Monday, December 19, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Seven {A Curly Willow Tree}

Even after filling my apothecary jars and wire basket, I STILL had some ball ornaments left {thankfully, non-breakable}. From a previous fall project, I had some curly willow stuffed into a jar filled with pinecones and a burlap bow tied around it. Instead of doing away with it, I just tweaked it a little and made it a bit more Christmasy. All I had to do was add some ornaments in colors of red, brown, and green all over.


After finishing it, I must say that I like it. It had some more detail to my buffet while adding height as well.


Easy as pie, really! Another simple, cheap, and quick Christmas decoration. No one said decorating your house for Christmas had to be expensive!

Today is day one of two school days this week! I might possibly have some kid crafts coming up for one of the days of Christmas to share with you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Six {Framing Free Printables}

Something that I find oh so easy at any time of the year is searching out some free printables on Pinterest to frame or just put throughout my house. I found two that I immediately fell in love with, and all I did was put them in white frames that I already had.


Hop on over to eighteen25 to print out the incredibly festive print shown above. She also has a banner that you might like as well.


At Christmas, we also need to be reminded about the true reason for the season, Jesus Christ, who was born unto us and later give his life to save us all from all of our sins. This is one of my favorite verses, and I really love how they made the words into a Christmas tree. I though it was the only acceptable spot for my nativity scene to sit.


I’m so grateful to have a nativity scene in my home, and I hope to have the one I really want.  I pray that over the years that my Christmas collection will really expand, especially for when I have children, so I can share with them daily why we truly celebrate Christmas. Some things on my wish list include a Jesse tree, an advent wreath, and a nativity scene.

Anyhow….if you want the printable above, you can slide on over to Adventures of  a Betty Crocker Wannabe to download the printable that she made.

I’ve found many more cute printables that I hope to use in years to come. If you’d like to see them, check out my Holiday Décor Pinterest Board for suggestions.

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Five {What to do with Leftover Ornaments}

If you’re like me, you have bought some cheap ornaments in the past and either didn’t use them on your trees this year or just had some left over. Since you’ve already drug them out of storage because you had no idea what was in the gazillion totes that you knew had Christmas stuff in it, you might as well put them to good use.

After I finished decorating my biggest tree, I used all of my leftover ornaments {a.k.a. the ornaments that had hooks missing} in my bedroom by putting them in the apothecary jars that were just sitting empty. That room deserves a little Christmas spirit, too. What’s even better is that the ornaments coordinate with the décor in there, so it’s just as if they are a part of the room.


See? That took all of two minutes, and now you have less to haul back into storage until it’s time to undo all of the Christmas décor that we all put up for this short length of time each year. Don’t get me wrong though. I don’t regret one bit. Each stand of ribbon, each ornaments, and each wrapped present under my tree to be given to others brings me joy and gratitude for this wonderful life.


Now, what do I do with all of the ornaments left over from a previous year’s themed tree? I throw them in a wire basket that I picked up from the trusty Wal-Mart.


Voila! I instantly have Christmas decorations just by adding it to my entryway table.

Who said Christmas decorations have to be hard work?

Missed the Twelve Days of Christmas so far?

Catch up here at Day One: The Burlap Garland.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Four {A Card Holder}

It seems that this time of the year brings me great joy, especially when I go to check the mail. Nothing makes me happier than to go to the mailbox and see a handwritten envelope addressed to my husband and I. I immediately scope out the handwriting to notice if it is one that I recognize. I then try to identify that return address with someone that I am familiar with. When I finally get to opening it, I can hardly contain myself.

It’s always so nice to get to see everyone’s choice of card, whether it be an updated photo of them and their family or just a card that they selected themselves that reflects their personality. I must admit that my favorites are the photo cards, but I enjoy each and every one that I have the pleasure of opening. Unfortunately, Colby and I have not had the opportunity to make a photo, so we haven’t ordered any Christmas cards. Be on the lookout for our New Year’s cards instead.

Last year, I just wasn’t sure how I wanted to display my Christmas cards, so I just added them to the bulletin board that I made. This year though, I wanted them to be where I could see them each and every day. After all, I am so very thankful that each and every one of these people are in our lives. Thanks to Pinterest, I solved my problem.

What’s the one place that we all must go everyday? The kitchen.


This is a very simple and cheap solution to my problem.

All it requires is some sturdy ribbon of your choice, some tape, and some clothespins. I simply used some velveteen type ribbon that I bought one year after Christmas for like 50 cents a roll.

All you have to do is attach the ribbon with some tape to the inside of the cabinet door on the top and bottom. Then, strategically place  the clothespins. I alternated mine from one side to the other.


The good news is…

You can add more ribbon to other doors if more cards keep coming in the mail. Wouldn’t that be a blessing to receive so many cards that you must keep adding ribbons to accommodate them.


Now, I must apologize for the late posts. Because of this busy life I’ve taken on {more so around this time of year}, I just haven’t had time to sit down and compile a post. Therefore, tomorrow and possibly the next day, you should expect two posts in one day to make up for lost time. Lesson learned….don’t decide to do a 12 Days of Christmas so close to Christmas. Instead, start the day after Thanksgiving. No worries though. I’ll push through somehow.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Three {A Galvanized Tree Stand}

For the past two years, my daddy has made the sacrifice and lent me his galvanized wash tub. You see, at Christmas, I use it instead of a tree skirt. I’m not a tree skirt hater or anything. I am picky though….and maybe a little on the cheap side. All of the tree skirts I want seem to be $50 plus dollars, which I am sure is worth it to some. For me though, I’d rather spend my money on more important things. After all, the tree skirt gets covered up with presents all around it anyway….or at least I hope it does.


When I saw this idea in a magazine, I knew immediately that this was the ticket for my tree. It fits in so beautifully. Truthfully, the magazine suggested that you use a galvanized tub and fill it full of water to supply a real tree’s thirst, which is a really terrific idea except for the fact that I have never and will never buy or put up a real tree inside my house. My house is dirty enough as it is without the help of a tree shedding everywhere. That’s beside the point though.

Instead of using it for that reason, I just used it in lieu of one of those fancy-shmancy tree skirts. I’ve been satisfied for the past two years, and really that’s all that matters when it all comes down to it.


In other news, my husband is officially done with his Advanced EMT class that he has been traveling for for nearly the past six months. Praise the Lord for getting him through and for giving me a bit more patience! Now all he has left is his registry. Pray for him in the coming weeks as he prepares and studies for this doozy of a test.

AND The countdown until Christmas break is…..

 8 days {including the weekend}

Oh, and if you missed the previous two days, you can click below to check them out:

Day One: Burlap Garland

Day Two: Burlap Wreath


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Two {Burlap Wreath}

Noticing a trend yet with the Christmas decorations? Burlap is holding a strong presence in my household this year. I love its simplicity, yet classiness!

When I saw a wreath like this on Pinterest, I new that I needed to make one of my own. Instead of following a tutorial from one of those websites, I decided to just wing it.


I ordered some 9” wide burlap and bought the red plaid ribbon from Joanne’s. For the base, I used a wire wreath form, and I used some leftover floral wire to weave my burlap.

The trick to this wreath is not trying to make it look uniform. Just like the burlap garland, you want to fold the fabric back and forth. I cut my roll of burlap into smaller lengths, so it would be easier to handle. Attach your floral wire to the wreath form and weave the burlap onto the floral wire. Do not put the wire in the same place on each fold. I alternated mine by putting it in three different spots {front, middle, back}. For each smaller section, I would attach it to the wreath form and start the process all over again.

In the end, it ended up looking like this:



For the bow, I used a tutorial from Save-On-Crafts. I’m not the best bow maker, so I had to settle for what came of it.


As of right now, I am painting a letter for our last initial to add to it. We’ll see how it turns out. When it’s all complete, I’ll share it with you. I must say that what I love about this wreath is that I can change out the bow and use it for any time of the year! Very versatile!

On a different note…..

How is your Christmas shopping going? I actually did 90% of mine online, and I feel much more sane because of it. Are you a planner or a last minute gal? Usually, I’m a last minute gal, but this year I decided to keep my sanity and plan out everyone’s gifts {except for two}. Anyhow…I’m glad to know that I am done with all of that madness, and I can now enjoy the true meaning of the season.

Can I also bring to your attention that Christmas break is in such close proximity that I could squeal?!?! The count down is on!

I hope you all are enjoying your week!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day One {Burlap Garland}

For some crazy reason, I am committing myself to a Twelve Days of Christmas series. In the next twelve posts, you’ll find some of my favorite Christmas decorating ideas that I am using this year throughout my home. I haven’t been quite as extravagant with my Christmas décor this year since there will be no friends or relatives coming here for parties or visiting. It’s taken some of the stress off, but in some ways I wish they were coming, so I would be forced to go all out!

To start off, I would like to share with you the burlap garland that I created to go on my biggest Christmas tree this year. It’s super easy to make, but I warn you that it is more time consuming than one would believe it to be. I must say that I really love it though, and it really adds that little something that my tree was missing last year.



Here’s What You Need:

At least 2 –3 yards of burlap

Tan yarn

Large needle

Here’s What You Do:

1. Cut the fabric into 2” wide strips for the length of the fabric.

2. Fold the fabric in a back and forth motion.

3. Feed the yarn-threaded needle through the center of the burlap.

4. Tie it up at the end.

5. Weave through the tree.


For now, this is all you get to see of the tree. The rest of it will come in time. Be patient, and let me know what you think of each project.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things…

We all have them….those special ornaments that you carefully unwrap and hang on your Christmas tree each year.

At my house, I have two trees. The biggest and the best is the artificial tree that stands tall and proud while beautifully lit in front of my window for all of the passer-byers to see. Then, there’s the table top tree that I’ve had for years that isn’t quite as pretty of tree, but it serves its purpose.

The biggest and best tree is adorned with white, silver, and light blue ornaments with a bit of burlap tucked in {more on that later}. It’s my themed tree that I am adding on to each year with a new ornament here and there, bow, or garland. The ornaments on this tree are all new, but I still have a few favorites. The newest and most favorite on this tree right now is this angel that was gifted to me by my mother-in-law this year.


Ignore the blue spiral coming through it. It’s not part of the ornament…..just one of those curly-q things that I stick all around and through my tree.

Some more favorites from this tree are below…



Now on to the table top tree….

It may not be the star of the show, but it holds a special place in my heart because it holds all of the ornaments that have been passed down to me from my mom and grandmothers. This year I picked all of the white and red ornaments out {for the most part} to put on it, and I lit it with white lights as well. It adds a lot of ambiance to my dining room as it sits on the buffet, and I can’t help but love it!

Of all of the ornaments that I have, my most favorite ornaments of all time are the ones below. When I was younger, my mom bought me a porcelain doll, and her name was Virginia. With it came these ornaments that told the sweetest story that included a question that I seem to get asked a lot here lately. 

The first ornament is the picture of Virginia writing a letter to the editor, and on the back it contains the letter that was really written to the New York Sun.



On the second is a picture of Santa Claus, and on the back it contains a portion of the letter that was written back to Virginia in 1897.



I did a quick bit of research on Virginia O’Hanlon and her letter to the editor. That’s how I discovered that the editor’s response on the back is merely a portion of what was written in the article that day. Here is the real clipping, and I truly encourage you to read it.


Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I’ll be back soon with some more ideas on Christmas décor!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Thanksgiving Table

Ya’ll, it has been two weeks since I’ve blogged. I haven’t fallen off of the face of the earth, but I sure haven’t had the time or the energy to muster up a post. To be quite honest, there hasn’t been too much happening other than just life in general. School gets busy this time of year with tons of activities for the kids. You know the ones I’m talking about…..Christmas play practice, Thanksgiving dinner with parents, Santa pictures, etc. With all of those things going on, it puts us in a hurry to make sure we get everything in.

This week I have been enjoying a break from all of the craziness, but it will start right back up again next week. While rest is what most everyone would do on their week off, I have been tackling some home projects that have been screaming to be done {or re-done} in this case. I’ve also been on edge for the past week. A rather large {in my opinion, of course}  lizard got into my house somehow. I swear I wish I knew how he got in, so I could put a stop to that. Anyhow, I’m terrified of lizards or any kind of insect or reptile. Ugh. They just gross me out.

After he continually caught me off guard by appearing in various places in my laundry room and bathroom, I decided enough was enough. Every time I would go into the laundry room, I would be stepping carefully and looking everywhere to spot him. Then, no matter how hard I was looking, he would still pop out, and I would scream and run the other way. It was a sad cycle that I have no idea why I’m admitting to. Of course, I got to hear everyone say that they won’t hurt me and that they eat bugs {as if I didn’t know that}, but that doesn’t do anything about the fact that I still hate them.  In response to the sneaky lizard, I spotted him and hopped up onto our freezer that is in our laundry room. I tried my best to scare the dickens out of him with a broom. To no avail though, he was still in there and still alive and well. Knowing I had to get ready to go eat, I bravely entered by bathroom to touch up my makeup. I keep all of my makeup and hair supplies in a basket. The shower curtain had gotten tucked under something and was stuck in it just a little bit. As I was carefully loosening it being fully aware that the lizard was probably going to pop out, I looked up and there it was on the shower curtain. Needless to say, I threw the basket, and everything went everywhere. Colby finally came home, and I sent him in to assess the situation. No lizard. As he was brushing his teeth though, he spotted him….hanging from the light fixture!!! Thinking that Colby was going to chase me with him or tease me with it, I ran out into the yard until I saw him throw him out. The neighbor kids probably thought I had finally lost my mind. The good news is that I’m not longer on high alert while walking through my house.

Anyhow…this post got way off base. I guess it’s what happens when you haven’t posted in two weeks.

Even though Thanksgiving dinner is not at my house, I still wanted to set the table and share it with you in case you were looking for a budget friendly option for setting your table.

To start off, I set the mood by hanging this bunting on my china cabinet. I used a printable bunting template from BusyGirl. Super easy! All you have to do is print, cut, and attach with some kind of ribbon or string. I used twine, and it worked for me.


Then, I moved on to the table.

For the centerpiece, I used a burlap runner that I made myself. My tip to you is to use a runner that you already have and use it as a template to cut out a runner from burlap. You will want to make it just a tad bit wider if you are planning on using some hem tape to press it down to make a nice, clean line. I also used three pumpkins {one I picked up in Tennessee on our trip and the other two were given to me from another wedding I was in….thanks, Erin}. The greenery is made up of cedar tree greenery and fresh pine needles. I just kept tucking it in until it was nice and full.


I then tucked in some pine cones, and some of them held another printable that came from Bird’s Party Blog.


For the place settings, I chose to use a set of dishes that my mom was trying to get rid of in yard sale. When she offered them to me for no charge at all, I hopped on them with the intent of using them during the fall.


The napkins are just plain orange ones that I picked up on the clearance aisle once that are tied up with twine with the utensils tucked inside.

To add in a personal touch to the guests, I attached this printable from Simple As That. They are actually supposed to be toothpick flags, but why use them for their intended purpose?

On the front, it has a Thanksgiving word or print, and on the back you can write the guest’s name.


So that’s my Thanksgiving inspired table! I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving. Count your blessings and be thankful for all of the things big or small that God has provided you with this past year. Spend time with your family, and don’t let this Black Friday that is slowly creeping into our Thanksgiving festivities fiasco interrupt the true reason that this holiday is celebrated.

Happy Thanksgiving!


My Family to Yours

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Cold Kit

Over here on Travis Street, the cold has taken one of the two Langhams down….and it’s not me.

Colby has gotten a terrible cold that has made us both miserable. He’s miserable for the obvious reason, and I’m miserable because he’s not himself. Neither makes for very happy people. Despite that, I’ve done my best as his wife to make sure he is taken care of when I’m here and while I’m away at work.

The solution? One I found while perusing Pinterest {surprise, surprise}.

A Cough and Carry


The cutesy printable came from the blog that originated this idea.

The purpose of it is to contain all of the items that one tends to make a nest with while sick and make it easier to move the items from one room to another {a.k.a. the couch to the bed}. Its contents include a variety of things to ensure that recovery is on the way…


So far, so good. Colby is on the mend. The cough and carry is getting carried to work tomorrow, too. The man has no shame. I love that about him.

If you’re experiencing any cold symptoms, get the one who loves you the most to make a you a cough and carry, and don’t let them forget the Reese’s Pieces. No one can get well without them!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

No Thank You, Movember

Have you heard about it? Movember? It’s now taking place in November. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. As a matter of fact,  I feel quite certain that your boyfriends or husbands may actually be participating in it.

Let me just say this. I hate it. There’s no in between or just a strong dislike. I hate it.

You see, my husband looked like this just a couple of weeks ago.


Quite handsome if I say so myself. Just a little facial hair that happens between a day or two shaving. Now though, thanks to Movember, my husband has decided to grow a mustache, which is driving me absolutely insane.

I love him. I do. That facial hair is getting on my nerves though. It’s pokey and prickly, and I hate it with every ounce of my body.

It comes at the most absurd time. Christmas card pictures can’t be taken because I refuse for it to be a part of it. Holiday photos will have it in there. I don’t want a mustache. I want my handsome husband sans facial hair.

Can you blame me?

For all of you women that have husbands with facial hair, more power to you. I guess I’m just not used to it, but I’m not sure I ever will be. Vote me in for a smooth face that won’t give me a rash!

Because he wouldn’t cooperate, I don’t have a picture of it {yet}. Give me time.


Hope you all enjoy your short work week!


Wedding Four of Four: Wrapping Up Wedding Season!

On the weekend of October 29th, my friend since kindergarten, Erin, got married to Colby’s friend from high school, Hunter Hobbs. It was definitely a celebration not only because of their marriage, but it was also my other friend and fellow bridesmaid’s birthday!

What’s funny about this is that Erin’s wedding was at the same place that Ashley’s was one weekend earlier. Same place. Two very different weddings. Ashley’s was a black, white, and pink theme. Erin’s was all about fall, which makes my heart sing. They had really thought out all of the details. I loved the casual(ness) and comfort that Erin’s wedding gave.

Here’s an overview of the few photos I had time to capture that day:


I loved this idea! Instead of a guest book, she chose to use an address book and have everyone fill out a card with all of their info on it. At the bottom, everyone wrote a note for them. A quite clever idea, I thought.


Boiled peanuts = favors. I have a feeling that there were none left at the end of the wedding.



Ignore my out of control hair that day. My hair is not favorable to 20 mile per hour wind gusts. I’m not even kidding either. That made for a windy and freezing cold wedding, but we all survived.


In my opinion, the boys have done great in the ring department! For that, we are all grateful!





Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wedding Three of Four: Gaining a Brother-In-Law

Because I’m so behind on the blogging wagon, I’m going to use my lazy day of laying in the bed and doing absolutely nothing to recap the wonderful events that the two previous weekends have held. My sister and best friend tied the knot, which has resulted in one exhausted Brenna. However, I feel that with this weekend and next weekend of being lazy and just enjoying being at home, will help me recover. I wouldn’t have missed these events for the world though!

So….let me introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Sheffield.


My sister’s wedding was the total opposite of mine. As you can see, she is a lot less traditional and a bit more modern that her stuffy-conservative sister. While I would never have the guts to do the things she does, I couldn’t imagine her being any other way. Everything at the wedding screamed her personality, which is the point of any wedding. It was a reflection of who she has become. So, let me stop my jabbering and give you an insight of the day that was one of my sister’s best days of her life.












I can’t explain how much I love this next picture! I think it’s my favorite of all of them!





Congratulations, you two!

We’re so happy for you both!


FYI: I took only the photos that have my watermark on them. The rest of the photos were taken by Hunter and Erin Hobbs and Kate Williamson. They were edited by me though.