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A Simple Christmas Tradition: A Pickle and a Gift

add a pickle search to your Christmas holiday traditions - ideas for making it a favorite tradition with your kids

My husband is notorious in our family as a lover of pickles.  He is a particular pickle lover – he only prefers peppery pickles.  Sorry, couldn’t resist the alliterations!  Anyway, we received a pickle ornament some time back because of my husband’s well-known passion for pickles (I may or may not stop).  Attached to our pickle ornament was a story of a pickle tradition in which a pickle ornament is hidden on a Christmas tree for children to find.  The first child to find the pickle receives a prize.  In the years following we have started to do this tradition with our kids.  And our kids LOVE it!  It is one of the only traditions for the holidays our kids discuss the moment we get the tree out of storage. Continue Reading

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#ClutterFree Journey, Week 2 Entryway

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series #ClutterFree Journey

As you know, I am on a mission to regain all the quiet I can this year.  And part of that process has been starting with an uncluttered home.  As I have begun to strip away the messes and the clutter in our home, I have discovered a peace and a joy that is unmatched.  My husband mentioned yesterday that he just doesn’t find the “joy in cleaning” like I do.  I asked him, but don’t you like the results?  He said, “Yes.”  I said that is what motivates me.  I LOVE the feeling of a clean, well-organized space.  So this week I am focusing on our entryway as part of the clutter-free journey.

Our entryway is not actually used the way that most entries are used; meaning we come through a different entry when we come home (through the laundry room from the garage).  So, it doesn’t get as much typical use as in other homes.  Our entryway consists of three main spaces: the entryway proper, a coat closet, a side entryway that leads to a bathroom and bedroom/office. Continue Reading

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DIY Paint Sample Art

As my husband and I decorate and remodel our home, we have discovered something about our design aesthetic: We are primarily boring!  We shy away from most bold statements.  And we would pick a solid over a pattern almost every time.  We like grey (a LOT) and we like wood (a LOT).  At the same time, we realize that we need to infuse our home with some color and some character.  So we are slowly throwing in pops of color where we can and I am really pleased with the choices we have made, so far.  I decided to take on a DIY art project to infuse a little more color in our entryway.  And once I put it up, everyone, EVERYone who walks into our home make some comment about it.

I realize now that I have done this DIY art project that it is not a new idea (are any ideas? really?).  Nonetheless, I am exceedingly proud of how it turned out and what it does for our little entry way.  And my DIY art project met the requirements I have for a DIY project: achievability (new word) and interest for our home.  Oh, and I am by no means artistic (I cannot draw, paint, or otherwise craft true art pieces), so this is right up my alley!

You want to hear about it?

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Countdown in Style (Co-Hosting Spot)

I recently linked up to Countdown in Style and entered for the opportunity to co-host.  I never win anything, but I WON!
This link party celebrates all the fun stuff of the web in the last week.  So come on in and take a good long look around.  You are sure to find lots of fabulous links.  If you have a blog, feel free to add your link, too.  And enter to be a co-host!  Who knows?  You could win and host next week!

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Best of ’13

I am a little slow on the pick-up most days.  That’s why we don’t do a lot of activities for Christmas and Thanksgiving until the week of.  I suddenly wake up a few days before big events and think, “I should do something for that to teach my kids why we do it.”  And sometimes, it still doesn’t get done.

So, I woke up this morning, January 1, 2014 and thought, “Hmm…it would be cool to find out what posts were the most popular on this blog for 2013.”

I know!  Bloggers have probably been doing this for quite some weeks, but here I am just figuring it out.  But, I started genuinely working on this blogging thing in January of last year, so I while I have learned much, I still haven’t figured out everything.

I did a quick search of what was most popular on Simple.Home.Blessings. in 2013 (google analytics is kind of spooky) and there were some surprises in there.  But if I am honest these are some the posts I am most proud of from the past year. Continue Reading

Growing Up, Uncategorized

A Simple Indian Summer Playdate

Everybody is talking fall already, but we live in the desert so we can count on another month or two (maybe three) of summer before the temps start to really fall (all the way to the 70s!).  So I thought I would share a little summer end play date idea.

I wanted to give the kids a fun activity to do without getting messy so we set up a clean finger painting station on a plastic yellow table-cloth taped to the floor.  I have seen this idea just about everywhere on Pinterest and it actually took a long time for me to understand just how it worked. Continue Reading

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