Night #1 of this year's Tradition


Last night we decided that every Sunday night of this Christmas Season, we will take the kids for a drive to look at Christmas lights.

(Something that we're actually able to plan for under the circumstances this year.)

So we headed to a favorite local neighborhood to start the tradition off right.

The kids loved it!

I did too!

And, as always, this neighborhood didn't disappoint.

Here are some of our favorites:

It probably goes without saying, but these next two houses got the most

and ahhh's

from the kids...

We took a spin through our neighborhood before heading home to tuck the kids into bed and loved what was done on this house...

We spent the day after Thanksgiving putting up our outdoor lights.

Well, actually....

Will spent the day after Thanksgiving putting up our outdoor lights while I went through box after box after box of Christmas decor inside the house, but...

after seeing all of the lighted houses last night, we can home, tweaked ours just a bit, and we now have it exactly how we want it.

I just need to get the front porch decorated and then I'll show you what we've done.

So how about you?

Spot any good Christmas light inspiration of your own this year?

P.S. I am posting this as inspiration over at the DIY Show Off's Holiday Highlight's Party

and at A Soft Place To Land for DIY Day

About a month ago a fellow blogger, Emmie of Aspirations of a Southern Housewife, gave me a Kreativ Blogger Award. Emmie writes a wonderful blog, do stop by and check it out!
Thank you Emmie for nominating me. You need to share seven things about yourself. I tend to be a rather private person, so I have been hesitant, but here they are in no particular order.
I am an incredible procrastinator but also an over achiever/Type A personality. This causes me lots of stress in my down time but very concentrated blocks of productivity during my work time.
I am half Italian and half Portuguese, My grandparents on both sides came to America in their youth and spoke only broken English. I love my heritage. I am very expressive and passionate about life, actually about almost everything.
Of all the areas of design my favorite is kitchen design and spacial planning. I really should have been a kitchen designer; perhaps someday I can play one on TV.
I have an incurable antique furniture habit. My basement and attic are filled with furniture that will someday find the perfect home - but until then happily reside in spaces above and below where we actually live.
I love puppets. I wanted to be a Puppetry major in college but my parents thought it was irresponsible. Instead, at their urging, I entered college as Accounting major (what a laugh!)
I am a mother of two beautiful children. They are amazing people and they make me laugh everyday. I can not imagine what my life would have been like with out them.
I believe we are all connected somehow and that we need to be good to one another. I try to be a better person every single day.

I am also suppose to nominate seven other blogs for this award, but I am interested in so many blogs I couldn't possibly choose. So, if you would like to share anything about yourself, please consider yourself nominated. I would love to know more about YOU!

Who knew silverware could be so cute?

Look what I stumbled across on Etsy this morning...

How cute is that?

It's made from spoons!

Perfect for an anniversary or Christmas gift to celebrate your wedding date!

And this...

Made from spoon ends!

And this key chain...

So cute, right?

I'm so glad I found these!

Now...who to buy for?

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We spent the day at my best friend's house with her family, and we couldn't have asked for a more relaxing and enjoyable day.

There were ten of us, including six kids ranging in age from 16 years to 3 & 1/2. Will and Owen have a blast with Luke and Kelly's son, Isaac, and their daughter, Miranda, so the four of them all but disappeared for the day. Their daughter, Alyssa, and Ellison are like two peas in a pod...

Ellison LOVES Alyssa and followed her around all day! We're so grateful that Alyssa loves her back and didn't mind the three year old following her around and calling her name when she couldn't find her. Ellison got the royal treatment - she got her nails and toes done, her hair done, and even got to wear one of Alyssa's shirts (as a dress) which made her feel so special. Needless to say, our little girl had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

We had more food than we knew what to do with and our eyes were certainly bigger than our stomach's, but it was a beautiful spread and almost everyone had a hand in preparing some part of the meal.

A true feast!

It just isn't Thanksgiving without

Sugared Pecans

so we made two trays of them on Wednesday night...

(it's a family recipe from my good friend down in AZ. I'll ask her if she minds me sharing it and if she doesn't, I will pass it along to you. Even if you don't like pecans, you'll like these!)

As a hostess gift, the kids and I made Mr. Turkey and filled him with assorted nuts and a nutcracker to give to our hosts to say

"Thank you for having us!"

Owen was bound and determined to make this after we found the idea earlier in the month, and I think it turned out absolutely adorable!

Speaking of the kids and crafts...

We made these for the boys' teacher's on Tuesday night for them to take to school on their last day before the Thanksgiving weekend...

This is about as easy as it gets!

I make sure that I always have a supply of handled craft bags here. They come in handy and can be dressed up, if need be, in a snap!

For this, I kept it simple.

I wrote our message right on the bag, so that the boys wouldn't have to be worried about losing a separate card...

We made two loaves of Cranberry-Orange Bread...

(very simple to make, but SO yummy)

I wrapped each loaf up in waxed paper and tied twine around it to look like a package...

Each loaf fit perfectly in the bag. I added a little tissue paper and a small bow made with a little more twine, and that was all it needed.

Just a little something to let their teacher's know how grateful we are to have them in our child's lives!

The day after Thanksgiving is the day that Christmas arrives around here!

So we spent yesterday doing this...

...and this...

...and this...

Today will be more of the same.

Decorating, listening to Christmas music and just being together.

My kind of weekend.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

P.S. I am posting this over at A Soft Place To Land for DIY Day.

We are offering FREE SHIPPING on our Riddling Racks

(to anywhere in the Continental U.S.)

If purchased from our Etsy shop between

Friday, November 27th through Monday November, 30th

That's up to a $60 value!

And don't forget,

they're not just for the wine lover...

Our Riddling Rack now hangs in our bedroom with glass jars hung from wire...

Filled with candles, it gives off a gorgeous glow at night!

Check out our Etsy shop for more details and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


Everyone who regularly reads Willow Decor knows my love (obsession?!) with antique grainsacks. So can you imagine how excited I was when textile artist, Kym Fraser, of 3 Fine Grains sent me photos of her new Antique Grainsack Holiday Collection.
Kym transforms authentic antique German grainsacks, hessian and french jute into gorgeous pillows and throws, but what to do with the small scraps of the precious material that is left over? Well Kym has designed these extra pieces of history into the most wonderful Christmas ornaments and stockings.
Above is her Christmas star made out of French Hessian with real antique glass buttons.
Another star fabricated from a striped German grainsack.
One of my favorite designs is the Dove. This lovely little gem is made from 100 year old antique linen and an antique glass button eye.
Hanging in front of the Dove is an antique button over an antique spoon ornament.
Here's another one for that special mother in your life - (I hope my children are reading this!) Plain small hearts and large hearts are also available, as well as partridges. Kym's ornaments range from $10 to $15.
My other favorite items in Kym's Holiday Collection are her antique hessian and French jute stockings.
They come with a ruffled or striped cuff made from 100 year old antique linen. The striped stocking is $65 and the Ruffled $75. Surely Santa would appreciate these beauties and pack them full of goodies!!
Finally, an antique German grainsack finds new life as Christmas tree. Contact Kym directly for more information on this one of kind item. Notice that Kym also used jute upholstery webbing as garland for her tree. You can learn more about using jute upholstery webbing in home decor in my post here. Now here is the exciting part; contact Kym between now and December 6 and mention Willow Decor in comment line and you will receive 10% off your purchase. If you are interested in any of these items please contact 3 Fine Grains. Happy decorating!!!


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