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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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You might enjoy these posts:

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!

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

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

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!

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

Beautiful home and lovely, inspiring Christmas decorations.

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.

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!

Courtney - December 13, 2014 - 12:49 am

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

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.

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!

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!

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!

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

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

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

I love to cook and enjoy your blog so much!

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

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.

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.


joy - December 12, 2014 - 8:48 am

Love to share…

Patty - December 12, 2014 - 8:04 am

Beautiful pictures. Love the holiday decor.

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.

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!

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.

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

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

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!

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!

Katrina - December 11, 2014 - 5:20 am

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

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.

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!

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!

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!

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.

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. 🙂

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.

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)

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

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

Where can you purchase the cookbook?

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!!!!

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!

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!

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!

Elizabeth - December 9, 2014 - 3:44 pm

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:)

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

Thank you for the beautiful pictures.

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!

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

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

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 🙂

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.

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!

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!

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! 🙂

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 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

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!

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

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.

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.

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

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

Dorene - December 8, 2014 - 10:25 am

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

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!

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.

Donnamae - December 7, 2014 - 11:30 pm

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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!

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.’

Heather - December 7, 2014 - 5:40 pm

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

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”

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!

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!

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~

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!!!

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!

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!!

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!

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

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!

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 🙂

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.

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!

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.

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!

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 🙂

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

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.

Carmen - December 7, 2014 - 4:56 am

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

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!!

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.

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!

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!

Robin - December 6, 2014 - 11:48 pm

i enjoy your holiday decorating!

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 🙂

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.

Mary - December 6, 2014 - 11:31 pm

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

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!!!!!

Joyce - December 6, 2014 - 11:12 pm

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

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!

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!

Terry - December 6, 2014 - 10:48 pm

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

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?

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

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

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!

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.

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!

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!!)

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.

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!

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!!

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!

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!

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.

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!

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

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

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!

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.

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!

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!

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!

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”! 🙂

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!

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!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.


Cara - December 6, 2014 - 7:00 pm

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

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

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

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.

Mary - December 6, 2014 - 6:55 pm

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

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!

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. 🙂

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!

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……

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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!

Kathy - December 6, 2014 - 5:37 pm

Thank you so much for the giveaway!

Darla - December 6, 2014 - 5:35 pm

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

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.

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!

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

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

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.

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!

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!

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!

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.

Vicki - December 6, 2014 - 4:58 pm

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

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!

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!!

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…

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

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.

donna - December 6, 2014 - 4:43 pm

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

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!

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.

lynne - December 6, 2014 - 4:38 pm

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

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?

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