Christmas At Home

There will be no talk of a certain football event that happened yesterday. We live in Annapolis after all. Anyway, just wait until 2018! Go Navy. Beat Army. Good thing it is so cheery in the house right now…holiday decor just has that effect on me. I hope it makes you smile as well.

A mantel display that urges us to just believe in the magic of the season…


…and a Korean step tansu display of the real reason for this holiday joy.


An antique candy display looks simply festive with greenery and Christmas balls…


A vintage Santa wishes glad tidings…


…and a certain little elf is caught red handed with the frosting!

Enjoy your holidays!

Show and share. Inspire me Monday. Tuesday at our house. The scoop. Inspire me Tuesday. Make it pretty. Made by you. Metamorphosis. You’re the Star. Tuesday with a twist. Let’s talk vintage. Wonderful Wednesday. Wow us. Talk of the town. Tuesday talk. Share your cup. Share your style. Home and gardeThursday Favorites  waste not. Dagmar’s house.  Vintage charm. Friday features. Home sweet home. Feather nest. Friendship Friday. Funtastic Friday. Grace at home. Pit stop. Morning cup of joe home matters. Sweet inspiration. Best of the weekend create bake grow.  5 things Friday. Sunday at home share it. Snickerdoodle. Simple Saturday. Silver pennies. Create with joy. Inspiration Monday. DI&DI. Amaze me. Style showcase

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Christy: A Book Review

About The Book

New edition of Catherine Marshall’s inspirational classic!

The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her – and her one-room school – as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.

Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?

Learn more, download a free map of Cutter Gap, and purchase a copy

My Review

It has been quite some time since I took this journey to Cutter Gap with new teacher Christy. As a teacher for many years, I finally picked up a copy after hearing how so many of my colleagues were positively influenced by this classic story. I agree, it is a marvelous accounting of turn of the century life and the struggles of the impoverished mountain folk. It would be so easy to leave the story in the past, a tale for an earlier time, if our society didn’t still mirror the struggles faced by the children and parents of Cutter Gap. It was refreshing to read it through new eyes opened by experience. I felt the same pity and despair, but I felt a new empowering, and humble need to care for the “Cutter Gap” people in my area. It is amazing that a tale from so long ago can still inspire hope and act at a catalyst for change. Let’s all learn along with Christy and apply the message of social awareness and apathy and see if we can make a change in the world for the better.

Christmas at Grey Sage: A Book Review

About The Book

This Christmas, there’s plenty of room at the inn.

Nestled in the snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe, the Grey Sage Inn looks like the perfect place for weary travelers to escape the craziness of the Christmas season. There’s plenty to see in historic Santa Fe during the day, and the inn’s owners, Maude and Silas Thornhill, are happy to spend their evenings hosting this year’s guests from across the country.

But an unusual snowstorm throws a wrench in the festive mood. The sprawling inn becomes close quarters as stranded guests discover this Christmas won’t be the relaxed vacation they expected. Tension and fear mount as the storm worsens, and Silas, a retired doctor, is called away in the middle of the night to care for a neighbor. The snow and stress unlocks tongues-and in the unexpected conversation that follows, secrets and pasts are revealed, and hearts are healed.

In the midst of snowdrifts and fireside conversations, of tales of days gone by, the warmth of Christmas brings a renewed hope as these trapped strangers become friends-proof again that the joy, hope, peace, and love of Christmas can be experienced no matter where you are.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

My Review

Things are not always what they seem to be, even with a perfect outside appearance. The beautiful inn owned by the lovely Maude and Silas seems the perfect place to spend the holidays. Why then, did the couple spend the last decade escaping this picture postcard home every Christmas? A favor for a friend starts a process of facing and coming to terms with a past darkness they never have been able to acknowledge. In the process they discover everyone must face past struggles and hurts.

Was the book a little “Hallmark Channel” for my taste…maybe, but I’m really not looking for dark and disturbing in a holiday fiction book. It was the perfect combination of gentle forgiveness, holiday miracle and family restoration I am looking for this time of year. A little escape from the stress of the everyday. This book won’t save the world but it may brighten the attitude toward the world, and that is just as important.

*I was provided a copy of the book from the publisher but the opinions are all mine*

A little Christmas Cheer!

The best part of my newly revealed kitchen…the ease it lends itself to Christmas decorating… and Valentine’s Day as well I guess…but we have a few months until that event. The crisp white with touches of red only needs a few holiday elements to look polished, simplistic and classic. I may have to give away all my glitter and gold accents…just kidding. This Christmas my motto seems to be less is more. Hopefully I have managed to also evoke a feeling of a cozy, warm home because that is what I, and probably most of my readers, long for during these stressful times. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and come inside…

Simple (and free) greens in an antique Swedish dough bowl add a lot of impact. I love the simple red berry wreaths in the windows.

My Grandmother’s church was made for a beautiful snow cover and simple pine trees. An antique postcard finishes the vignette.

A Swedish Santa stands guard over vintage cookie cutters, waiting for the baking to begin.

But until that baking time occurs, we can enjoy the adorable gingerbread decorations…and the Santa as well!

And what says Christmas more than plaid…even cuter on a little Princess…singing on a hay bale!

Show and share. Inspire me Monday. Tuesday at our house. The scoop. Inspire me Tuesday. Make it pretty. Made by you. Metamorphosis. You’re the Star. Tuesday with a twist. Let’s talk vintage. Wonderful Wednesday. Wow us. Talk of the town. Tuesday talk. Share your cup. Share your style. Home and garden. Welcome home. Thursday Favorites  waste not. Dagmar’s house.  Vintage charm. Friday features. Home sweet home. Feather nest. Friendship Friday. Funtastic Friday. Grace at home. Pit stop. Morning cup of joe home matters. Sweet inspiration. Best of the weekendcreate bake grow.  5 things Friday. Sunday at home share it. Snickerdoodle. Simple Saturday. Silver pennies. Create with joy. Inspiration Monday. DI&DI. Amaze me.

The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible: A Book Review

About The Book

How do you explain the gospel to toddlers and preschoolers?

Often adults are stumped, but Jared Kennedy’s focus on the promises of God makes the gospel come alive to the littlest hearts. Through fifty-two Old and New Testament stories, The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible highlights God’s perfect promises. Every page pops with bright colors, playful illustrations, fun learning opportunities, and, best of all each story points children to Jesus.

Kids know the value of a promise. Through the gospel, our good and all-powerful God keeps his word and fulfills his promises to us better than we could have ever thought or imagined!

In The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible, author Jared Kennedy traces God’s perfect promises through fifty-two Old and New Testament stories, retold in simple and compelling ways with toddlers and preschoolers in mind. Each gospel-centered story highlights God’s tale of redemption through Jesus and the unexpected and surprising ways that God’s grace and mercy are revealed throughout the Bible. Children will hear the good news of God’s love for them clearly expressed in ways that will speak to their young hearts. Brightly colored illustrations highlight the stories and add fun teaching elements of counting, opposites, patterns, and object recognition to keep even the youngest child’s attention. Every story also ends with a question that parents and caregivers can use to further reinforce the message.

Through reading this book one chapter at a time to your children-or letting them read it to you!-even the youngest kids will come to know that God’s promises are especially for them, and that God always keeps his promises.

Learn more, read a sample, and purchase a copy.

My Review

How does one introduce the good news of the Gospel to little ones? Many children’s bibles seem to either talk above or talk below them. You don’t want to offer a watered down version nor do you want to bombard them with information too complex for them to process correctly. This story Bible does a pretty job balancing the simplistic and the complicated, although I did find the stories a little disjointed at times. My daughter, aged 4, really enjoyed our evening stories, so for that I am thankful. She is probably on the verge of moving into a more challenging Bible experience. Best suited for the 3 and under set, it is a pleasant way to introduce your child to God’s great love for us. The illustrations were great and discussion questions are included for personal application. It would be a lovely gift for new parents.