First Annual Gingerbread House Competition

Christmas is in full swing here at my house.  We started our countdown to Christmas with the kids unwrapping a book each night for us to read before bedtime, as well as our 25 Days of Christ.  We all look forward to the time spent together each night sharing in the fun and excitement of the holiday, while also remembering the reason for the season.

I’ve always been a huge advocate for traditions.  In college, I did a semester project on traditions where I had to put together a class and then teach it, complete with feedback from the people who attended.  It hardly even felt like a project because it is something I love so much!  Creating traditions in connection with a holiday is a great way to help family bond together over shared experiences.  It gives meaning and enhances our enjoyment of the holiday.  I’ve teamed up with At Home (who has also gracious sponsored this post) to talk about Christmas traditions and #MyReason for incorporating them into our holiday.

This post contains affiliate links which if you click on and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

As I’ve considered what new traditions I want to incorporate into our family Christmas celebration, I decided that my kids were old enough to decorate their own gingerbread “person”.  Each kid got their own giant sized gingerbread person, 3 colors of frosting and some candy to decorate with.  My son, who is turning 3 in March, needed a little help from dad, but my almost 5 year old daughter totally took control over her decorating and needed no help from me.  The kids ate at least half the candy while the other half ended up on their gingerbread person.

My favorite thing my daughter said when I asked her about the yellow Nerds: “It’s corn.  They just got back from the pumpkin patch.  The gingerbread pumpkin patch where they played in the corn pit.” Haha!  I love how creative kids are.  Both kids were extremely proud of their creations and loved the whole activity.  We’ll definitely be doing this again next year!

My husband and I decided to take it to another level and decorate gingerbread houses.  We put the kids to bed, set up our gingerbread house decorating stations and pulled my laptop over to the table where we turned on Pitch Perfect and laughed ourselves silly!  We did cheat a little bit and put the frosting in these cool frosting decorators to make it easier to control (see fourth picture in series below).

It was so fun to relax and do something together.  Although, maybe relax isn’t the best word to use.  Our decorating turned into a competition, complete with smack talk.  We spent the full hour and 52 minutes and then some working on our houses and evaluating before adding more.

And this is where you come in!  We want to know which gingerbread house YOU like better.  The prize for the winner is yet to be determined, but it’s probably something along the lines of not having to do the dishes for a week and nightly shoulder rubs.  I told my husband I was totally going to win but he’s giving me a run for my money!

The top picture is Contestant A and the bottom picture is Contestant B.  You can vote for your favorite and I’ll announce who won between my husband and I next week on Facebook.  (Come on friends!  I’m counting on you to help me win this!  I really want to hand over dish duty for a week!  *me sending positive brain waves*)

Which gingerbread house do you like better?

A

B

pollcode.com free polls

In addition to voting for your favorite gingerbread house, you can also enter a giveaway below for $100 gift card to At Home!  Each entry is worth 1 point.  The giveaway ends Tuesday, December 13 at midnight CST.

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Lastly, I want to invite you to check out the amazing posts of these 8 other bloggers who are also sharing about their own Christmas traditions.  You are guaranteed to find tons of great inspiration and maybe even want to incorporate a new tradition or two this holiday season!

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Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Fall Mantle Inspiration

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

I love Fall.  I love the bright colors of the leaves as they change.  I love the cooler weather.  I love pumpkins and cornstalks and sunflowers.  So it should come as no surprise that these are the things I use and think about as I decorate my home for the change of season from summer to fall.  I’ve teamed up with At Home (who has graciously sponsored this post) to bring you some fall inspiration for your home.

As much as I would love to decorate more areas of my home, I have to take into account storage space and the fact that I’ve got a couple of little kids running around who love to explore and touch everything.  So this year, I decided to focus on two areas of my home: the front porch and the mantle.

First, I’ll show you my porch.

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

The reds, oranges, yellows and greens of fall make for the perfect colors to contrast my darker exterior and I think the items I used really pop.

For my door, I made this flowers and berries wreath.  You can check out the tutorial HERE.

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

I slowly started adding decor on either side of the door to fill in the space.  A small bale of hay from the craft store and this darling pumpkin from At Home helped tie in the colors I used on the wreath.

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

Then I placed a sign on the opposite side with a mini pumpkin and another pumpkin from At Home which lights up.  I also love that it is a grapevine pumpkin because that also ties in with my grapevine wreath.

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

Right in front of the door, I placed a new leaf mat.  It tends to get rainy where I live in the fall so mats are always a good idea.

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

The final touch was a leaf garland.  I used two 6 ft lengths of garland and some tape to connect them.  Then I used a couple of 3M command hooks at each corner and hooked the links of the garland around them.  It’s held up really well and I love that I can just take the hooks down when I’m ready to remove the garland.

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

If you’d like to check out the items I used as part of my porch decor, I’ve included a list below of where each item came from and links where applicable.

Fall Flowers and Berries Wreath  |  Tutorial by Me
Fall Leaf Garland  |  At Home
Hay Bale  |  JoAnn’s (they also carry them at At Home)
Harvest Sign  |  At Home
Grapevine Pumpkin  |  At Home
Leaf Mat  |  At Home

Now for the mantle.

If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you might remember my Spring/Easter Mantle and my Summer Mantle.  This is the main place that I decorate for holidays/seasons because it still allows me to have my decor out and is mostly ignored by my children.  (Also, this is not technically a mantle, but I use it the same as if I had one.)

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

I generally have a wreath but decided to go a different direction when I saw this canvas at At Home.  It seemed so warm and cozy to me and reminds me of when I visited New England a few years ago in the fall.

To fill in the space on either side of the canvas, I used a combination of items I already had and new things to fit my style from At Home.  You might recognize the hurricane vases I made last fall.  I use them almost year round because they allow for so much flexibility in decor due to the fact that I can easily swap out whatever is inside.

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

Then, I printed out a couple of pictures of my kids from last fall and put them in the two frames.  If your kids are anything like mine, they love to see pictures of themselves. Plus, I think my kids are pretty cute too.  *wink*

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

Again, here is a breakdown of where each item came from with their corresponding links where applicable.

Hurricane Vases  |  Tutorial by Me
Burlap Table Runner  |  Tutorial by Me
Colored Acorns (in hurricane vase)  |  At Home
Pine Cones (in hurricane vase)  |  Walmart
Mini Wood Autumn Sign  |  At Home
Wooden Bowl (similar)  |  At Home
Colored Twine Balls  |  At Home
Red Square Frame  |  Hobby Lobby
Wreath Stand  |  Rod Works (click here for locations)
Fall Canvas  |  At Home
Layered Candle  |  At Home
White Wood Lantern  |  Tai Pan Trading Co.
Orange Stand  |  Hobby Lobby
Green Frame  |  At Home

Happy decorating my friends!

If you’re looking for more amazing Fall inspiration, definitely take some time to look at these other Fall Home Tours by some very talented women!

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!
At Home With Zan              Making Joy and Pretty Things                 An Alli Event

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!

Fall Home Tour: Front Porch and Mantle Inspiration plus 8 other bloggers share how they decorate their homes for the fall!
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