Halls. Are. Decked.

It's been quite the busy season here, trimming garlands, glittering pears, and adding Christmas cheer to every nook and cranny possible. Here is a little bit of our holiday joy, from our house to yours!

Our little bathroom corner.

 Chalkboard message board in the kitchen! I swear those chalkboard artists make it look so easy...

The view from our bed.
(It is so hard to take a picture of a mirror straight on without getting in the picture!)

Little nooks in our living room coffee table. 

 Homemade garland in the hallway and more coffee table nooks!

Garland fixings.

Our front door all ready for our first New England Christmas!
(just ignore the extension cord getting into the excitement)

It has been such a fun little time of year around here! 
I hope you lovelies are all enjoying your decorating wherever you are!



Smell Ya Later, November

Show of hands how many of you have already listened to Michael Bublé's Christmas, possibly on repeat in your car where no one can hear you belt out his jazzy version of Blue Christmas. I thought so. You're just as bad as me and oh, how I love you so. Bring on the sleepless nights dreaming about holiday decor, presents for friends and family, and recipes for the next holiday party.

Oh, it's on, December. 


This is our first year living in New England (aaaaaaa still pinching myself!), so I want to make our little place extra special for the holidays. Since we live in a very old historic part of town, surrounded by gorgeous Georgian Colonial style homes, I want to bring in a bit of the ol' New England charm with our holiday decor. I'm working on some homemade garlands (fresh from the farm!) with citrus, berries, and apples and plan to simplify the rest of our decor this year.  I'll make sure to take some pics but if you want to follow along, hop on over to Instagram (http://instagram.com/youstirme)!

(progress so far)

So how are you all decorating for the holidays? Have you already started or do you like to wait until it's actually December? 
I'm a December gal, myself.
 Just five more days...



So, As I Was Saying

Well how the heck are you, lovelies? 

I bet you're all taller, wiser, and have some amazing stories to tell me since we last caught up with each other. Me? Oh, you know, just decided to take a five month break from blogging, which included me forgetting to pay my domain renewal, resulting in the complete and utter shut down of this little blog. 

Wow, did I blow it, you guys. 

But instead of this post being a sob fest apology to you about how I should have been a better blogger to you all, I'll simply say this: You rock my socks. Thank you for all the sweet messages asking if I was okay or saying you missed my little posts. Seriously guys, you're the best.

So here's the real reason I haven't been shinning my happy little face around here lately:

Life drew me back in! 

I simply decided there were more important and fulfilling things going on in my life that had nothing to do with making sure I had 3-5 posts ready to be published each week. I got into blogging because my life was in a rut (unhappy with my job and where I lived) so I escaped to this happy little place filled with gorgeous people like you (that's right, you!) who had similar interests and creative explosions coming out of their little minds. I've met a ton of stinking amazing people through this blog and wouldn't change the last two years of blogging for a single second. However, with my new job at Gus & Ruby Letterpress (I.am.the.luckiest.duck.) and starting my new life in beautiful Portsmouth with my husband, I have found my priorities have changed. Things like walking to work (and stopping to watch my favorite family of ducks play in the pond), discovering new treasures in town, and taking day trips to my farm to smush my face in my pup's face, have become the highlights of my days now. That being said, I have been feeling incredibly guilty for not keeping this blog updated and have missed your friendly faces each day.

Goodness, Laura, wrap it up here.

So here's what I propose: 

I'll blog whenever I want. 

Simple. One week I may not post and another week you may see several posts. Who knows? Kinda exciting, no? Doesn't take much to excite me these days. So, I'm back. You didn't actually think my very last post was going to be about some yummy Game Four fajitas I made, did you? No siree. I promise I'll let you know if I decide to leave this little place for good.

Let's move on.
(how was that for an awkward transition?)

The "Thanks" jar is back! I never had much love for the month of November until I started this tradition three years ago, thanks to that lovely duo from Young House Love. The concept is simple: Write a note of "thanks" each day for the month of November and read them all at the end of the month. Some of the repeats each year have been:

"Thankful for the best pup in the world, Lilly"
"Thankful my wife's butt looks good in yoga pants" (that's right.)
"Thankful my wife can cook"

See? We don't ask for much.
This year (spoil alert, Dave!), the first couple of notes have been all about our friends and family down in NJ/NY who are still affected by Hurricane Sandy. The "Thanks" jar has been a fun little way of documenting each year and all that we're thankful for as we go through some big transitions in our lives.

I sure am.
Do it! Extra points if you make your notes sparkly.

So, now that we're friends again, what have you been up to? How was your summer? Your fall? Ready for the holiday season to start in three weeks? I know some of you have already listened to your favorite Christmas song already. 
Fess up.



Game Four

Someone's team needed a little help winning a Stanley Cup playoff game last night, so I turned to Pinterest and cooked up a storm in the ol' kitchen, promising this dinner would be the good luck charm his team needed.


(Image Via + Via)

I combined this Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas recipe with this Pineapple Mango Salsa recipe to create the perfect winning heat and sweet flavor combo.

And guess whose team won? That's right. There's magic in this dinner. 
Oh, and a little sparkling Pinot Noir didn't hurt either.

Try it.


Bedroom Pop

I feel like I may be the last person on Earth to find out about Joss & Main, but just in case I'm not alone, go check it out! Yes, it's another one of those sites where you have to create an account to access the deals, but so far I think it's worth it. It's not the cheapest place in the world but I'm finding it's good for accent items for the home. 
Let me explain.

Our bedroom is always the one room in the house that gets neglected. I never have energy (or funds) to decorate it the way it deserves after tending to all the other rooms in the house. Our new bedroom has a lot of potential because it has pretty windows and an old fireplace complete with a mantle. It's a bit small with our giant Ikea furniture, so I'm hoping to give it a little pop of color with a new rug and some throw pillows. Look at me going wild.

Here are the pillows I'm coveting big time from Joss & Main. They're on sale right now for $25.95 each so I've decided I can choose a couple and mix them with some graphic print pillows from Target I found in a pretty mustard yellow color.
 (Images Via)

Here's the rug I bought from Overstock.com.

(Image Via)

I think this will brighten up the room just enough to make the bedroom feel loved. I'm one of those crazies who think rooms and houses have souls and need to be nurtured every now and then. I also used to name and dress up trees when I was little so perhaps this is the more adult version of that affliction? Either way, I'm going to make you love me, bedroom of ours. 

Have any of you lovelies used Joss & Main? Do you think that colorful anchor pillow is a little too much for someone who lives right next to the ocean? I'm trying to infuse a little nautical decor without being too literal. Oh heck, I love it. It's happening.