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A Christmas Tour from the Ghost of Christmas Past

Christmas Traditions Greenery 2012It seems that my Christmas posts are always one room at a time, and there is never a whole house tour.  So today, I want to put together some of the decorating from the last two years into one post.

Christmas Traditions Books 2012I am calling this my Ghost of Christmas Past post, but I also need to tell you that unfortunately,  you are not going to be able to enjoy the Ghost of Christmas Present until Christmas Future. Have I thoroughly confused you?  (I see you shaking your head yes.)  Okay, let me explain.

Christmas Traditions Books 2012 Christmas TeaWay back in October, Ann Blevins, the Senior Editor at Better Homes and Gardens, contacted me to ask if we would be interested in having our home photographed for their 2015 Christmas Ideas magazine if we were chosen.  (We were one of 12 homes that they were considering.)

I thought long and hard about it.

Christmas Traditions Kitchen Sweets 2012 kitchen windowA few years ago, I would have immediately said yes, yes, and yes!  But after last year’s photo shoot that still has not materialized into print and knowing how much work we put into something like that, I was a little leary. Additionally, someone who worked freelance with Meredith Corporation had contacted me this summer about doing a photo shoot, and it did not materialize either.

Christmas Traditions Kitchen Sweets 2012And more than that,  I had already committed to the December 12th blogging event with several bloggers that I highly respect.  I knew that magazines don’t like you to show the spaces they photograph before they are published, and I wasn’t going to back out on that upcoming Christmas in the Kitchen post- magazine photo shoot or not.

Christmas Traditions Kitchen SweetsDo you see why I didn’t immediately jump on the opportunity?  Ann had wanted me to call her, but before I did, I sent her an email (a lengthy one) explaining all these concerns. In less than an hour, she emailed back and we set up a time for a phone conference.

Christmas Traditions photographs and chalkboardWhen we finally had that phone conversation, she assured me that if we were chosen for the final selection, it would indeed be published and we could work out the kitchen post issue.

Christmas Traditions snow 2012I did not hear from her for quite awhile.  In fact, I assumed we had not been chosen.

Christmas Traditions stockings 2012Near the middle of November, I sent another email to Ann that said something like,

Have you made your final selection for the homes you are using for the magazine? I assume that we have not been chosen as one of them.

(I was already starting to think about this year’s holiday decorating and needed to know if they might be coming.)

Christmas Traditions the nativity 2012

In less than 45 minutes, I received this reply from her:

Yes! We Are!  :)Our process went much more slowly than anticipated. Can you give me a call?

Christmas in the foyerSo we spoke, and she explained the whole process and later sent me the contract that spells out all the expectations.  (It was all very professional.:))

Christmas Favorites Our Christmas tree 2013Then over the following few weeks the art director contacted me, and she let me know that she will be coming along with the photographer(s).  We emailed back and forth and finally settled on 2 days that work with both of our schedules.

Christmas Favorites our Christmas treeThose 2 days are in January.  At first I was disappointed that it was after Christmas.

Christmas Favorites a Christmas table 2013We use sooooo much fresh greenery here that I knew there was no way it would look fresh in January…that basically meant doing it all twice – a tree twice – which is a TON of work.  But then….

Christmas Favorites a Christmas table in the dining roomI came down with pneumonia the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and if you have been reading here in the last few weeks, you know it has really killed my schedule and my energy.  So now I am super thankful that the date is not until January.

Christmas Favorites red in the kitchen deskI am taking it slow.  The Christmas trees are still waiting outside and will probably remain there at least another week.

Christmas Favorites red in the kitchen 2013 If I put up everything late, I think we can keep it fresh until the photoshoot.  So perhaps this pneumonia has been a blessing in disguise.:)

Christmas hall 2013Now what does all of this mean for the blog during the month of December?  Well…I have the kitchen ready for the post for this Friday.

Boys bedroom treeI plan on keeping it like it is for our Christmas but will redo it a different way for the photo shoot.  (I actually had 3 different ideas in mind for decorating it for this Christmas anyway, so I get to use 2 of the ideas.:))

Christmas Favorites our daughters bedroomUnfortunately, I will not be able to show you the rest of the house decorated this Christmas.  That is my Ghost of Christmas Present that you won’t get to see until next winter when the magazine is on the newsstands – my Ghost of Christmas Future.  

Christmas bedroom 2103I hate that I can’t share it with you this year, but knowing my low energy level, I probably won’t have it all finished until almost Christmas Day anyway.

Christmas Favorites master bathroomBut that does not mean that I won’t have Christmas posts for you to enjoy this month.  I already have 4 planned out in my head for you right now, and there will be a couple more after that.  So you will still find some holiday delights here this month.:)

Christmas centerpiece

Again, I am so sorry that I cannot share much of the house with you this season, but I know you will enjoy this Friday’s Christmas in the kitchen post.

Christmas in the KitchenAnd don’t forget about the giveaway of the two cookbooks and the $25 Williams Sonoma gift card.  Details can be found here. To enter, just leave a comment here on the blog (not on email)  on any/all posts that publish between 12/6/2014 and Saturday 12/13/2014 (only one comment per post please.)  It will close at midnight Eastern time on 12/13/14.

Talk of the House Christmas 2014I hope to see you back here on Friday morning.:)

Until next time…

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Anne from Atlanta - December 9, 2014 - 6:14 am

Things always work out! How exciting! I’ll be looking forward to seeing your home in the magazine next year!

DeAnne - December 9, 2014 - 6:32 am

I have always noticed how beautiful the writing is on the chalkboards around the house. Do you write this yourself? I absolutely love it!

Sally - December 9, 2014 - 6:34 am

Your Christmas tours are magical — no matter when you post them. Can’t wait to see what you have planned!

Lynn - December 9, 2014 - 6:53 am

Squeals of excitement here! So delighted that you were chosen by Southern Living! I already noted in my planner to be looking out for that issue. Love your beautiful posts Kelly. Merry Christmas!!!

Linda Evans - December 9, 2014 - 6:58 am

a well deserved honor for sure !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! your home is always a treat, now I can’t wait until next year !!!!

Vicki - December 9, 2014 - 7:12 am

Triple good news today! 1. So excited about all of my favorite bloggers joining forces on Friday. 2. Can’t wait to see the photo shoot next year in one of my favorite magazines. 3. But best of all there is someone else in the world besides me who doesn’t have their Christmas tree up….but at least you have a good excuse!

linda strickler - December 9, 2014 - 7:23 am

First of all please take care of yourself, and your home is gorgeous! Congragulations on the magazine shoot, looking forward to it.

ginni wren wells - December 9, 2014 - 7:29 am

Hope you are feeling better.looking forward to new posts.I just found you on this site.Merry Christmas.

Jayne - December 9, 2014 - 7:32 am

The important thing is that you are feeling better! So glad you are! I enjoyed the visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past. So many good ideas! Congrats on the photo shoot! The wait to see it will be as slow as Christmas!

Theresa in Nebraska - December 9, 2014 - 7:38 am

Heal and enjoy the process! What fun and I can’t wait to see the photos!

Barbara Hinske - December 9, 2014 - 7:46 am

How exciting! Can’t wait to see your home in next year’s BH&G. And isn’t it funny how things always seem to work out for the best? Congratulations to you!

Anne Boykin - December 9, 2014 - 7:55 am

Hi Kelly, Congratulations! Your home is so magazine worthy all the time but especially at Christmas!

Lynne - December 9, 2014 - 7:57 am

I’m glad to hear you are feeling better, even if your energy level hasn’t returned to normal. I think maybe someone wanted you to slow down for a reason. I’m excited about your upcoming photo shoot. I think you should be offered a book deal because your house is charming in all seasons! Maybe that should be the book title?! I have to say we have had a rough month and my Chrisrmas cheer is running rather low, but it certainly brightened my spirit seeing your cute house! I hope your low energy level helps you take things slow and really enjoy the process! Be Well!

Joan - December 9, 2014 - 8:00 am

Congratulations on the photo shoot! Your photos are inspiration to me, I need to get busy!

Design Chic - December 9, 2014 - 8:00 am

How exciting, Kelly and I am absolutely THRILLED for you!!! So well deserved and can hardly wait to see it all in print!! I have had pneumonia before and just make sure you don’t try to do too much too soon – relapses are no fun…take care of yourself. I loved studying every single room…beautiful!!

Betty - December 9, 2014 - 8:00 am

How exciting! Sounds like everything will work out. I can’t wait for your new blogs.

Mary B - December 9, 2014 - 8:02 am

Wow!! How exciting for you!!! Cant wait to see your home in print!! Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!!!

Dorene - December 9, 2014 - 8:13 am

beautiful, after seeing your beautiful tablescapes I asked my sons for the red plates from Pier One for Christmas, sure hope I get them, absolutely love your decor

Amy C - December 9, 2014 - 8:20 am

Congratulations! So happy for you! I love your house and style. Feel better!

Debbie w - December 9, 2014 - 8:25 am

Beautiful! A fun post…..let the decorating begin…it will look lovely!

Cheryl M. - December 9, 2014 - 8:58 am

What an honor to be chosen by Better Homes and Gardens, you deserve it, your home is absolutely beautiful!

Lynne - December 9, 2014 - 9:05 am

Kelly, I do hope you are feeling better by now. I think the shoot after Christmas will work out perfect for you! And I love BH&G magazine. I love the decorating articles, and the gardening articles in each issue. I enjoyed seeing your old Christmas pics again and look forward to next year when we will see this years!

Garden, Home and Party - December 9, 2014 - 9:14 am

I’m so excited for you, congratulations! I love your home and showing us past Christmases works for me. I still get wonderful ideas from each of your beautifully decorated rooms to use in my own.

Joy Daugherty - December 9, 2014 - 9:16 am

Love your decorating style. Feel free to come to my home and decorate. Beautiful. You have given me lots if ideas.

Arlene@Nanaland - December 9, 2014 - 9:20 am

I will look forward to seeing your house in PRINT!! How exciting and I only have to wait til next November!! I am very happy for you Kelly…your house deserves to be showcased! Of all the blogs about houses that I read, yours is my favorite because it is not overdone! And you use COLOR!! So tired of all the blah blah blah neutrals!! And yes, that pneumonia was a blessing in disguise!

Sharon Heinzel - December 9, 2014 - 9:27 am

Congratulations! Your house is decorated in a timeless, beautiful way! It should be in Better Homes and Gardens!

Louvina - December 9, 2014 - 9:28 am

This is WAY too exciting!! What great news– I wanted to see your home again in a magazine!! So I will just review the Past Christmases, enjoy the Present Christmas ( oh joy!) and will soo look forward to seeing Christmas in the Future with that magazine!! All the while, waiting and planning, hopefully my delayed trip to NC mountains!! Remember what I said about half the fun is the planning and dreaming!? I, too, am running way behind this year and will not get my decorations up until this weekend. You take care and pace yourself so to not overdo– you hear? I know you are MORE than excited! I just feel you really have a future in the making that will use your down home decorating talents. May God bless you with health and all happiness this season of His birth!!:)

Darla - December 9, 2014 - 9:39 am

I’m sorry your energy is so slow in returning. When we are sick, we sure learn to appreciate how well we usually feel. Thanks for sharing!

Sandy - December 9, 2014 - 9:42 am

Congrats on your magazine spread and anxious to hear all about your January shooting. I once again enjoyed the pics from Ghost of Christmas Past. I’m waiting for our library to call to take out the William-Sonoma Christmas Entertaining book.

Bonnie Bee - December 9, 2014 - 9:43 am

wishing you a VERY speedy recovery for the Christmas Holidays… always LOVE your porch no matter what season you are posting !!!!

Nancy H - December 9, 2014 - 9:44 am

I cannot wait to see your “Ghost of Christmas Future” post!

Mary Ellen - December 9, 2014 - 9:47 am

I’m so glad that you are feeling better! Love your “Christmas Past” photos….your decorating style is an inspiration to me.

Talia - December 9, 2014 - 10:09 am

Your house tour is once again – amazing! Beautiful decorating and the best part is it doesn’t feel staged – just warm and welcoming!

Carolyn - December 9, 2014 - 10:15 am

Congratulations for being selected and that you had other interest as well. It must be flattering to know that those magazine field editors consider your home photo shoot worthy. These Christmas past photos are very cheery. I’m glad you didn’t have to push yourself while recovering and without your normal energy level. It’s daunting enough if you were feeling well – on top of everything else to do that goes along with Christmas. I admire all the work you put into it. For myself, I am not a red person (never have been since a little girl), so I don’t use the traditional Christmas color. I love green, though, and lots of natural elements, and have found for me that white is a good contrast against it. No, I’m not one of those all-white decor types, either. Our home is a log cabin with pine walls, which is a nice contrast to the green. But you won’t see red!

cindy hattersley - December 9, 2014 - 10:17 am

I wish i lived closer I would come and be your Christmas slave. I am in the same position. Our house is coming out the end of this month so I could only do sneak peeks as well. Be well and don’t worry they will send a stylist!!

donna - December 9, 2014 - 10:29 am

Love,love,love your home! You have such a flair for decorating, everything looks so inviting. I hope you feel better and get your energy back soon. Congratulations on being selected for the magazine shoot. Happy holidays!

Barb - December 9, 2014 - 10:32 am

Better Homes & Gardens!!! Oh my goodness, that is so exciting and so well deserved. The pictures might be Christmas Past, but I’m loving them just the same. I forgot about your nativity with the hand drawn stable (love it) and the gingerbread houses in the jars (love them too). Shepherd’s Abiding is on my nightstand and waiting to be read this weekend. Wishing you joy this Christmas Season!

Debbie - December 9, 2014 - 10:33 am

Congratulations on the magazine shoot! I am so HAPPY for you, Kelly!! I can’t wait to see the issue next November. In the meantime, I have thoroughly studied and enjoyed this post … as I do ALL of your posts. Always so much inspiration! Hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas! And healthy!

Dawn - December 9, 2014 - 10:37 am


I love this post just as is! I enjoy looking back at Christmas past photos. I think the Christmas season comes and goes too quickly as it is and will look forward to seeing your post in January. I hope you have enough time to get well, decorate and appreciate it all as well. I wish you all the best in all of your endeavors. Thanks for keeping us posted and in the loop.

Dee - December 9, 2014 - 10:45 am

I am thoroughly enjoying your tour of Christmas Past and look forward to present and future. I’m amazed you can do any of it. I had pneumonia last December and my only decorations last year were a premade wreath slapped on the front door and a little tabletop Charlie Brown tree with one ornament someone gave me. The kids/grandkids came here on Christmas Day and we had spaghetti because I just didn’t feel up to cooking. It was a messed up Christmas! It took about three months before I got my full strength back. Pneumonia is nothing to play around with…rest when you need it.

kathy - December 9, 2014 - 10:51 am

How very exciting!!! Your home is so magazine-worthy! And, what about pneumonia being a happy accident/positive thing! I love the Christmas Past and look forward to the Christmas Future!

L J - December 9, 2014 - 10:55 am

WOW! I am thrilled for you and very happy that your talent and creativity are being recognized. Of course, we, your readers, love you and your style and it’s nice to know that others will see it. Kelly, you’ve earned this through much effort and talent. We’re pleased for you that others will appreciate it as well.Hurray for you (though yes, it’s got to be a ton of extra work!)
It’s quite OK for us to wait till next Dec to see the current decor scheme. I enjoy reviewing what you did in the past. It’s like what I do with my older magazines. I frequently pick up those older issues and review my favorite articles and look for tips I missed the first or second time through.
And another plus for us in waiting till next Dec–this gives us all something extra to look forward to. Anticipation adds to the excitement.
I’m trusting your full energy level will soon return.

Caitlin - December 9, 2014 - 10:58 am

You are sweet! Don’t worry about us…that is such an amazing opportunity! Best of luck and can’t wait to see the spread in print!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - December 9, 2014 - 10:59 am

I love all of your decor each year, so gorgeous. Congrats, I can’t wait to see all the pics from the shoot. How fabulous and exciting.

Shelley - December 9, 2014 - 11:21 am

Your blog is refreshing! I struggle to embrace the gray, white and beige color schems and white wood and in a lot of decorating-i love the pops of red and natural wood wood in your home. It makes me realize how much color adds to the warmth and interest in making a house a home!

Paula B. - December 9, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Kelly, I hope you are feeling stronger every day, and a huge congrats on the upcoming photo shoot. How exciting, you are getting well known beyond the blog for your decorating skills! It was fun going down memory lane to see the house in holidays past, you sure do have a love of red. We were darn cold here, yesterday, in the mid-twenties, a crisp December day. But, now, things have warmed a bit and we have steady rain with high winds predicted for later on. A perfect day to stay in, finish decorating, and wrap some presents. Alas, I can do some of that and then must trek out on some errands. Don’t overdo, your health is your top priority at the moment (no matter what the calendar says).

Dawn R. - December 9, 2014 - 12:18 pm

Congratulations Kelly! I can’t wait to see the magazine next winter. Everything always seems to work out for a reason, so don’t overdo and be glad that you can decorate late. I know it will be beautiful!
Take care.

Shar - December 9, 2014 - 12:24 pm

Awesome! So thrilled for you & happy that your creative talent gets recognition.

Kathy P. - December 9, 2014 - 12:57 pm

How exciting! Glad you are feeling better.

Nona - December 9, 2014 - 1:24 pm

Love the wreath on the shelves. Is that in your dining room? Take it easy, pneumonia is something you don’t want to mess around with.

Patty in Michigan - December 9, 2014 - 1:32 pm

So exciting, Kelly! I will be looking for that magazine when it comes out for sure. Congrats!

Kaye Ann - December 9, 2014 - 1:45 pm

I love your home. I’ve asked before about your red checked curtains and to bring you up to date…..I now have my living room decorated with them. I bought mine.

The curtains in your bathroom are so nice. Did you make them?

Hope and pray for your recovery from your pneumonia. Take it easy.

Katie - December 9, 2014 - 1:55 pm

Everything you do is perfection! I can see why so many publications contact you. Your home always looks so inviting and cozy.

Benita - December 9, 2014 - 2:17 pm

Congratulations on the photo shoot! And what a great magazine! While I know it is alot of work for the event, it will be so worth it!! Can’t wait to see it all!!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - December 9, 2014 - 2:56 pm

Kelly….congrats, congrats on the magazine feature…your home is always so beautiful for all seasons!!!

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - December 9, 2014 - 3:43 pm

Kelly, warm congratulations on the upcoming photo shoot for Better Homes and Gardens! No one is more deserving! You do such a wonderful job decorating your home and put so much thought into your posts. Take good care of yourself…will so look forward to seeing the magazine next year!

Marken - December 9, 2014 - 3:55 pm

My goodness, I enjoyed that tour. I think it will serve as inspiration to me for the items I still need to finish. Will be looking forward to seeing your home in print next year.

Joan in Warwick - December 9, 2014 - 4:34 pm

I am glad that the timing worked out for you. Best wishes for your recovery – pneumonia really knocks you for a loop! The old pictures are lovely and are giving me some much needed inspiration. ( the tree isn’t up yet at my house either :)).

Liz Piccione-Volger - December 9, 2014 - 5:03 pm

Well… we’ll just have to wait for this years. But Christmas Past pictures are fabulous! Cookbooks and William Sonoma? Can’t go wrong with that. Congrats on BH&G and hope you get well soon. Thanks.

Susan - December 9, 2014 - 5:09 pm

Congratulations Kelly! I’m so happy for you. Thank you for sharing the photos from the past. I’m looking forward to seeing your home in next years magazine.
Take care of yourself!

Carmen - December 9, 2014 - 5:38 pm

How exciting! Can’t wait to see your home in next year’s BH&G. Congratulations to you!!

Kim - December 9, 2014 - 6:08 pm

I’m so excited for you, Kelly. Can’t wait to see it in print next fall.

Mary - December 9, 2014 - 6:52 pm

Kelly, I just LOVED seeing last year’s Christmas decor in your house. I just discovered your house and blog a few months ago so all the Christmas Past look was brand new to me. You are one of my fave bloggers now… I just LOVE your style!!!! Perfect the way things worked out with the January shoot instead of you working yourself to death in December.

Liz - December 9, 2014 - 6:55 pm

Just glad you are recovering! Take your time and don’t worry – we can wait until the magazine comes out to see this year’s decorating!

DiAnne - December 9, 2014 - 7:07 pm

How very exciting for you with the magazine shoot! Congratulations! I know it will be a lot of work. I hope you will get your strength back after the pneumonia.

Jackie M. - December 9, 2014 - 7:37 pm

How exciting to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens Christmas issue!!! I will look forward to seeing the full house next year, and assorted fun Christmas posts this year!

Anne in NH - December 9, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Just lovely. So now I must really get to work on finishing all my decorations. So many great ideas to ponder!

Sharon - December 9, 2014 - 8:07 pm

I never tire of looking at past photos of your home. I can’t wait until next year to see your home in BH&G. They have good taste in picking you.

Cindy - December 9, 2014 - 8:09 pm

How wonderful and so exciting! Sorry you were sick but glad things worked out. Can’t wait to see you in print next year!
Are you back at work? Don’t overdo.
Merry Christmas.

PATTI - December 9, 2014 - 8:28 pm

Yep-I can TOTALLY see it-your house in BH & G. I think it’s called a “no-brainer”??! So happy for you & can’t wait to see it in the magazine! :-)

Susan - December 9, 2014 - 8:48 pm

It will be worth the wait. So glad you are feeling better. Its crazy how with todays technology that they can’t show current photos. Merry Christmas and take time to enjoy the little things, like hot cocoa and a good book.

Sherry Myers - December 9, 2014 - 8:49 pm

No complaints here! Never! This post is lovely. If I love it, I can look at something over and over. Your home is lovely, your style is timeless, and your creativity is captivating. It will be exciting as Christmas approaches next year, to anticipate the photo shoot results. No one is more deserving. I am so glad you are feeling better, but take it slow and easy. North Carolina has an unfinished decorated house too. It has been so cool and rainy for the last few days, we have not finished the outside decorating yet. It will be finished when it is, but it will not steal our Christmas cheer. You have certainly been partly responsible for that! Thank you!
Christmas Blessings,

Debra - December 9, 2014 - 9:10 pm

It will be torture to wait Kelly, but I am sure it will be worth it. Congrats on being chosen. I just love your home and going over the “Kelly Archives”. I don’t know how you do it, especially with your teaching job too. Some cookies did get made here, but the indoor tree is still missing in action :( I think the reason I am dragging my feet, is that I am thinking of just doing a small tree (4ft) on a table top? It is an older one I have had for years and I was thinking of flocking it. Maybe lightly spraying it with that fake snow? Hmm… Well, I did buy and decorate a live 7ft balsam that is just outside our kitchen bay window by the deck. One down and one more to go. Please take care of yourself. Happy Holidays and Happy Decorating!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - December 9, 2014 - 9:39 pm

This is happy-happy news! You are such a Southern Belle charmer to put a positive spin on pneumonia! Instead of a magazine spread, you need to have your own book!

Judy - December 9, 2014 - 9:58 pm

So glad you are feeling better. House looks wonderful! Glad you were chosen
for the Christmas special issue. No one deserves it more.

Pam Jenkins - December 9, 2014 - 10:02 pm

Especially enjoyed this post since I wasn’t aware of your blog until a few months ago. Looking forward to seeing your house in the magazine!

Linda - December 9, 2014 - 10:06 pm

I’ve given several Williams-Sonoma cookbooks as gifts, most recently Two in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Newlyweds but I don’t own one myself!
Just recently found your blog and am enjoying it.

Bobbie Grassel - December 9, 2014 - 11:01 pm

Sending you healing thoughts and prayers. Your Christmas home has given me inspiration to take my red furniture from my sunroom and put it in the living room for Christmas! I love it!
Merry Christmas from North Dakota.

DeeDee - December 9, 2014 - 11:29 pm

Congrats on being featured in the BH&G magazine! I can’t think of anyone more deserving!

Joan - December 10, 2014 - 12:09 am

No matter when you post it is always inspiring and cheerful. Since I didn’t see your Christmas from last year anything is new to me anyway. Thanks for all your great ideas, Kelly.
Where do you get the energy to teach, be a wife and Mom, and post, too? Amazing.

Pat in Georgia - December 10, 2014 - 6:12 am

Congratulations! I could look ay your house over and over again, it is absolutely stunning!!! enjoy the holidays, school will be out soon so you can get your strength back. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Joyce - December 10, 2014 - 1:50 pm

Exciting news! What an honor! Good things come to those who wait.

Nona - December 10, 2014 - 6:38 pm

Love the berries and greenery in the basket. They look like Nandina which hold up well for the holiday period.

Kathy - December 11, 2014 - 12:02 am

Your posts always amaze me! Your home is lovely and inviting always. I would love an opportunity to win! Thanks for sharing. I had pneumonia last December while trying to teach 5th grade, I understand plus know it takes a long while to feel better.

Katrina - December 11, 2014 - 5:31 am

Well who would have ever thought some good would have come from your pneumonia! I am over the moon excited for you and think the recognition is so deserved! I love BetterHomes publications and your house is the perfect one for them to showcase! You are so talented and they are lucky to have had you agree to have your house featured! The only downside is we have to wait until next year to see what new and creative things you do this Christmas!
I so understand your worries about your greenery being fresh! It is just about time for me to replace all the fresh greenery I have placed on our mantle and in other spots BUT it is so worth it! I am just not a fan of artificial trees or greenery… Kinda makes me think of a mall decoration.
Hope you are officially on the mend! Merry Christmas, Kelly!

Jill - December 11, 2014 - 8:30 am

Funny how the Lord works in mysterious ways! Congratulations on being chosen, I take BH&G magazine and am excited to get to see your decor in print. Your home is lovely and this post has given me a few ideas I might use this year. I tend to decorate month long, so know you are not behind at all. Again may you have a lovely Christmas, Kelly and don’t fret…enjoy the magic :-)

Mary Jane Cooper - December 11, 2014 - 9:21 am

I love your blog. I love everything you do. My husband and I went to Blowing Rock a few weeks ago and I had read your posts on it before I went. made the trip so much better. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas !

Bobbie Allgood - December 11, 2014 - 10:24 am


How do you feel about your wicker chair? Is it comfortable? Do you have the large size? Would you recommend it? I am considering purchasing one and would like your opinion on how you feel about yours. Thanks so much.

Bobbie Allgood
Omaha, Nebraska

Julia G. - December 11, 2014 - 10:52 am

Congratulations on the magazine photo shoot. It will be worth waiting until next year to see your Christmas present! And I loved looking at your Christmas past post!

Debi - December 11, 2014 - 3:07 pm

I hope you are recovering it is a slowprocess, in spite of that, your home is just lovely, enjoy your blog very much. Bets wishes for happy holidays but most of all a speedy recovery your home is lovely

Peggy - December 11, 2014 - 9:04 pm

I love your decorating no matter what year!

Lynne - December 11, 2014 - 10:25 pm

Congratulations on being chosen! Your home is beautiful…warm and inviting! I am inspired by your decorating style and will look forward to seeing your home featured in BH&G magazine.
I hope you are feeling better and that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Pat Peele - December 12, 2014 - 11:34 am

Tha chalkboards are always a lovely touch especially as I was a teacher for many years with chalkboard before we had whiteboards. The ‘ghosts’ of years past are still an inspiration. I will be using blue and white this year with many ornaments we purchased in New Zealand and our travels around the world.
Merry Christmas.

JenniferfromVA - December 12, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Past, present or future…doesn’t matter to me I ADORE your house and style!!! Merry Christmas!

Maureen - December 12, 2014 - 7:21 pm

You can post these same pictures EVERY year and I would still enjoy them….there’s so much detail in each picture…it’s eye candy just savoring the prettiness!

Courtney - December 13, 2014 - 12:53 am

Congratulations! How exciting! I love your holiday photos– your home is so warm and inspirational! I adore the cozy touches that you have put throughout your home. Merry Christmas!

Kelly - December 14, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Kelly, no matter what year, past, present, or future, I love your house best of all.


Talk of the Weekend #10 (and a giveaway!)

talk of the weekendWe have a lot to talk about today on this rainy December weekend!  If the temperature would drop..oh… only about 35 degrees we would have snow.:) (My 3 naked Christmas trees that are standing out on the deck are appreciating today’s weather.)  What are you doing today? Have you been out shopping?  If we were shopping, I wouldn’t be able to resist these slippers here. (That gingham is just too cute!)

IKEA slippersAnd the same store has this fabric…yes fabric.  It is about a 2 yard panel, available here.  Don’t you think it would be fun hung in a child’s room with a dowel and ribbon at the top?  (Perhaps I should send it to our sons who say they are not putting up a tree in their small apartment…hmmm.)

IKEA Christmas tree fabricIf you are not out shopping, are you wrapping presents? Aren’t these the sweetest tags from the talented Lana Frankel?  Her motto is Nice Matters.  I love that.  She also has an Etsy shop that you might like to visit.

Lanas shop holiday gift cardsFelix Doolittle has these precious tags (and a lot of other gorgeous things) that I really should buy.  I have wanted them for the last few years and just never get around to ordering them in time.  That red sled is my favorite.:)

Felix Doolittle gift tagsAnd while we are talking about wrapping presents, I wanted you to see this amazing kitchen gift wrap station.

Isn’t it great?

Pantry wrapping stationIf you are not shopping or wrapping, perhaps you are cooking. During the last couple of weeks when I was sick with the evil pneumonia, I wanted soup…Mexican chicken soup…over and over again.  Here is Ina Garten’s recipe for her version of it that would taste great on this damp and dreary day.  (I am going to add rice to her recipe though.:))

Barefoot Contessa Mexican chicken soupDo your children or grandchildren need a letter written to Santa Claus this weekend?

Here is a beautiful free printable they can use by the talented people at Silverbox Creative.

free printable letter to Santa Silverbox CreativeAre you needing ideas for decorating?  The annual tour of homes in beautiful Madison, Georgia is this weekend.  Victoria Magazine has an article on the tour here.  Our daughter’s college roommate and her aunt have been several times, and they say the tour is absolutely wonderful!

Madison Georgia Christmas tour of homesI had to search and search in order to find this magazine several weeks ago, but I was finally successful at a Barnes and Noble in Atlanta.

Midwest Living magazine holiday issueI wanted to see the article on Tessa’s classically beautiful home, from the Nine and Sixteen blog.  If you don’t have the magazine available, Midwest Living has the photos for you to see online here.

article on Nine and SixteenWe are finally starting our Christmas decorating here today…the latest I have ever started!  I wish I had the elves crew from this photoshoot at our house.

Pottery Barn holiday photo shootAnd one last thing to talk about today…a Christmas giveaway for you!  Two great books and a $25 gift card for Williams Sonoma.  I gave away a copy of the Williams Sonoma Christmas Entertaining book last year, and you can see some photos from it here.  It is such a great book, I thought someone else would like a copy. The Treasures From Home book is truly a treasure.  It is my go-to cookbook for just about everything, and it was out of print and nowhere to be found for several years.  Then Mrs. Shelton was persuaded to do a reprint, and when it came out, I bought several copies – one for you, one for me, and one for our daughter.  The gift card I am including is so that you can have some fun shopping at my favorite store.  (The Peppermint Bark is always a good choice at this time of year…if you need a suggestion.:))

Talk of the House Christmas 2014

Just leave a comment on any/all posts that publish between 12/6/2014 and Saturday 12/13/2014 (only one comment per post.)  I am asking that you please leave the comment on the actual blog posts online – not reply to an email delivered post this time.  I am swamped and far behind right now, and that is one thing that would help me out to save a little time. (Thank you!) If you have never left a comment on a post here before, it is easy.  Click on Leave a Comment.  It will flash at you a few times.  Then scroll to the end of the comments on that post, and you will find a box to fill out with your name and comment.  When you finish, just click Post Comment.

I will close the comments for the random drawing at midnight Eastern time on Saturday 12/13/2014 and announce the winner in the following post.  Hopefully, this is early enough that you will be able to enjoy the books and gift card before Christmas.:)

And now let me get back to decorating!

Something fun will be coming your way this week, and I really need to get busy on it…

Christmas in the Kitchen

Happy shopping, wrapping, cooking, decorating, merry making!

Enjoy your weekend.

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Betty - December 6, 2014 - 4:21 pm

Glad you’re feeling better. The decorating will get finished. It is so hard to be sick at such a busy time of year. Are you back to school?

lynne - December 6, 2014 - 4:38 pm

WS peppermint bark is my favorite Christmas candy. It is so addicting though! Merry Christmas!

Mary Ann - December 6, 2014 - 4:38 pm

I so enjoy looking at your photos, it puts a smile on my face when I am not feeling very chipper. Today’s photos especially brighten my day, the Christmas ones.

Wish you lived near me to help me decorate.

Dawn - December 6, 2014 - 4:43 pm


It is so great to hear from you and to know what you are up to. Today I am finishing up decorating our big tree in the family room. It is a nice tall 12 foot skinny fella. It has white lights, silver and white ornament and holds all of my Precious Moments ornaments. My Mom would always give each of us an ornament on St. Nicholas day every year growing up and she does it to this day. I just love the tradition! It takes me a while to get our tree just the way I like it so I make sure I set aside plenty of time to do it so I can enjoy it, and not break any thing trying to rush. I am going to make some soup later on tonight (I found a new broccoli cheese soup recipe). Thanks for sharing once again. Take care!

donna - December 6, 2014 - 4:43 pm

Glad you are feeling better! What a wonderful giveaway! I could use some new inspiration. Thanks!

Garden, Home and Party - December 6, 2014 - 4:47 pm

Hi Kelly,
I’m so happy you sound like you’ve regained your energy. I loved all of the links you gave us. I’ve wrapped all of the presents I’ve purchased. I am no where near finished but it felt good to get a few things under the tree.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Loren at Felix Doolittle - December 6, 2014 - 4:49 pm

Thanks so much, Kelly, for featuring us! We’re having a site-wide sale so everything and anything you might want from us is currently 15% off, and free shipping on orders over $75… could be like shopping locally, but from your nice dry home!

It’s about 40 degrees in Boston… and wet. That Ina Garten soup may just be on the dinner menu this evening!

Wishing you a very happy holiday season! -Loren

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - December 6, 2014 - 4:54 pm

Glad you are feeling better! Such great inspiration…love the gift tags and Tessa’s house! It deserves to be featured in a magazine! I am still decorating and shopping…not getting very far though…

JenniferinVA - December 6, 2014 - 4:55 pm

Haven’t been out shopping today. I have actually been sewing black and white buffalo check curtains!!! Hmmmmm, wonder WHO gave me the inspiration for them????? I love how they cozy up a space!

Your an inspiration to me!! Merry Christmas hugs to you!!

Jackie - December 6, 2014 - 4:56 pm

Thanks for the free printable, I love it and it will come in handy for my grandkids’ letters to Santa. Today was Cookie Day for us. My daughters and I started this back when they were in high school and now it includes the grandkids as well. We bake, listen to Christmas songs, act silly and just enjoy each other’s company. We usually have a fire going in the fireplace but today it wasn’t cold enough for a fire. Enjoy your holiday season!

Vicki - December 6, 2014 - 4:58 pm

Love cookbooks, love Williams and Sonoma, love your blog!

Patty Lucas - December 6, 2014 - 5:02 pm

I am very, very, very late this year decorating. Tomorrow is another day and I hope to get a lot done then. Maybe if I pray a lot tonight the elves will come and help but I am not going to count on that.

Barbara (WA) - December 6, 2014 - 5:06 pm

The painting is done in the Spare Oom so I am planning where things will go in the closet. I can’t lift so hubby will help with that. Thanks for the give-away!

Roxanna - December 6, 2014 - 5:08 pm

Christmas decorating is done and only a few gifts left to buy. I’m ahead of my norm this year, now to just enjoy the season. Thanks for the giveaway!

Louvina - December 6, 2014 - 5:19 pm

Great ideas as usual and a wonderful give away, too! I am at my happy place Ormond by the Sea for a week–after an absence of 8 weeks — daughter was given clearance to return to work– with protective black boot and sidekick walker!! Oh, my –not sure how she will manage her heart patients but she will find a way! The beach is so beautiful and weather is perfect! I’ve decorated my palm tree and banana tree for Christmas with shell lights and red bows and a flamingo standing nearby with a red scarf and Santa hat! Just finished making my husband’s favorite BD cake for tomorrow– yellow butter layer cake, bananas between layers with 7 minute frosting and coconut all over!! Looks like a huge snowball! Going out to our favorite sea food restaurant right by the ocean!! Happy, happy! Glad you are up and feeling better!

Maureen DETWILER - December 6, 2014 - 5:19 pm

I’m so happy when I see there is a new Talk of the House blog post. Love them.

Barbara Hinske - December 6, 2014 - 5:27 pm

Glad you’re feeling well enough to do some decorating! Take care and don’t overdo!!

Carolyn - December 6, 2014 - 5:27 pm

Glad you’re feeling better. I know it can be daunting this time of year when there’s so much to do and yet you want to take time to enjoy the season. I’ve finished decorating the cabin and the shopping’s mostly done. My husband and I met my brother and sister-in-law for lunch in downtown Asheville and then we strolled and browsed and soaked up the holiday atmosphere. Fun! Tessa’s house featured in the magazine is adorable. I love that it’s in an English style village setting – in Ohio! I enjoy Biltmore Village here in Asheville and like to imagine I’m in a quaint English setting. I’m a total Anglophile. Thanks for offering another giveaway!

Thirkellgirl - December 6, 2014 - 5:33 pm

Oh, I would love a gift card for WS! They have so many pretty (and delicious) things! Don’t overdo it with your decorating. I bet that having pneumonia took more out of you than you realize. We did our Christmas decorating today, except for the outside garland around the front door (dear husband did not have very good luck with the staple gun, for some reason, so will try again tomorrow afternoon). I decorated my hutch with red and silver mercury glass, blue and red willow dishes, and white milk glass. My favorite thing on the hutch is an antique child’s doll-size punch bowl, inherited from my grandmother (who would be well over 100 now). It’s pressed glass and has tiny little hooks holding ten tiny faceted punch cups.

Darla - December 6, 2014 - 5:35 pm

Thanks for the weekend wrap-up. It’s always inspiring…so is Williams Sonoma!

Kathy - December 6, 2014 - 5:37 pm

Thank you so much for the giveaway!

Pam Jenkins - December 6, 2014 - 6:03 pm

Love all the beautiful things in this post. Looking forward to seeing your house in its Christmas “best”. If I win the giveaway, I promise to buy some peppermint bark!

Nancy H - December 6, 2014 - 6:10 pm

I am new to your blog and I spent hours reading it the 1st night…

Patty in Michigan - December 6, 2014 - 6:12 pm

Shopping was part of my day today and also my version of chicken tortilla soup. I may have to try it with rice.. yum. Sounds like you are feeling better… Yeah! Another great giveaway. How sweet you are! Have a great weekend, Kelly.

Jan P - December 6, 2014 - 6:36 pm

Glad you’re feeling better. Love your blog. Thanks for all the inspiration.

Debby - December 6, 2014 - 6:37 pm

You have a beautiful you are feeling better.
I’m going to check out the sites you have shown.
Happy Holidays.

Ellen Martin - December 6, 2014 - 6:40 pm

Great to hear that you’re feeling better! Love your post with all the great links. Hopefully we’ll see your home in a magazine soon! Christmas blessings……

Christi {Jealous Hands} - December 6, 2014 - 6:46 pm

Madison GA is where I live – and that is a gorgeous picture of Heritage Hall. Happy to hear you’re feeling better!

Laura Ingalls Gunn - December 6, 2014 - 6:50 pm

I am so glad that you are now on the mend.

I went in to Williams Sonoma the other day to get a gift card and ended up walking out with $30 of hot chocolate. They were passing out samples and it was the best I have ever tasted. :)

Peggy - December 6, 2014 - 6:54 pm

Glad you are feeling better. I shopped at a Williams Sonoma store this fall for the first time on our way to the mountains.
Love it!

Mary - December 6, 2014 - 6:55 pm

Love your blog throughout the year but especially holiday ideas and giveaways!! Merry Christmas!

Cindy - December 6, 2014 - 6:58 pm

Glad you are feeling better! Take the decorating slow and easy.
Would love to win the giveaway, especially a gift card to Williams Sonoma.

Nancy Benson - December 6, 2014 - 7:00 pm

I always look forward to your posts! Inspiring and informative! Thank you for the giveaways!

Cara - December 6, 2014 - 7:00 pm

I was just about to go looking for the Midwest Living article!! Thanks! Love your blog!

Vicky Hunt - December 6, 2014 - 7:13 pm

What a sweet giveaway! I am looking forward to pictures of your home all decked out for Christmas. You have such beautiful style! Have a blessed weekend.


Emily - December 6, 2014 - 7:38 pm

So glad to see that you are feeling better to post. Love seeing your ideas! And I certainly love William Sonoma! Thanks for the give-away.

Take care of yourself!

Susan Ward - December 6, 2014 - 7:40 pm

I came across your blog a few weeks ago and have enjoyed reading your posts and all the great decorating photos and information. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Sheena - December 6, 2014 - 7:44 pm

I’m glad you’re feeling better, Kelly, and thanks for the giveaway. WS is my favorite store as well. ☺️ Happy decorating and a joyful holiday season to you and yours.

Pat - December 6, 2014 - 7:52 pm

Thanks so much for the give away. I love seeing your posts show up in my email. They supersede all.

Jennifer - December 6, 2014 - 8:01 pm

No decorating for me this year. We’re in the middle of a total house remodel and nothing to decorate yet! Next year will be very special though; can’t wait to cook in a new kitchen and that cookbook would certainly help. Love your blog-I’m a displaced southerner. Merry Christmas!

Mona - December 6, 2014 - 8:01 pm

So glad you are feeling better! I’ve battled pneumonia several times and it’s no fun. I love reading your blog–red is my favorite color too. Thanks for the giveaway! Can’t wait for Christmas in the Kitchen!

Diana - December 6, 2014 - 8:09 pm

Love it when your blog pops up in my feed. Eye candy and heartwarming words make it seem like you are a close friend. Hope you feel much better soon!

Jackie Layton - December 6, 2014 - 8:10 pm

So happy you’re feeling better. What a beautiful post to get inspired for Christmas. I’d love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks!

PATTI - December 6, 2014 - 8:22 pm

I never get tired of visiting this blog. I look forward to new posts & enjoy going back & looking at older ones. Happy to hear you are feeling better & back in decorating “mode”! :-)

Ermetta - December 6, 2014 - 8:24 pm

So glad you are feeling better. I just enjoy your blog so much. Thanks for taking the time to share so many great ideas with us! A Blessed Christmas to you and your family!

Joan - December 6, 2014 - 8:26 pm

I haven’t decorated a bit yet, although I went on a Holiday House Tour today for inspiration. Thank you for the giveaway, I adore regional cookbooks!

Shelley - December 6, 2014 - 8:28 pm

i loved the photos on the progress of your board and batten can’t wait to see the finished project!

Theresa in Nebraska - December 6, 2014 - 8:33 pm

Love WS! We are moving this weekend and the only thing in our new family room is the undecorated Christmas tree! I need some elves this year.

Mary - December 6, 2014 - 8:39 pm

You and me both! I am just in the very beginning throes of decorating. It’s so much easier to look at all the pretty pix of houses of bloggers like you than to go do the work all by myself. Thanks for the giveaway!

Mary Hanson - December 6, 2014 - 8:54 pm

Love your blog, especially the holiday new. Glad you are felling better.

Sally - December 6, 2014 - 9:00 pm

That Mexican Chicken Soup looks similar to a recipe that I make. We call it Taco Soup. Oops, just checked it out though – my recipe (from my sister) has only 4 ingredients (plus toppings) — SUPER easy. I could LIVE on soup this time of year! Hope this great post means you’re feeling better!

Rose - December 6, 2014 - 9:14 pm

Kelly, it’s about time I commented to thank you for the effort you put into your blog. I always enjoy it and look at my house with a new eye after reading, even though my house is a cabin in the woods near Lake Michigan! There is a certain cozy, pretty style that transcends state lines, and I think you epitomize it. Thanks again.

Cheryl M. - December 6, 2014 - 9:22 pm

Hi Kelly, I love your post today, so many great things!! I live in Snellville, GA and have gone to the Madison home tour several times and loved it, you should go next year!

laura yadusky - December 6, 2014 - 9:22 pm

I have really been looking forward to your December posts and to see what inventive Christmas ideas you have!

Arlene@Nanaland - December 6, 2014 - 9:39 pm

We were partying with our one year old grandson today! Off to see A Christmas Carol at the Alabama Shakespeare Theater tomorrow. We are taking our 8 year old granddaughter to her first professional play! Hope you are up to all your decorating!!

Joyce - December 6, 2014 - 9:40 pm

Hi Kelly,
Your blog is so inspiring! Glad you are on the mend, I’ve been pulling for you!
Keep that decorating simple. Since my son is in Seattle and won’t be able to come home for Christmas this year, I cut back on mine. My Christmas cards are next. Today my husband and I had a lovely visit taking dinner to our new three day old grandson and three year old granddaughter from our daughter and son-in-law making our spirits brighter! Remember to enjoy all the moments.
Thank you ever so very much for the giveaway!

Pat in Georgia - December 6, 2014 - 9:51 pm

Kelly, I too have three naked trees. The dreary weather makes it a great day for chili and decorating. Today’s post is absolutely beautiful. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas.

Stacy - December 6, 2014 - 9:52 pm

I’m so glad you’re feeling better!! I think I’m finally finished decorating and I’m now ready to enjoy the season! (I loved this issue of Midwest Living! Tessa’s home is so warm and inviting!!)

Sharon H - December 6, 2014 - 10:00 pm

I still haven’t finished decorating yet either! You had an excuse!
Glad you are feeling better! Your post gets me inspired to finish up! Thanks for the opportunity to win the books and gift card!

Carol - December 6, 2014 - 10:22 pm

I am so glad you are feeling better and getting well. Thank you so much your posts about your lovely home. I so enjoy reading your posts and can’t wait for the next. You have introduced me to so many wonderful books that I can’t possibly get them all but so much hearing about them all. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

Debbie - December 6, 2014 - 10:36 pm

Sounds like you’re feeling better. I do hope so! Being sick is never good, but it’s especially hard at this time of year.
I searched all over the internet hoping to find “Treasures From Home” … in case I don’t win your giveaway. Ha! It’s nowhere to be found. Do you know where I might be able to find copies? Thanks, Kelly, for another wonderful blog post AND giveaway!

Anne Boykin - December 6, 2014 - 10:41 pm

Hi Kelly – thanks so much for the giveaway! Happy Holidays!

Sue - December 6, 2014 - 10:45 pm

So many lovely ideas and images Kelly. Good luck with your decorating. It seems that no matter how early I start I never have time to do all of my ideas. Hmm ~ simplify maybe?
Love WS and in fact was just in there buying a very lovely tartan tablecloth and trying to talk myself out of buying the matching salad plates. I have resisted so far, but they are calling to me:-)
It is the merriest time of the year, isn’t it?

Terry - December 6, 2014 - 10:48 pm

I have really been wanting the Snowman mugs from Williams Sonoma!

Lonna Berridge - December 6, 2014 - 10:49 pm

Love your blog! Thank you for the down-to-earth inspiration that you share. Your giveaway is wonderful. Would love either of those books!

sharon - December 6, 2014 - 10:50 pm

So glad you are feeling better. I love the magazine Midwest Living. Only wish it was monthly. William Sonoma is my favorite store. Their Peppermint Bark is the BEST!

Joyce - December 6, 2014 - 11:12 pm

I am always inspired by you and your creativity. Now you have me thinking of peppermint bark!

Rhonda - December 6, 2014 - 11:27 pm

Something weird was happening when I tired to leave a comment. This is my third attempt, I hope my name doesn’t show up 3 times. We had a great, busy day, today. It was the town’s annual Dickens of a Christmas…to celebrate Charles Dickens. The downtown shops all have holiday open houses, and there are performances by carolers, the orchestra, roaming players acting out The Christmas Carol. The Farmers Market also comes to sell their holiday goodies. My 4th grade daughter was a member of the choir that roamed from store to store singing Carols. Then we all had hot chocolate, ate pizza, and then they performed for a retirement community. Later in the evening, my husband, me and the kids went to a local Irish eatery and had some great food, in a beautifully decorated restaurant, with a fire going and a live band playing. It was so much fun!!! Now we’re all tired out. Thanks for the opportunity to win. I love Williams-Sonoma. And I LOVE your website!!!!!

Mary - December 6, 2014 - 11:31 pm

Love all your posts! Your style of decorating is so much fun to see!

Sherry Myers - December 6, 2014 - 11:32 pm

What a creative post Kelly! Love the gift tags, love the gift wrapping station, Love the lovely photography of the first picture! So glad you are on the mend. I can relate. We just returned from Savannah, where we spent Thanksgiving with our son. I didn’t even feel like shopping. Now that we are back, the pressure is on, shopping and decorating. We will get it done though. Sometimes I do work better under pressure. And let me say what a bright spot your blog was for me while I was under the weather. I love the walls in your new room. It will be a lovely room when you are done decorating. The post ending with your daughter’s flute concert was a joy! Thank you for sharing. I have listened to it several times and it brings chills each time. I can’t wait for the calm of your blog each time I get to read it! Thank you for the chance to enter your giveaway. Have a good weekend.

Lisa K - December 6, 2014 - 11:47 pm

So happy to hear that you are on the mend! Just remember to take it slow so you don’t get over-tired. My Christmas decorations aren’t up yet either. We are packing to move into our new home in a couple of weeks. We had hoped to be moved in by Thanksgiving, but didn’t make that – hopefully we will celebrate Christmas in our new house!
Thanks for all the fun links :-)

Robin - December 6, 2014 - 11:48 pm

i enjoy your holiday decorating!

Merri Jo - December 7, 2014 - 12:10 am

I’m so thankful that you are recovered from the evil pneumonia! So many links to wonderful goodies & beautiful photos–I’m bookmarking this post to return to after I get my decorating & baking done. We attended Candlelight Carols @
Moody Bible Church tonight, which is a favorite Advent tradition. It doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is less than 3 was away!

Ana - December 7, 2014 - 2:11 am

Kelly: There is one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, which means the majority of us are late decorating and most of us do not have pneumonia on top of it. My Canadian sister in law, on the other hand, has 10 plus weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas!!! We went to the Graeagle Christmas Festival today in California!

Pat - December 7, 2014 - 4:25 am

So glad you are feeling better! Love your style and am glad to see you are up to posting again.

Sue - December 7, 2014 - 4:34 am

Such a fun and beautiful blog. I always enjoy it. I share your facination for houses and interiors… All styles…Love them!
I haven’t felt much like decorating for Christmas until reading this lovely post…So thank you for the inspiration. I’m keeping it simple this year but I do want it to be nice.
Ina garten’s mexican soup is my family’s favorite! Sooo good! Glad to hear pneumonia is behind you. Be well!!

Carmen - December 7, 2014 - 4:56 am

Happy you are feeling better! Thank You for all the links, love them!!! Enjoy the weekend!

Sandy - December 7, 2014 - 6:31 am

Kelly, pleased to hear you have recovered from your illness. Difficult time to be sick. I was in the hospital last December for two nights and that really threw me off for Christmas.I love the books you share with us and have listed several on my Christmas wish list.Being a retired middle school teacher, I know how hectic these next few weeks are at school.Good luck. Now I have to get creative and print up this week’s notes to my young grandchildren from their Elf on the Shelf, Mikey.

Caitlin - December 7, 2014 - 7:01 am

What a great post to get us all in the holiday spirit! I especially love the ikea slippers as stockings! So cute! Happy Holidays <3

Susie in MO - December 7, 2014 - 8:03 am

So glad you’re feeling better! I’m woefully behind with decorating as well, but it MUST be done today, we have our annual dinner party next week. Are the boys coming home for Christmas? I’m a little envious they get to live in God’s country for a while…and get to see those beautiful mountains every day. Take care :-)

Jane - December 7, 2014 - 8:10 am

So glad you are feeling better! I can understand why you were craving Ina Garten’s Mexican Chicken Soup…it sounds wonderful! What a lovely giveaway…thank you!

Karen KRIeger - December 7, 2014 - 8:13 am

So glad that you are feeling better! Your home is always so inspiring. Happy holidays to you and your family.

Rose L - December 7, 2014 - 8:18 am

We are in the middle of the whole house remodel (still!) so I am skipping the decorating again this year. It’s just the two of us so no matter. I’m also forgoing the shopping this year. Gave some thought to my kids and grand kids and realized that everyone really does have all that they need. So I decided to make a donation to our new local crisis center in their names instead. The grand kid’s Christmas’ will still be Merry and Bright and hopefully so will someone else’s which may not have been otherwise. As long as our family is in good shape I think I’ll make it a new tradition. The women at the shelter are also in need of clothing so in the new year I intend on making purchases through out the year of new, sale clothing and will add that to my donation. It feels good to know that we are maybe alleviating some of the suffering of others. Merry Christmas, Kelly!

DeeDee - December 7, 2014 - 8:21 am

I visited Madison, GA last fall and was instantly smitten! I think touring the homes this season with girlfriends would be a lot of fun! Glad you’re felling much better and thanks for the opportunity to win some wondering prizes.

Jill - December 7, 2014 - 8:36 am

Kelly, glad you are feeling better! I too am still in decoration mode, it takes at least a week to get it all done to my satisfaction. I live in a small quaint town (founded in the 1800’s) and shall be going on our historic society’s Christmas walk today. I look forward to it every year, it’s always fun to see others decor. I cannot wait to see what you come up with at your home. Thanks for the drawing, I love WS too! Merry Christmas to you and yours, enjoy the holiday :-)

Maryanne - December 7, 2014 - 8:58 am

I’m new to your blog but I love it. I love houses and decorating and your blog features my style so well. I love those gift tags and I’m going in search of them. Thanks for all the links you provide. Have fun with your Christmas decorating! Glad you’re feeling better, too!

Mickey - December 7, 2014 - 9:34 am

Glad you are feeling better, the holidays are not a good time to be sick. Your post was wonderful and thanks for all the links. I pinned a few pictures from the Midwest Living article. Anxious to see the Christmas in the kitchen!!!! Have a great day! Mickey

kathy - December 7, 2014 - 9:50 am

Ugh! I have been sick for four days so I know what you just went through. I have watched every Hallmark movie of the season and a ton of HGTV. I was ahead of the game with decorating and wrapping all I have bought….but now I am behind because I still need to finish shopping. I love the little tags in this post. I want them! Do you wrap your Christmas presents with a theme? Those tags might be my inspiration for next year. (This year the theme is silver polka dots and stripes…way different from the black and white theme from the past few years.) I am such a Pottery Barn fan. I loved the decorating video! Thank you for continuing to inspire me!

susie - December 7, 2014 - 10:50 am

Like everyone else, I am so glad that you are feeling better! Thank you for the fun giveaway! Take good care of you please!!

Judy Westmoreland - December 7, 2014 - 11:13 am

Love the Midwest Living Magazine. Had a subscription a few years ago. Love this December cover. So gorgeous. Thanks for the giveaway!

Shelley - December 7, 2014 - 11:18 am

Glad you are starting to feel more like yourself! I love your blog. You are so inspiring. The book and gift card would come in handy!!!

Talia - December 7, 2014 - 12:17 pm

So glad you seem to be feeling better! The pictures are, as always just lovely. Your blog is one big warm fuzzy!

Susan - December 7, 2014 - 12:32 pm

Just stumbled on your blog yesterday and can’t get enough of it. Love everything!!! Have never found anyone that ever read Jan Karon books and then I see you love Mary Kay Andrews as well, Another favorite author of mine!!! I have 2 grandsons and another on the way,think I am heading to bookstore to grab The Mitford Snowman today.I have been decorating for couple weeks now, 1 year old grandson enjoys walking around and touching and looking at everything. Loving the holidays with little one in house again. Love your style. Its a hot cocoa, read a good book kind of day. Happy Holidays, enjoy the small things this season. Blessings.

Nona Fitzpatrick - December 7, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Oh, you have to talk your sons into putting up a Christmas tree. Even if all they do is just bring it inside and not decorate it, it gives such a feeling of joy. I used to bring my tree inside and only put lights on it and it always made me feel peaceful and happy when I looked at it. I hope they’ll reconsider the tree decision because it’s the little things like this that truly get you in the Christmas spirit.

Carolyn - December 7, 2014 - 2:27 pm

I tell everyone what a wonderful blog you have. You are like a dear friend, I always look forward to your posts versus a phone call or visit. I know you bring lot of joy to others and you are a blessing as well.

Cheri - December 7, 2014 - 2:38 pm

I just love your photos and how you have the time to post is beyond me, you are amazing, Kelly. What a wonderful give away you are doing and I am secretly hoping my name gets drawn. Hope you are feeling better and don’t fret about the decorating…your house always looks amazing. Really.

Bev - December 7, 2014 - 2:44 pm

I love your blog and appreciate the time you must spend on it. You have wonderful pictures and content. It broadens my horizons….I always learn something new! Thank you.

Laurie Cordeniz - December 7, 2014 - 3:22 pm

Hi Kelly! So glad you are on the mend. It’s never a good time to be ill but Christmas time is so hard to rest. Last year I had a brain aneurysm and was out for the count but am looking forward to the holidays now. I love reading your blog and look so forward to seeing you in my email feed. Your ideas and decorating are such inspiration for me if not just good reading! Thanks for the chance at the giveaway. Happy holidays!

Susan - December 7, 2014 - 3:53 pm

I really enjoy your Talk of the Weekend posts and this one definitely put me in the holiday mood! Thank you, Kelly~

Debra - December 7, 2014 - 3:55 pm

Ok, I think you sound perkier in this post :) Look again, how jam packed this post is with goodness. I don’t know why I feel I am moving at a snails pace and I wasn’t even sick like you were. :( My outside decorating is complete now and I have just started little touches inside. Maybe I can get our tree up tomorrow. I will be baking the first batch of gingerbread cookies tonight. The aroma just speaks Christmas to me. I did do a bit of Christmas shopping on “Shop Small”, last Saturday to support local business owners. Well, just to get a gift card from Williams-Sonoma, Barnes and Noble, Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn are so on my “Dear Santa Wish list” for sure. :) Thanks again for being so good to your followers with another giveaway! Let the decorating continue… Kelly Goodness is on its way, can’t wait!

Renee Cook - December 7, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Thank you for the lovely post, Kelly… A couple of girlfriends came up from Florida this weekend and we went to the Madison GA Tour of Homes. This was my first time and we enjoyed it very much! There was so much to see that we didn’t make it to every location, but now that we know how it works, we’ll be more efficient on future visits. We made it even more special by having lunch at a beautiful tearoom on the square.

I must say I was intrigued by the Treasures from Home cookbook. One of the authors is Mary Tuggle Saville and my maiden name is Saville! I’ve never thought of it as a common name, so my antenna goes up when I see it. Genealogy is one of my favorite hobbies. My ancestors are from Banks County, GA, and I’m fortunate enough to live nearby which has allowed me to spend hours at the local Probate office. Thanks for sharing; I’ll enjoy seeing if Mrs. Saville might be a distant relative!

Gayle Robertson - December 7, 2014 - 5:30 pm

So happy to hear you are feeling better! Don’t overdo and take good care of yourself.
I would dearly LOVE to win the Treasures From Home cookbook.
I have looked for it everywhere since you did the blog of the Red Velvet cakes. My maiden name is Shelton and I am convinced that a wonderful cook like Nelle has to be a distant cousin of mine!
Enjoy your blog so much. Your photography is the best and your warm personality always comes thru!
Take care and eat lots of “Mexican soup”

Heather - December 7, 2014 - 5:40 pm

Love your blog, love the felix gift tags, chili looks yummy and I want WS Gift cards!

Becky in 'Bama - December 7, 2014 - 6:55 pm

you are SO my soul sister…All things red – now and forever. I sit and tap this out on my laptop as I enjoy my smallish tree decorated with….YES red and white – mostly Santa Heads, but many old and familiar ornaments too special to be left off the tree. Merry Christmas. Glad that you are recovering from that nasty ‘bug.’

Julie - December 7, 2014 - 6:55 pm

Loving all your links and ideas…even the soup (hope you’re feeling better)! Looking forward to more inspiration as gatherings continue and the days draw near to Christmas!

Lisa Roesler - December 7, 2014 - 7:04 pm

Glad to hear you are feeling better! I was on your blog yesterday looking at the archives from December 2013,specifically, the pictures from your daughter’s bedroom decorated for Christmas. My daughter and I were getting some ideas! Thank you for the tortilla soup recipe. I printed it out just now and plan on making it sometime this week. Thanks for the chance to win the cookbooks!

Nancy - December 7, 2014 - 7:28 pm

Glad you are feeling better! I was sick with pneumonia for 6 weeks and it is no picnic. The gift tags remind of of Tasha Tudor in their style- so cute. I am still trying to finish decorating so you are not alone.

Marci Johnson - December 7, 2014 - 7:58 pm

I have decided that I am doing all of my shopping online this year. So far it is working.
I cannot wait to see your holiday decorations!
Hope you are feeling better!

Rebecca Gladden - December 7, 2014 - 8:18 pm

Hi Kelly,
My husband went to Canada on a hunting trip, by way of Ohio, and he was instructed to stop and search for a copy of Midwest Living. It’s a great article about Tessa’s family and home. Enjoy!

Kristen - December 7, 2014 - 10:08 pm

I was just thinking recently that a Williams Sonoma gift card would be a good gift for my mom who loves to buy kitchen stuff.

Gail P - December 7, 2014 - 10:40 pm

Would love to have the Cookbook. Merry Christmas and God bless.

Robin Nikkel - December 7, 2014 - 10:50 pm

Thank you for posting some links to decorting ideas. I am stumped this year. Anxious to see your house and ideas. Glad you are on the mend. Happy Holidays.

D. - December 7, 2014 - 11:11 pm

The books look wonderful, as is your blog that I read daily!!

Donnamae - December 7, 2014 - 11:30 pm

So glad you are feeling better! That’s quite a wonderful giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity! ;)

Joan - December 8, 2014 - 12:20 am

At last you are better. Thanks for sharing with us in spite of how you have felt. Always love your ideas and beautiful photos.

MaryAnna - December 8, 2014 - 5:21 am

Kelly, I look forward to seeing your blog when I open my e-mails! Your ideas that you share are the greatest. Thanks for the work that you put into everything as well as the resources. Merry Christmas!

Dorene - December 8, 2014 - 10:25 am

thanx for the inspirations, can’t wait to see your christmas decor

L Cromas - December 8, 2014 - 12:26 pm

I love this site! Would love to win the book too!

Donnie - December 8, 2014 - 2:10 pm

A giveaway – who doesn’t like that! Hope you continue to feel better. Love today’s blog, wonderful inspiration.

Nona - December 8, 2014 - 2:20 pm

I love Ina Garten’s recipes. They are always so fresh and simple. Can’t wait to try the chicken soup. That photo made me hungry and today is so cold, that soup sounds like a great idea.

Bobbie Allgood - December 8, 2014 - 2:41 pm

Hi Kelly,

I am a retired teacher living in Omaha, Nebraska and I enthusiastically follow your blog. We have just purchased a different house and I am looking forward to the move. Anyway I am wondering if the wicker chair in your house is comfortable. I am going with a less ‘fancy’ look and would like to have one or possibly two wicker chairs in our great room, but they must be comfortable. What are your thoughts> Thanks so much.

Bobbie Allgood

Benita - December 8, 2014 - 3:38 pm

Kelly, I’m so glad you are feeling better! And I couldn’t agree more about getting some snow. :-) It has been so cold here in Nashville, and rainy/dreary, but no snow. A cup of hot chocolate, a good book (or Christmas movie)and about of foot of snow make for a perfect winter day! :-) Have a great day!

Amy Nicole - December 8, 2014 - 3:58 pm

Love all the beautiful things you post and your lovely home. Thanks for the chance to win-LOVE Williams Sonoma! xo

Dawn R. - December 8, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Hi Kelly,
I’m so glad you are feeling better. Hope you get finished with all your decorating. I didn’t do too much this year just kept it simple. Thank you for the wonderful give away. Enjoy the holidays!

Amy O'Quinn - December 8, 2014 - 7:32 pm

Glad you are feeling better! All the Christmas decorating takes so much time, even when one is functioning at 100%! I was at the tour of homes in Madison this past weekend, and it was awesome! I was ready to come back home and get busy with my own holiday decorating. We do the tour of homes every year since my sister lives there and that’s our gift from her. We have such a great time, I am always so inspired! :)

Patty - December 8, 2014 - 9:13 pm

Seems I needed a little extra push to get going on the decorating this year! Enjoy looking at blogs for inspiration! Thanks for all your posts..they inspire me!

Jayne - December 8, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Glad you are feeling better! I would love to have some elves come help me as well. I have been decorating for the past week! Not doing all that much, it just takes me forever to figure out exactly what I want to do. LOL Then there is the mess I make decorating! UGH! Well, better get back to it! Only 16 days till Christmas!

Rita - December 8, 2014 - 10:22 pm

Love your site – you are so talented in making things look beautiful. I love William Sonoma too. Would love to win the give-away. Thanks for all your posts.

Kate Alexander - December 8, 2014 - 11:34 pm

I just came across your blog on Pinterest, and I have to say it is so lovely and beautiful! I’m glad I found it :)

Stacey Long - December 9, 2014 - 7:10 am

Hope you are feeling better!!! I love your home!!! Very warm and inviting!!! Merry Christmas!!!!

Amy C - December 9, 2014 - 8:23 am

Love Williams-Sonoma! Wish I had the energy you have even sick to get as much done around the house!

Kathy B - December 9, 2014 - 8:37 am

Thank you for the beautiful pictures.

KellyinPA - December 9, 2014 - 9:10 am

{{Kelly}} I am so sorry that you have been sick and, of course, timing is everything! I love your home and all the special touches you make for each season. We purchased the Willow Tree nativity this year and that was entirely your doing!;) I admired it so much in your home. I am looking forward to seeing what your ideas are for this Christmas but mostly, hoping you feel well enough to just enjoy Christmas:)

Pam Mayo - December 9, 2014 - 9:38 am

Glad you’re finally feeling better, and excited that your house is going to be in the magazine next year……but sad that we have to wait until next year to see it. Look forward to the Friday post in the kitchen though. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Pam S - December 9, 2014 - 10:17 am

Glad you are feeling better. Love, love, love everything you post. Look so forward to it.
Merry Christmas!!! We had a grandson born right before Thanksgiving, so much to be thankful for.

Bev - December 9, 2014 - 10:54 am

You are my favorite blogger. LOVE your house and decorating. Glad you are feeling better…take it slow. congratulations on the magazine gig! WOW
Merry Christmas.

christi - December 9, 2014 - 11:28 am

hope you feel better soon!
I love your decorating style and get a lot of great ideas from your blog.

Kathy P. - December 9, 2014 - 12:51 pm

Love your house. My subscription for Midwest Living ran out this month and I didn’t know it. Panic – Fortunately, my sister found a copy of the magazine.

Elizabeth - December 9, 2014 - 3:44 pm

You have a beautiful home! I love the holiday decorations! Merry Christmas!

patsy - December 9, 2014 - 4:47 pm

not sure where to begin or how i got here…looking for Jan Karon Radio Theatre production led me to her Virginia home to you! saw the words houses and the Christmas decorating pictures and i was hooked….tah dah ! originally from georgia, i have been on the very same tour of homes and yes it is one of the best. now live in midwest so that also got my attention.. two other favorite Christmas home tours: KC Kappa tour and Nell Hills tour. i am amazed at all you do and still keep a beautiful home and have a family. So what am I doing on this cold and overcast day ? Enjoying your blog (something i rarely do as i am not usually one to do blogs and such) and remembering ALL the card writing, gift sewing and painting projects, cooking, cleaning, shopping and decorating I need to be doing. Gotta get busy, but I will be checking back. :)Blessings and Merry Christmas!

Janet Reda - December 9, 2014 - 6:31 pm

Thank you Kelly for all your wonderful posts, you are such a creative inspiration. So glad you are feeling better, I will have to try Ina’s soup next time I am under the weather, it might be a magical cure!

Barbara P from Ma - December 9, 2014 - 7:59 pm

Glad to hear you are feeling better! Why is it we always get sick at the most inopportune times! Somehow though things always work out! Love your style of decorating and your beautiful home!

Barbara P from Ma - December 9, 2014 - 8:10 pm

What a fabulous giveaway! All of them favorites! Always look forward to your posts! I get so many great ideas from you! Have spent many hours going back through all your old posts and have enjoyed every minute! Glad you’re feeling better- though I hope you don’t push yourself too hard- Working full time, blogging and taking care of your home AND decorating for the holidays is A LOT!!!!

Raeann Stevens - December 9, 2014 - 8:17 pm

Where can you purchase the cookbook?

julia Walker - December 9, 2014 - 8:47 pm

Merry Christmas Kelly! I sure hope you’re well now. Please take it easy, okay? I’m off to read my Mitford book now! Your friend, Julia

Laura P. - December 9, 2014 - 8:55 pm

Kelly, Your home is just lovely. It seems very warm and welcoming :-)
I am not surprised your house was chosen for the
magazine article! I love reading your blog and trying to bring some of your
great ideas into my home. Wishing you a very Merry and Blessed
Christmas!!! ( So glad you are feeling better)

Jane Pekar - December 10, 2014 - 12:14 am

I am loving your blog which I found on Fifth and State. I plan to share your site with a few good friends whom I am sure will relish your creative ideas. Glad to hear you are on the mend.

Donna - December 10, 2014 - 12:47 am

Beautiful home! Thank you for sharing! I found your blog when Reading online about Jan Karon and the Mitford series. :)

Ronda P - December 10, 2014 - 9:12 am

I have not started decorating my home for Christmas yet. I’m very late compared to previous years. I do however, have almost all my Christmas shopping done so I’m happy about that. I’ve never had pneumonia but have heard that it takes awhile to recover from it. One day at a time. Enjoy your Christmas with your family.

Jen - December 10, 2014 - 10:35 am

Your blog has been shared with neighbors. Such beautiful photos — we call it our “Time Suck” and yet we keep coming back for more. Thank you and happy holidays!

liz piccione-volger - December 10, 2014 - 11:00 am

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Getting ready for our cookie/ornament exchange. Wonder if I can get MidWest Living here in California. I’ll have to take a look. Thanks for the giveaway!

Cynthia - December 10, 2014 - 9:32 pm

Kelly, so glad you are better! I have enjoyed the ghost of Christmas past. I love all of your ideas. They are simple but timeless. Merry Christmas and I am so excited for you!

Catherine - December 10, 2014 - 11:28 pm

I enjoy receiving your emails and admire your creativity. I am probably one of the few people that has anxiety just thinking about decorating but thank you for making it look attainable. Elegant and warm with the feeling of home.

Katrina - December 11, 2014 - 5:20 am

I so hope you are feeling better! Great post! Merry Christmas!

Amy L - December 11, 2014 - 8:35 am

Your blog looks very festive :) We just started decorating our house as well, and I do not know where the time goes!

Julia G. - December 11, 2014 - 10:50 am

So glad you are feeling better! If I was in Georgia I would love to visit that home tour!

Barbara Bachus - December 11, 2014 - 6:55 pm

Your site is an inspiration and I thank you for the opportunity .

SUSAN ANDERSON - December 11, 2014 - 9:18 pm

Love everything about your blog. When I first began to read your blog I was inspired to go to one of Jan Karon’s book signings and actually got to meet her. I have used a lot of your ideas for holiday decorating and even made my own hot chocolate bar. Congrats on your magazine deal.

Kathy - December 12, 2014 - 12:17 am

That Mexican soup from Ina….thanks, on my list to make. Also loved the kitchen wrapping center…interesting idea!

sherri reider - December 12, 2014 - 7:33 am

Your photographs are captivating. How fortunate your family is to have such a creative force in their lives. I can only imagine the wonderful memories you have made for everyone. Thanks for inspiring me to make my own home more festive. You provide so many wonderful ideas and inspiration.

Patty - December 12, 2014 - 8:04 am

Beautiful pictures. Love the holiday decor.

joy - December 12, 2014 - 8:48 am

Love to share…

lisa - December 12, 2014 - 10:03 am

Hi Kelly,
So glad to see you feeling better. You know how I’ve been looking for that cookbook. Love all the red you use. I consider red my neutral go to color. I love peppermint bark. I look forward to it every year along with the chalky type peppermint sticks. We also enjoy homemade potato soup for winter coziness.


Mary Ellen - December 12, 2014 - 10:31 am

Your table setting is so festive. I love the sleigh filled with greenery and the cute Santa mugs with peppermint sticks! Your family and guests must feel so special.

Bev - December 12, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Love your sense of style – the crisp, welcoming red, white, dark woods and hints of brass. It’s very homey! Merry Christmas

Joy Jenkins - December 12, 2014 - 1:04 pm

I love to cook and enjoy your blog so much!

Julie Atwell - December 12, 2014 - 1:52 pm

Love your inspiration . . . now I must get to work at decorating and making the season bright.

Maureen - December 12, 2014 - 7:14 pm

I just found your blog and LOVE it! I have gone back through the older pages and enjoyed all your entries. So lucky I found you at Christmastime when you really shine!! Thank you!

Elli W. - December 12, 2014 - 9:46 pm

Kelly, I.LOVE.YOUR.STYLE. Thank you for a blog that invites me to your home. I am so glad you got over your illness. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, in spite of how stressful it is. I wish you and your family a Blessed Season, filled with health and happiness. As well all the best for a great New Year. Congratulations on your magazine spread!

Donna C. - December 12, 2014 - 11:57 pm

What a wonderful opportunity! I am mad about anything William Sonoma n the opportunity to explore new recipes! This Christmas tour series was the best I’ve seen this year! This group of bloggers have impeccable taste n I enjoyed it tremendously!

Debbie - December 13, 2014 - 12:10 am

What a nice idea to give away these books. I love your kitchen and would love to have one of the books. Thank you.

Courtney - December 13, 2014 - 12:49 am

So glad that you are feeling better! Thanks for the giveaway and inspirational pictures! Merry Christmas!

Paula Suter - December 13, 2014 - 9:19 am

Glad I found your site on a link to Everyday Occasions….your pictures and ideas are beautiful! I love love love William Sonoma, would love two new cookbooks!

Martha - December 13, 2014 - 9:27 am

In the midst of decorating and shopping, I stopped to enjoy your blog. Thanks for all the inspiration you share ; I love your use of red and white and especially love your book suggestions. As a retired school librarian I believe a house cannot be a home without books.. One of my Christmas favorites is A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg.

Lisa Behrmann - December 13, 2014 - 10:49 am

Beautiful home and lovely, inspiring Christmas decorations.

Linda Winter - December 13, 2014 - 4:23 pm

Your home is lovely and your posts always inspire me to do a little extra to surprise my family. I love your blog and hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and blessed 2015!

Lori - December 13, 2014 - 4:37 pm

This is my very first time visiting your beautiful blog. Thank you for being such an inspiration to someone who struggles with wanting to be surrounded by beautiy but does not know how to start! Merry Christmas

peggy spencer - December 13, 2014 - 6:46 pm

Just fond your site. This must be my lucky everything and founnd some ideas to useformyfamily.hope to sittomorrow afternooon while my husband watches football and read your posts. Would love to win the book.hanks for offeringus a chance to dream

Leila Jane - December 13, 2014 - 9:27 pm

Merry Christmas,Kelly. I’ve been enjoying your blog for over a year now, and thought I would take a minute to describe why I like your personal house decorating so much. I like seeing the casual simplicity of the things you use, such as the glass jars, together with the graphic, colorful impact of such things as your red plaid curtains. As I look away from my computer with the pictures of your beautiful, organized house, I think maybe I need to edit the things in my own house, LOL! I’m still amazed that you work full time as a teacher and still have time to decorate for each new season so beautifully, write this blog and tend to your family. Thank you so much for your attention to all of your readers with your beautiful pictures, wonderful recipes and heartfelt thoughts. I wish you and your family a memorable Christmas!

An Update on the Workroom

board and batten wallsRemember that awful room in our house that I apologetically shared with you a few weeks ago here? Well, my husband has made more progress on it since you saw it in its “jail wall” stage.  He finished the board and batten walls….

board and batten under constructionall the way around the room.

window wall under construction

I decided to go with real beadboard on the upper walls instead of the beadboard look wallpaper I had contemplated before.  The night my husband started to paint it I remembered Oh, I guess I need to get a photo of this for the blog before you have all that done!

beadboard up and being paintedAnd now here it is all finished (the walls… Obviously not the cabinet.:))

cabinet cornerI am loving the crisp clean look of it all!

board and battenDidn’t he do a good job?

(I sort of hate to put any furniture in front of all that great trim work.)

beadboard and board and batten

window wallBesides all the wonderful wall work, I am loving this closet!  It previously had unfinished pine shelves and khaki walls, and it was dark.  Painting all of it white really brightened it up.  My husband thought it was unnecessary, but it makes such a huge difference to me.

closetSo I pulled him off of building the cabinet so that he would do the walls.  And just when he thought he could get back on it, I asked (very sweetly:)) if he would do some work on the desk unit in there.  So he has been adding beadboard to the inside of it, and the entire unit will be painted. For those of you that love stained wood, you need to know that the desk top was in awful awful condition, and I am turning one of the pieces sideways where there was simply unstained particle board.  It needs painting – big time.

desk partsI apologize that there is no Christmas decor to show you around here.  The doctor’s orders to rest have been very much followed.  The only thing I have accomplished (other than getting well) has been sitting on the sofa and sorting through the tubs of things that will go in that closet and cabinet.  It was pretty easy to say keep or throw away without a lot of energy used. I managed to fill up three trash bags!  Hopefully, I will have an extra dose of energy to get started on the Christmas decorating this weekend.

Until next time…

a signature

Sue - December 3, 2014 - 2:13 pm

I’m glad you are feeling better. And, sorting through “stuff” is work, so it looks like you are getting something accomplished while you are recuperating.
Can’t wait to see the finished space, and your lovely Christmas decor.
Thank you Sue. It was pretty easy work that I could do seated and feel like something was getting done. I will be very glad when there is a finished organized space in that room. :)

Jean from Georgia - December 3, 2014 - 3:10 pm

Love the work taking place. The shelves in the closet are just perfect, much preferred by me above the wire shelving I have in my closets, etc.
I like the wood better too. When we built the house, we had the wire shelving in every single closet, and slowly we are changing them all out for the wood ones.

Judy - December 3, 2014 - 3:11 pm

i know that room is going to be kelly-fabulous once you get your talented hands on it…please tell your husband he is doing a great job!

glad to hear you’re taking it easy, no sense in having a relapse here at Christmas.

we got the word this week grandbaby #5 will be delivered on the 30th so we’re getting excited and can’t wait to see his sweet little face. of course, that means i’ll be absent from my blog more than i’ve already been…maybe i can pick up the pace in 2015!
Thank you Judy. I will certainly pass along your compliment to my husband. I am doing like the doctor said and taking it easy.
Hallelujah on the Dec. 30 b-day! I know you all are going to have the best time with him. I think missing the blog for that little guy will be more than okay!!!

Cindyhattersleydesign - December 3, 2014 - 3:28 pm

I hope you are feeling better! I was wondering if Superwoman ever stopped!!
No Superwoman here, but I sure could use the energy of a Superwoman! Major long to do list coming up.

Martha - December 3, 2014 - 3:40 pm

I love how this room is coming together. The board and batten with the bead board is perfection! Take it easy and get well!
Thank you Martha. It is coming together nicely…just a lot of unfinished details yet to go, but some of those are the fun part!
I am taking it easy.

Garden, Home and Party - December 3, 2014 - 3:49 pm

I love the room! So, I’ve never done board and batten walls. You don’t have to put wood on the wall, you just put the boards up and paint? What’s the color above the board and batten? It looks great. I agree, what a difference having the closet freshly painted.
Continued good wishes for your recovery.
Real board and batten has wood – like the exterior of our house. Inside we do the shortcut version, and then just paint it. The paint on the top part is Valspar’s Lyndhurst Timber – my go-to khaki. Glad you liked the room Karen!

Sally - December 3, 2014 - 3:57 pm

Oh Kelly – hope you are feeling better soon!
Thank you Sally!

Carmen - December 3, 2014 - 4:01 pm

Cant wait to see the final result!!!
Hope it is finished soon!

Rose L - December 3, 2014 - 4:36 pm

Kelly, I’m so glad you are finally feeling a bit stronger and I hope your healing continues quickly! Your husband is doing a wonderful job on everything. I can’t wait to see how the desk turns out!! I also love the closet painted in bright, fresh white. It will help to make finding things easier and since you’ll be able to see everything, it will also help you to keep the clutter down in there. Method to your madness, same as me. Ha!
Definitely a method to the madness. I think rooms become cluttered when there is no place left to put things, or at least that was the problem in there. That closet and the cabinet will certainly help to make it easy to find where things go. Thank you for the get well wishes.

Donnamae - December 3, 2014 - 5:44 pm

The walls look terrific! Glad you are taking it easy…decorations can wait! ;)
I agree Donnamae. The decorations will wait until I am totally well. Glad you liked the walls. :)

Barbara (WA) - December 3, 2014 - 6:40 pm

Your husband did wonderful job! Glad you are taking care of yourself. I have painters here today in the Spare Oom (office) so hopefully it will be done soon!
I will pass along your compliments to my husband, Barbara. Good luck with your project!

Karen B. - December 3, 2014 - 7:13 pm

Wow, Kelly! It looks great. Your husband did a great job and it really brightened the room up. I bet you are excited to start pulling all the details together, huh?
I’m glad to hear that you are beginning to feel better.
Thank you Karen. Yes, I am getting excited about getting it decorated. I am in bad need of a trip to buy some fabric but have not been shopping since I have been sick. Can’t wait to get on that project!

PATTI - December 3, 2014 - 7:16 pm

Workroom is looking GOOD! Will you leave the closet door or remove it for an “open shelf” look?
I will leave the door on it. Once all the “stuff” is back in there, it won’t look quite as good as it does now.

Dawn - December 3, 2014 - 7:48 pm


I am proud of you for following doctors orders. I appreciate you sharing the progress as well. Keep up the great work on both accounts.
Thank you Dawn. I am resting, and my husband is working. LOL

L J - December 3, 2014 - 7:51 pm

Hi Kelly
I’m glad to hear you are doing so much better.
When the Dr. prescribed, “Rest”. I thought to myself that it’s pretty hard to keep a good gal like Kelly down. Sorting while on sofa is probably as close to rest as you likely get–lol–spoken from one who used to do the same. Sometimes you just gotta Do Something.
BTW, I agree with you on the closet. All white is clean and bright. I love going into a well-lit closet because I really hate searching for something that I know should be there.
The room is looking terrific.
You are so right. I don’t take well to just sitting when there is a to-do list a mile long, but I am doing as I was told to do. Glad you liked the closet. It is a vast improvement over its former self!

Debra - December 3, 2014 - 7:55 pm

What a team you two make. Your husband is so gifted too. I love your choices for the room so far. You didn’t mention your decision on the ceiling fixture you were trying to decide on, or what your color choice might be for the refurbished desk. Hmmm… and knowing how you made your Master closet so lovely, should we expect some creativity with this little newly painted closet too? Can’t wait to see if my guesses will be right. :) Well, I’m happy to read that you are being a “good girl”. Here’s to healthy days ahead and the future enjoyment of your “special space”. How sweet! :)
My husband is the better one in this partnership. :) There is an overhead light in there already. I was thinking of trading it out for a pendant light, but I think I will wait until all the furniture and lamps are in there, and then decide. Not going to spill the beans on the desk color..just wait and see. LOL No creativity going on in the closet…just pure organization so that it does not become a junk room in there again.
Waiting on good health to return.

Arlene@Nanaland - December 3, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Kelly, please take time to recuperate fully…..relapses are no fun! Love that board and batten!!
I plan to Arlene. My body is being pretty bossy with me right now. :) Glad you liked the wall treatment.

Wendy in KY - December 3, 2014 - 10:43 pm

If I lived closer, I’d offer to come over and help you with Christmas decor. Sometimes we gals just have to humble ourselves and accept help from our besties. (Mine came over a few weeks ago and helped me get a grip on my basement. If she squeals, she knows I know where she lives.) Take care not to push too hard! Blessings.
That’s mighty sweet of you Wendy! I could use a few elves today. :)

Jayne - December 4, 2014 - 9:17 am

I do hope you are feeling better. The room is looking good. Your husband did a great job! I agree with you about the closet. Can’t wait to see your house all decorated for Christmas!
I am doing much better Jayne. Thank you for the compliments on my husband’s work! Christmas decorating finally starts today (but at a slow pace.)

Marianne in Mo. - December 4, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Kelly, the room is coming along great, kudos to your hubby. I’m sure he is also waiting on you in between the work, so he must be a saint! Can’t wait to see the finish, but I have patience, so take it slow! ;-)
I too am down for the count with bronchitis. Guess I got it from my niece at my mothers funeral on Sunday. Yes, she passed away on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. She was 91,so it wasn’t a shock. She has been ill off and on for the last two years.
So, my plans for getting the tree up as usual the day after Thanksgiving are still on hold. I just hope to get it done before daughter and her family arrive on the 19th! Tick tock, time is my nemesis right now! I too want to get moving off the couch! ;-)
Marianne, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I hope you have wonderful memories of her to help you through your grief. 91 years old – wow!
Bronchitis is no fun either. I hope you get well and get your energy back so that you can start on holiday things soon. I am taking it very slow. Learned the hard way yesterday that getting out of breath (from hurrying) causes major problems! So I won’t be hurrying anytime soon. Just happy that there is daily improvement here. :)
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Jane C - December 5, 2014 - 10:26 pm

Hi again, Kelly. So glad to hear you are feeling better! I keep finding more of your blog to love each time I am here. Your home looks so comfortable and inviting.

My husband and I recently decided to redo our kitchen and we will be painting the cabinets in the near future and replacing our worn out tile counter tops with pine plank inspired by your beautiful kitchen. Going to do the work ourselves, so this should be interesting! ;)
You kitchen sounds like it will be pretty Jane. Good luck with your project!

Pat Peele - December 7, 2014 - 12:17 am

Hope you are feeling better! Christmas will come even without all your special touches. Your daughter will probably love to help you.

Jackie Caruso - December 9, 2014 - 2:55 pm

I love the decorations from Christmas Past and can’t wait to see Christmas Present even if it is in Christmas Future! You could have another career as an interior designer. It’s so fun to read your posts and I look forward to them.

Peggy - December 9, 2014 - 10:10 pm

Love your decorating no matter what year! Just remember we never know how all things will work together- looking forward to what you have in store for us this month!

Bellmount resort - December 11, 2014 - 1:27 am

hi..I enjoyed the ghost of Christmas past..I love your decorations..keep blogging
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.,thank you

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