5 o’clock this morning.  Anyone else doing any last-minute shopping?  That’s the time to go!  Before the pandemonium begins…  Just me, my coffee, and my sanity.  😉

Grey and I ran out to a few places last night in search of some of the finishing touches I wanted for our Christmas decorations.  It’s so fun to be out and about together this time of the year!  I mean, it’s fun all year, but especially right now.  I’m so excited to put up our tree on Friday…  we are doing something kind of different with the lights on it this year so I will keep you posted about that!  Looking forward to sharing our decorations soon.

Happy Thanksgiving! {Details Blog}

There have been lots of changes going on around here behind the scenes!  More on that in the next couple of weeks or so.  I have been busy working on creating more intentional spaces all around our humble home.  I’m getting really excited about a project that I hope to be embarking upon soon — our current office (aka dumping ground – ha! Just keeping it real…), which we plan to turn in to our “cozy room.”  Stay tuned!

Happy Thanksgiving! {Details Blog}

We have been feeling especially blessed to live in this little nest lately.  We both agree that we need to take more time out of our daily life to really give thanks to God and revel in that gratefulness.  Last Monday was our second year anniversary in our house.  This time of the year is so special for so many reasons — and that anniversary is one of them!  This was the house that waited for us, the house that we waited for.  This is the house where we have experienced some really hard things, and some really magical things.  The real ebbs and flows of life.

Happy Thanksgiving! {Details Blog}

This Thanksgiving, I am definitely going to be actively giving pause to the joy in my heart and noticing all of the beauty we are surrounded by.  Our little pup, our families, our friends, more than enough, food in our kitchen, dreams in our souls, love and forgiveness, new beginnings, opportunity, hope, faith, beliefs, goals, the Lord, and the love of an incredible man — these are the things I am thankful for this year.

Happiest Thanksgiving to you!  I will see you back here next week!

I’m Breakin’ Out the Spode

Hey there!  Thanks for finding your way here today.  🙂  I have a confession to make… I put up our Christmas decorations last night!  Grey and I will do the tree together on Friday, but the other decor is mostly finished.  I have a few things that I want to add.  It was so fun to work on it last night, with the Christmas music blaring and all of the inspiration flowing.  I kept my promise to myself this year, which was that whenever the mood struck me, I would decorate the house — not before, and not holding myself to a day on the calendar that I deemed “appropriate.”

I am a firm believer that you can celebrate Thanksgiving and all that is wonderful about it and still have your Christmas decorations up.  Both holidays are about love, joy, family, creating memories…  This is the first year I have had our decorations up before Thanksgiving and they are already making me feel so happy.

I'm Breakin' Out the Spode {Details Blog}

Back in May, we started organizing our house a bit and we purchased this hook set from IKEA.  Even then I was so looking forward to hanging up our little Spode mugs.

I'm Breakin' Out the Spode {Details Blog}

Spode is a big deal in our family.  Every Christmas Eve, my whole (huge!) family gathers at my Grammie and Gramps’ house and we have a big dinner and celebrate together.  There are Spode dinner plates for every person.  We even have clip-on candles that get lit so everyone has a tiny candlelit dinner plate.  I remember as a little kid I felt like this was super special — a very sweet way to make the place setting feel extra personal.  Christmas Eve is truly the best night of my entire year because of my incredible grandparents and the traditions that they have instilled in all of us.  It’s a night I will never take for granted.

I'm Breakin' Out the Spode {Details Blog}

Grey and I have two larger cafe mugs that we keep in the cupboard for morning coffee and, of course, hot cocoa.  We like to buy one container of specialty hot chocolate each year that we savor.  We make it over the stovetop and I make homemade whipped cream, and then sometimes we even shave chocolate on top!  Gotta thoroughly enjoy the good stuff.  😉 The rest of the time it is just Swiss Miss around here, which, let’s be honest, is so good, too!

I’m working on my Spode collection little by little each year.  Our families have been so sweet to gift us so much already!  When we bought our first home two years ago, I received some Spode as a housewarming gift, and then more for Christmas.  Some of it is vintage, too!  I love that.

I'm Breakin' Out the Spode {Details Blog}

My mom has Christmas dishes that she pulls out each season, and I love them so much.  Christmas morning brunch is always served on her special dishes and it’s part of the tradition that warms my heart!  I love collecting the Spode dishes in hopes that someday when we have kids, I can keep the tradition of special dishes this time of year alive and help to create some more wonderful family memories.

Do you have any seasonal traditions?  What are they?  Do you collect holiday dishes, too?

Gladiola

Gladiola {Details Blog}

Happy Thanksgiving Week, friends!  I know that this season can be bittersweet for so many.  Although there is much time to be spent with family and loved ones, there are usually people that we miss at this time, too.  This can leave us feeling tender and raw, and a mix of emotions.

Gladiola {Details Blog}

My Gramma’s birthday is this Saturday.  I miss her so much.  I know my mom misses her so much, too.  We all miss her!  She had a giant personality that filled the room.  During the holiday season I miss her even more than usual.  There are so many funny things that she did that were uniquely ‘her,’ and there were so many traditions that she was a part of that I miss like crazy.

Gladiola {Details Blog}

She loved Thanksgiving.  I remember so many turkey dinners with her.  Sometimes Thanksgiving would even fall on her birthday.  🙂  She was a force, that’s for sure.  I was drawn to these gladiola flowers at Trader Joe’s and I bought them, not knowing that they were one of her most favorite flowers.  My mom told me later when I told her about this little vignette on our buffet.  No wonder I was drawn to them!

Gladiola {Details Blog}

I like to use a lot of my Gramma’s silver for decorating and entertaining this time of the year.  It makes me feel lots closer to her and I know that it would bring her joy to know that I am using her fancy things.

Hold your people close!  We should do that all year long, and this time of year is a great reminder to reach out to someone you’ve been meaning to, lend a helping hand to someone in need, do acts of service, etc.  And to all of you who are missing someone this season, sending you lots and lots of love.

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season

Good morning, friends!  Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend.  It’s been a while!

I always find that I have so much to share this time of the year, but not enough time in which to share it!  Halloween came and went and I never posted about our decorations… for the second year in a row!  They were fun this year.  *Sigh* – maybe next year.  😉

Grey and I are trying a new philosophy when it comes to decorating for the season this year.  We both have felt in the past couple of years that we don’t like only having about four weeks with our Christmas decorations.  They just feel so cozy and wonderful to us and we never feel like the month of December is enough time!  So instead of putting up Fall decor once our Halloween decor was put away, we started with a clean slate.  Over the past couple of weeks, we have been adding some Christmas touches slowly and whenever the mood strikes.

I was first inspired by Melissa from The Inspired Room to decorate in this way.  This is how she does it and I wanted to try it this year.  I am loving it so much — it has taken away that pressure that I have put on myself in years’ past of needing it to be perfect or a certain way.  Now my only goal is to feel perfectly cozy in our space and make it intentional for how we want to live and make memories this time of the year.  So thank you to Melissa!  ❤

That being said, there are a few tried and true ways that I love to nest this time of the year, and I wanted to share them with you.  🙂

Add A Cozy Teapot

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

I always like to have a decorative teapot resting on my stove throughout the year.  This one was a gift a couple of Christmases ago when we first moved into our house.  I love it so much!  But this time of year I crave warmer tones and metals, so for the Fall and Winter months I switch it out with a copper teapot.

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

I love the wood handles on both of these teapots.  🙂 I’m sure I could make tea out of this one but I prefer to have a different teapot that I use for boiling water purposes only.  😉  These two teapots serve the purpose of bringing me joy.

Switch Up Your Dish Towels

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

I love to add a couple of new dish towels to my collection during this time of the year, too.  I’m not too crazy about themed towels — I am more focused on bringing in texture or patterns that remind me of this cozy season.

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

These came in a pair from the Target Dollar Spot.  🙂  My favorite dish towels are these from Williams Sonoma — I have at least one of those hanging from my oven throughout most of the year.  But switching up towels is a simple way that I get to nest and our house feels fresh for the season on a tiny budget.

My Favorite Stovetop Scent

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

I have been wanting to share this with you guys for so long.  This is my absolute favorite way to cozy up our house and give it the most beautiful, fresh smell throughout our 1,050 square feet.  😉

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

Ingredients:

Water

Fresh rosemary sprigs

2 Lemons + zest

Vanilla extract (a couple of tablespoons)

Pumpkin pie spice (or any other cozy spice that suits you — cinnamon is amazing, too!)

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

Zest your lemons and then slice them…

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

Put all of the ingredients in a pot with water and set to high heat…

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

Stir the ingredients together…

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

Bring the mixture to a boil and then immediately lower the heat to simmer — really watch it!

My Favorite Simple Ways to Nest For the Season {Details Blog}

Refill the water every little while when it gets low.  This is something that you don’t really have to babysit, but the water does evaporate, which is what makes the most amazing smell throughout your house!  It really is heavenly.  When you refill the pot, bring it back to boiling again and then down to simmer.  I find that I can use this mixture for two days before I have to throw it out.  It really and truly warms my heart — I hope you enjoy it!  🙂

How do you nest for this season?

Have a great day, friends!

P.S. – Happy 7-year anniversary to my sweetie!  I love you!  ❤

Cozy Fall Mugs

Good morning to you!  I hope you had a productive start to your week.  🙂  Grab a cup of coffee and step on into my kitchen

Cozy Fall Mugs {Details Blog}

This buffet from Walmart (of all places!) has been so great since we purchased it almost two years ago.  It stores cookbooks, serving pieces, houses our coffee station, and holds our seasonal mugs.  Which brings me to…

Cozy Fall Mugs {Details Blog}

I love this little coffee station of ours.  It brings a little bit of joy into my day.  I’m a big fan of creating zones in my small kitchen and I treat this buffet as an extension of my countertop space.  We recently purchased some Fall mugs at HomeGoods to update this a bit for the season.  More on that soon…  🙂

Cozy Fall Mugs {Details Blog}

We buy these espresso pods from Amazon.  We used to buy Nespresso but we don’t always have the budget for those pods.  These are almost as good, in my opinion!  😉  I love using the Duralex glasses for the espresso.  Makes me feel all French – ha!  This is the season where we drink a lot of hot coffee and beverages, too.  We were just talking the other day about how we need to make time to head to AJ’s in the coming weeks to pick out a fancy hot chocolate for the cold weather.  On cozy nights at home we like to make it on the stove with homemade whipped cream and shaved chocolate.  Fun mugs make this tradition that much better!  I’m all about the little things!

Cozy Fall Mugs {Details Blog}

Cozy Fall Mugs {Details Blog}

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Have a great Tuesday!