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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Halloween Mantle Inspiration and Dec-O-Ween Blog Hop

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

Can you believe that Halloween is only a little over 2 weeks away?  This month is flying by!  Since I can only use my Halloween decorations for a limited amount of time each year, I tried to get them up quickly so we could enjoy them all month long.

When it comes to Halloween decorations, I am definitely more of a pumpkins and witches and black cats kind of gal.  I don’t do scary or gory, so zombies and chainsaws are definitely OUT.  Over the years, I’ve realized that I gravitate towards the same colors when I’m choosing Halloween decor: black, white, orange, green and purple.  I’ve embraced this and so all of my decor for Halloween is in these colors.  I like that it creates a cohesive look on my mantle and I can still be creative with what I choose to put out.

So without further adieu, I give you my Halloween mantle inspiration!

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

One of my very favorite decorations is my black stick wreath.  I bought it the day after Halloween a few years ago for a huge discount.  The only downside is that it’s not very easy to store and over the years some of the branches have broken off.  But I love that the whole thing basically screams “Halloween”.  (To me, anyway.)

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

Many of my decorations around my home and for holidays/seasons are wood.  I love taking something that is unfinished or needs to be repurposed/updated and making it the way that I want.  So it should come as no surprise that I’ve got some wood crafts thrown into my decorations.  The wooden blocks were made by simply attaching scrapbook paper using mod podge.  I’ve also made them reversible to get a little more use out of them and my kids like switching them around.  Plus, they are durable, which is a necessity when you have small children who like to “help”. *wink*

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

The little witch pillow in the middle is another one of my favorite decorations.  This is probably because it was one of my first embroidery projects so a lot of love went into it.

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

One of the more unique or unexpected decorations that I have up is my Halloween tree.  It is feathers attached around a cone with little ornaments.  When I saw it at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago, I bought it right away.  (They have it this year too!)

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

The black candelabra with green candles is the newest addition to my Halloween decor.  There is something a little spooky about candlesticks but the sparkly spiderwebs on the holder make it fun and decidedly less spooky.

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

Lastly, I’ve got my two hurricane vases.  I’ve filled one with candy corn and the other with black/white balls.  The varying height creates interest plus I can use the vases almost year round by filling them with different objects.

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

And to make things fun, I put up some “Haunted House” tape across the front door.

Get some Halloween decoration inspiration!  By choosing a color scheme, decorating for Halloween is easy!

If you’re interested in knowing where each item came from, I’ve included a list below and a link where to where you can purchase it (where applicable).

Black Stick Wreath & Holder  |  Rod Works
Black Spiderweb Candlestick Holder  |  At Home
Green Candlesticks  |  At Home
Halloween Feather Tree  |  Hobby Lobby
Orange Stand  |  Hobby Lobby
Hurricane Vases (made by me)  |  tutorial
Embroidered Witch Pillow (made by me)  |  pattern from Pine Needles
Purple, White and Black Blocks  |  The Wood Connection
Pumpkin Trio  |  Crafty Wood Cutouts
Boo  |  Hobby Lobby
Black and White Balls  |  Michael’s
Marquee Pumpkin  |  At Home
Gauze Table Runner  |  At Home
Also, be sure to check out these other awesome ladies as part of the Dec-O-Ween Blog Hop!  There are a total of 11 bloggers who have been posting all week about all things Halloween decor.  You’re sure to find some great inspiration! 

11 bloggers share their Halloween decor inspiration
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
Happy Halloween decorating!

Fall Flowers and Berries Wreath

Wreaths are an easy way to add a little decor for any season.  This fall flowers and berries wreath can be made for less than 1/2 the price of a store bought one in about 30 minutes!

While fall might not officially be here for another three days, I think it’s pretty safe to say that fall is here.  I’ve been pulling out my fall decor and even made some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and spiced apple cider last week.  The air is cooler, which makes it much more enjoyable for my kids to go and play outside and inside we haven’t had the air conditioner on more than a few times this week.  Yes, fall is here whether you want it to be or not.

Today, I’m sharing a super easy tutorial for a fall wreath you can make for about $15.  (I bought all of my supplies at JoAnn’s and everything was 40% off.)  Considering that most store bought wreaths start at about $40, I definitely think that making my own was worth it.  Plus, it only took me about 30 minutes and I was able to make it exactly as I had pictured in my head.  Win!

When it comes to fall wreaths, nothing says fall to me like a grapevine wreath.  They are sturdy, add texture and each one is unique.  So for my wreath, I started with the grapevine as the base.  Then I picked up four large flowers, each a different color.  I chose the kind with clips on the back with the thought that if I wanted to change the flowers out at some point in the future that I’d have the flexibility to do so.  Plus, the individual flowers were more full and prettier than the kind that came in a bunch.  Lastly, I knew I wanted some kind of a berry and so I found these little picks and got 3 of each color bunch (yellow/orange and orange/red).

Wreaths are an easy way to add a little decor for any season.  This fall flowers and berries wreath can be made for less than 1/2 the price of a store bought one in about 30 minutes!

Once I got home, I positioned the flowers on the wreath without clipping them.  I decided it would look nice to arrange the flowers from lightest to darkest.

Wreaths are an easy way to add a little decor for any season.  This fall flowers and berries wreath can be made for less than 1/2 the price of a store bought one in about 30 minutes!

Then I unwrapped each berry pick (using an Xacto knife) so that I had 4-5 smaller bunches.  I could have left the picks all together but doing it this way allowed me to mix the colors together and make them go a little further.  After I separated them, I twisted the ends together so the wire wasn’t poking out and the bunches would hold together.

Wreaths are an easy way to add a little decor for any season.  This fall flowers and berries wreath can be made for less than 1/2 the price of a store bought one in about 30 minutes!

Starting at the top of the cream flower, I began sticking the berry picks into the grapevine wreath, alternating between the two color groups.  I had just enough to go all the way around.

Lastly, I clipped the flowers into place and fluffed them up a bit and adjusted some of the picks, then hung it on my door!  (I use the 3M hooks.)

Wreaths are an easy way to add a little decor for any season.  This fall flowers and berries wreath can be made for less than 1/2 the price of a store bought one in about 30 minutes!

I love the bright fall colors and the way they contrast with my dark door!  My porch is slowly gearing up for fall and I hope to be adding some cornstalks and a few more pumpkins soon.

Wreaths are an easy way to add a little decor for any season.  This fall flowers and berries wreath can be made for less than 1/2 the price of a store bought one in about 30 minutes!

Wreaths are an easy way to add a little decor for any season.  This fall flowers and berries wreath can be made for less than 1/2 the price of a store bought one in about 30 minutes!

Wreaths are an easy way to add a little decor for any season.  This fall flowers and berries wreath can be made for less than 1/2 the price of a store bought one in about 30 minutes!

Wreaths are an easy way to add a little decor for any season.  This fall flowers and berries wreath can be made for less than 1/2 the price of a store bought one in about 30 minutes!

I hope my fall wreath tutorial inspired you to make your own!  If you’re looking for a little more inspiration though, be sure to check out these wreaths below from some very talented ladies!

7 DIY Fall Wreaths to inspire you this fall season!

(from left to right, top to bottom)
Fall Flowers and Berries Wreath (above)  |  Sunshine and Munchkins
Fall Wreath  |  Meet Our Life
Simple DIY Magnolia Wreath  |  Craftivity Designs
DIY Fall Inspired Wreath  |  Restyle It Wright
DIY Fall Wreath  |  Corner 52
DIY Fall Dollar Store Wreath  |  North Country Nest
Leaves and Berries Fall Wreath  |  Making Joy and Pretty Things

This post contains affiliate links which if you click on and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Summer Mantle Inspiration

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.

Summer is in full swing here in Utah, complete with 100+ degree days.  So. Hot.  My poor kids, who love being outside, come in by 10am with red cheeks and requests for popsicles to try and beat the heat.  Crazy stuff.

Since summer got here, we’ve been busy enjoying the nice weather and playing as much as possible.  As a result, my spring decorations never really got put away and my only summer decoration was the cute pallet art I made a couple months ago.

I knew this needed to be fixed ASAP so I pulled out some wood crafts I’d purchased about a month ago and worked on them in between play dates and hiking and naps and meals.  It’s amazing how long it takes to get things done when you have kids and a house to run!  BUT I got it done last week, the day before we were set to go out of town for our vacation with extended family.  I snapped some pictures and then rushed to pack myself and my kids to leave early the next morning.
As I mentioned in my post for spring/Easter mantle inspiration, I don’t actually have a mantle, just a credenza, that I decorate for each holiday/season.  But obviously this is just to show you what I’ve done and give you some ideas for your own mantle or table.  For your convenience, I’ve listed where I bought each item or the link to how I made it, below the pictures.

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
White Fence  |  Hobby Lobby
Green Basket  |  Hobby Lobby
Pink Yarn Ball  |  Hobby Lobby
 Mini Orange Table  |  Hobby Lobby
Boy and Girl Swimming block and Hello Summer block  |  The Wood Connection

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
Summer Mini Block Trio  |  The Wood Connection
Summer Block  |  The Wood Connection

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
Yellow Flower Wreath  |  JoAnn’s
Burlap Table Runner  |  made by me (tutorial here)

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
Lemon Wood Craft  |  The Wood Connection
Lemonade vinyl  |  Silhouette machine

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
Summer Pallet Art  |  made by me (tutorial here)
Pink and Gold candle  |  Hobby Lobby
Orange Dreamsicle on Mini Post  |  The Wood Connection

And if you’re looking for more creative summer inspiration, I’m participating in a blog hop with some very talented ladies.  Click on the links below to go to their page and see some great ideas!

9 Creative Summer Ideas to get you excited for the summer!

9 Creative Summer Ideas
{from left to right, top to bottom}
Simple Summer Farmhouse Centerpiece  |  Making Joy and Pretty Things
Summer Matching Game – Free Printable  |  Wellies and Lemonade
Summer Mantle Inspiration  |  Sunshine and Munchkins
DIY Summer Wreath  |  Checking in with Chelsea
Farmhouse Style Summer Tablescape  |  Craftivity Designs
Summer Coffee Table Styling  |  Flourishing at Home
Front Porch Summer Decor  |  Restyle It Wright
Summer Tray Makeover  |  North Country Nest
Summer Entertaining Tablescape  |  W. Collective

This post may contain affiliate links.