Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home For Christmas

We have decided to stay home for Christmas.   We usually travel every year to see family for the holiday.  We are looking forward to relaxing and enjoying our home.  However, we may sneak off to NYC to Rockefellar Center to see the enormous Christmas tree and do some skating!  Can't wait!

My little built in corner hutch.  There were so many things I wanted to do as far as decorating for Christmas.  Time just flew by and I was distracted by other things.  So, I didn't do that much!  *Note to self....Refer back to this post so you remember how behind you were with decorating in 2009! Start earlier...make plans ahead of time, like in September!

Nutcrackers on the mantel.  Our daughter traditionally receives one after dancing in the Nutcracker every year.  I never pictured decorating with Nutcrackers, but they actually look cute!

My favorite Nutcracker that I bought at Bombay Co. years ago.  His teeth are kind of funny but it is so much fun to unwrap him every year and hang a stocking.

Our Christmas tree...

Looks like we are going to have a white Christmas!  My daughter was wishing for one.  That wish usually comes true here in Massachusetts!

We are all enjoying our new bird feeder!  We really love watching who shows up everyday.  I am so happy that the birds have something to eat during all this cold weather.  The Cardinal and Blue Jay are my favorites!

Turning into a snowman expert!

Maggie, our dog, is a glove thief!  She loves her new treasure!

With all this snow and frigid weather...It is great to end it with a wonderful big pot of chicken soup!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!  We are looking forward to a great 2010!!!!!
Where have the years gone?


*All images property of Living It At Home*

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another Magical Nutcracker Done...Now We Can Rest

This year's Nutcracker performances for my daughter was a success!  Whew!  Now we can take it easy and relax.  There was lots of running around to rehearsals and long nights.  She has been dancing in various Nutcrackers for about 4 years.  It is tradition for her to receive a nutcracker doll after each show.  It is so much fun to find a different one every year.  I have great success with Target.  They actually have a beautiful selection every year.  And what is great about them is that they are inexpensive but look expensive and have the year written on them!  My daughter loves to line them up on our mantel and relive all the different years when she received one.  I am so glad that I came up with that tradition for her.  She really looks forward to it.  Here she is in her snowflakes costume, with her new snowflake nutcracker.  That is my favorite dance in the whole performance.  My second favorite is the flowers.  The music is so beautiful.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  We are expecting a big snow storm!  I have to run out and stock up on food!

Happy winter!

*All images property of Living It At Home

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tagged with Honest Scrap Award...10 things to share

The very sweet and talented designer and artist, Victoria from Art House Design,  tagged me with the Honest Scrap Award. I therefore will tell you 10 honest things about me: Love/Hate/Share.  The rules are, after being tagged you share 10 things about you, as described above, link back to the person who tagged you and name 7 others you tag in return.  Make sure you let them know they have been tagged!  So, here it goes...enjoy!
I think I am a "wanna be" designer/decorator.  I am always picking up a home magazine or one on decorating.  My favorite thing to do is rip out pages of rooms I love!  I stare at them trying to digest how they put the rooms and colors together.  I really admire people that are sure with what they like and are able to make their homes comfortable and beautiful.  My favorite mag was always "Cottage Living".  So sad that closed down!   Luckily I saved all of them.  This dinning room below is really striking.  Don't know if that chandelier is realistic for everyday living, but it is amazing.
Love all the gray, black and white.
Would you use this chandelier in your decor?

 I really enjoy antiquing, especially in New England.  The craftsmanship of bygone times is beautiful.   I also enjoy looking at old photo's and imagining the moment the picture was taken.  These were "real" lives and they had their moment in time.  When I look at someone's cherished objects, old dresses, photo's, I realize how short our time is in this life.  You really have to seize the day and live life to it's fullest!  Lovely photo below is my great aunt from the magazine Vanity Fair in 1924.
She was a famous dancer.

 I really enjoy watching period piece movies.  The costumes and their conversational skills, and use of language are so fascinating to watch.  I  know I have completely romanticized that time.  Realistically, they all had to live with lice, infrequent baths, poor dental hygiene, and didn't live very long....still love the movies though and the leading men!  Check out my post I did on my favorites here.

Love being a stay at home mom and taking care of my daughter.  She is so talented and wonderful.  I am truly blessed!

  I was a Dentist in my former life.  Really comes in handy when I have to go to one myself or my daughter needs a check up, I know everything that is going on, hee hee!  In the photo below, the dentist's dog would sit with the children while they waited.  Isn't my daughter adorable?  She must have been about 5 here.  I miss that age!

  I have always wanted to have something special to call my own, a creation that I alone came up with.  An idea turned into a business for example.  I love being creative. Then make enough "mulla" to buy one of these.  I know, how shallow of me!  This photo was actually taken a few blocks from our home.  This stylin' ride was for Ben Affleck on set, for a movie they were filming, forgot the name.  Something to do with loosing his job and having to sell his car and house, ect...  It is coming out soon!  Didn't get to see much of him other than his profile from a distance through a window! Did get a photo with the leading lady!  Foolishly stood there for hours....Ugh!

 Absolutely loved living in San Francisco for 8 years, well after I got over being homesick for NY for the first 4 years!  It was a real eye opening experience for me.  It gave me a chance to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and meet some wonderful people that I would have never met.  When we lived there we were at the beach almost every day!

I think I am really a city girl at heart...with a country vacation home!  I really enjoyed the years when I lived in New York City and the city of San Francisco.  There was always something to do, somewhere you could walk to and lots of culture and people watching.  I am currently living in the suburbs and love all the trees and space.  However, I feel that I am missing all the excitement of having a city life.  When I go into Boston, settings like this one pictured below, appeal to me.  I would love to live in one of these historic brownstones right smack in the middle of all the wonderful restaurants and cultural diversions that you could just walk to.
Does this setting appeal to you?

I love taking photo's.  I really need to learn more about photography and I would like to start framing some of my work, do a photo wall or something.  I need to upgrade my camera...The photo below is one of my "masterpieces", excuse the bragging!  I really love how it came out and hope only to improve on my next pictures.

  Would love to travel and see the world... I hate to admit that I have never been outside the United States!  I just got my passport last year.  Really want to visit Ireland, and London.  I think it is because of watching all  those period pieces!

Thanks so much for reading!  Hope you enjoyed it!   Thank you Victoria for being so interested in knowing more about me.  xxjamilyn
~And the award goes to~

*Images from Panoramio, My Home Ideas, BBC, all other images property of Living It At Home

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Wonderland

One thing is for sure, it is so beautiful in Massachusetts when it snows.  The change of seasons is one reason I am so happy to live here.  My backyard...

Snow...Snow and more Snow...  Isn't my dog the cutest ever?  Maggie loves running around in the deep snow.  In this picture, she is waiting for me to chase her.  I was afraid to get to close while taking this picture because at any moment she was going to take off!  She is so cute!

Here is a peek at some of my Christmas decorations.  Luckily we had one 70 degree day before it snowed and I was able to put up decorations and some lights.  Usually, I wait to long and everything is frozen and I can barely stand to be outside stringing lights!  Not bad for a quick decoration.

I took this picture at night (of course) and my little Cannon digital camera was able to capture this loveliness!  I am so into taking beautiful photo's like this.

Winterberries that I arranged in my black cast iron planters by my side door.

Looking down my block.  This was early morning.  I think you get the best photo's at this time of day.  However, I needed to get up at sunrise for the best light.
 It really was like a winter wonderland this weekend.

For those of you who don't have snow...I hope you enjoyed all this prettiness!

Stay warm!

*All images property of Living It At Home*

Friday, December 4, 2009

Golden Glow

Wow!  Love this room from H& G.  Ceiling height adds to drama and use of muted and golden tones.  I really am into that table cloth... basically just love it all!  I hope everyone has a cozy and warm weekend...Brrr!  


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'll have one of these please...

Staddlestone/Mushroom Stone
Somewhere along the line... I fell in love with mushroom stone.  I just sent my husband an e-mail with a picture of one and said that if he ever wanted to get me something special..this would be it. {of course I could speak to him about it, but now he will have a picture!}  Crazy, huh?  I should be asking for jewelry, like the pair of diamond earrings I have always wanted.  Actually, I think these antique staddle stones are less expensive (but still pricey enough)!

Since I am nuts over mushrooms--these are perfect for me! When we were up in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  I saw a pair of staddlestones in a garden right on the water, it was so enchanting.  They offered a place to sit and enjoy the view. I should have taken a picture!  I was so excited to see them in that setting.  That is when I knew that I would have to have one for my garden.  Well, make that two or three!

Staddlestones were mainly used to elevate buildings that stored food.  Due to the mushroom like shape of the stone, it would make it difficult for rodents to climb up.  Also kept building off of the damp ground.

They are very popular in England.  The mossier... the better!

Nestled in the garden

Grand garden entrance

Saw these on 1st dibs-outrageously expensive antiques!

Ahhh!  Just love to look at them all lined up like cute little toadstools...so charming.  I have to have one!

If you happen to have one of these, lucky you, send me a photo~
 I would love to see it.  

Shh! I was hesitant to do a post on these, I want them all to myself!  I know everyone will fall in love with them too :)...or not!



*images from Fine Gardening, Flicker, Veranda

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trim A Tree For Your Tabletop And More

This is one project that I would really love to try this year.  We usually put up one Christmas tree but I would like to add another "table top tree" into our decorating scheme.  I am looking for our house to be more festive in other rooms.  Table top trees in urns especially appeal to me.  I am crazy over urns!  The above image is so adorable and colorful (other images are cute too).  You could probably find an inexpensive urn, or metal bucket, and spray paint it red or any other color.  As far as our main Christmas tree we use a tree stand with the typical tree skirt.  I am thinking that I want to use an urn instead for our large tree.  If I can't do that then I may try a oversized galvanized bucket with a tree stand to fit inside.  I have seen this done in various forms.  I got this image below and idea from Bethany at Curb Appeal.  She said that she has done this in her home and it helped to protect her wood floors too.  It certainly is different!  I am in the mood to stray out of my comfort zone.  How about you?  Are you seeing something that you would like to try this year?  Shake things up a bit?

More cuteness...

Eddie Ross doing it best too!

~Finished and lovely~

Found this image below from Martha Stewart (so many great ideas, can't stay away).  Great example of a "classically trimmed" tree.  I included the "how-to" below.  I don't have pretty ornaments to spare like pictured here, but I am sure I could come up with something that I would enjoy looking at everyday.  This looks easy enough if you have the time.  It is definitely something I am going to try.  I could see this on my buffet...  I hope you give it a try!  If you have already done this kind of thing, let me know how it came out.  I would love to hear about it and your decorating adventures!

Trim a Tree How-To
Choose a fresh tree with branches that directly oppose each other, such as a Norway spruce. A full-size tree can be pruned this way, but it may require additional support around the base.
Tools and Materials

Galvanized metal bucket
Pea gravel
Garden gloves
Masking tape
Pruning shears
Wood saw
Brown liquid shoe polish
Urn or other heavy decorative container
Garbage bag
Plastic paint-mixing bucket
4-inch-thick floral foam
Kitchen knife
Decorative sheet moss

1. Most of the necessary supplies are basic hardware-store items; floral foam and sheet moss are available at floral-supply stores.

2. Stand the tree upright in a galvanized metal bucket filled with pea gravel (you will transfer it to a decorative urn later). Examine the tree to determine which branches to prune. For this tree, Eric removed every other ring of branches.

3. Wearing gloves, place a piece of masking tape at the inner and outer ends of every branch you plan to remove.

4. Use pruning shears to cut away the tagged branches, working from the top down. If the trunk appears too long once you remove the bottommost limbs, trim it with a saw.

5. Once boughs are removed, conceal cuts with dabs of liquid shoe polish.

6. Line the urn with a plastic garbage bag to prevent leaks; place plastic bucket inside. If the bucket doesn't fit snugly, fill the space around it with gravel. Transfer the tree to the plastic bucket. Fill the bucket three-quarters full with gravel to secure. Pour water in until it reaches the top of the gravel.

7. Use a kitchen knife to cut floral foam to the same diameter as the mouth of the urn. Cut a pie-shaped wedge from it. Soak foam pieces in water until saturated. Place wet foam cylinder around the trunk like a collar, and replace wedge. Trim excess foam. Gently press sheet moss onto foam. To keep the tree fresh, remove the foam wedge and water as needed.

8. The tree is ready to be decorated.

Isn't this great?  Have fun...


(Images from Martha Stewart, BHG,Curb Appeal, Eddie Ross)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Welcoming Front Door Decorations

I am just loving these front door decorations.  I am a big fan of moss and the wreath above is getting me all worked up!  Of course, Martha knows how to do "simple elegance" best.  The above "living" wreath can be made with plants, and can last all year, but has to be kept out of the sun.  I am thinking that is not going to work for my front door.  It is so beautiful, sigh....

Keeping your decorating simple, really sets the scene for a warm and welcoming entry to your home.

I love to decorate with natural elements.  These large pine cones are inexpensive and just attached to a pretty ribbon.  How simple and easy is that?

A more traditional decoration for a colonial.  I love the look of this house.

You don't have to use inflatables to be festive! {Don't mean to offend if you love using them, but I don't get it...they usually are just lying flat on the ground when not turned on!}  Using "bulb-y" lights on this gate is really a whimsical alternative.

I love the use of light in this picture with torches flanking the entry and candles in the snow.   Great way to say to your guests...come warm yourself in our welcoming home!

I am definitely in the mood to cozy up my home and get ready for Christmas!
Have fun

(images from Martha Stewart, Country Living, My Home Ideas)