Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Housewalk 2015

 Hi there!! Welcome to my 2015 Holiday Housewalk - I'm so glad you are here!  I'm joining up with the fabulous Jennifer Rizzo and her annual Holiday Housewalk link party.   

  We haven't had any snow yet this winter, so here is my house in its current state looking a little sad all dressed up for the holidays, but with no snow..... 

So let's just pretend it's snowy for a little bit  - shall we? 

There!! That's so much better.

Welcome to our home! 

 When you come into our house, you will always be greeted first by our three fur babies!  This happy little girl ray of sunshine is usually close at hand as well. 

In the foyer I kept it pretty simple this year with neutral earth tones.   We put a small tree in the corner by the front door and I'm really enjoying the soft glow it gives at night.  Little Bentley is usually always "guarding" the house in his spot at the front door.

 Okay, confession time.  I almost didn't do this blog post.  There are so many beautiful blog posts, Instagram and Facebook feeds out there right now with perfectly perfect homes - and sometimes it can just leave you feeling... downright discouraged.  We start to play the comparison game with ourselves, or we start to doubt ourselves.  I never want anyone who visits this blog to leave feeling discouraged.  My hope is only to inspire you to make your own home warm and cozy for the holidays, using whatever you have on hand.  I don't do this to impress people.  I LOVE homemaking, I do this for my family, and I do this for myself because I enjoy making my home as cozy, welcoming and inviting as it can be!  We have been married almost 24 years so it's been a long process of slowly collecting the things we love.  I also love decorating and caring for my home because my three girls are following right in my footsteps.  They appreciate a well cared for and decorated home and my goal is for them to one day do the same for their own families.   

I can also talk myself into that same place of why would anyone care to see pictures of my silly Christmas decorations?  I am certainly no Martha Stewart and I don't pretend to be one. So I am bravely sharing with you my very humble attempt at making my home pretty.  It's not perfect and it never will be. 
So - because I want to BE REAL with y'all, I'm showing you my kitchen with a sink full of dirty dishes.  YEP! My sink ALWAYS has dirty dishes in it.  Let's just be real - doesn't yours?  And also - those are dog bowls right on the kitchen island.  No, not cat bowls - DOG bowls.  Yes our dog thinks he's a cat and yes he eats on the kitchen counter.  Just keeping it real for ya! Aaaand I left one lamp off while the other is on.  But thats just real life. 

 One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the wonderful PINE scented everything.  I think pine just smells so CLEAN! And i love clean.  Clean is my friend.  Even when my sink is full of dishes, at least my hands smell clean. :)  This soap is the Target brand out right now, but I also love the Method brand and Ms. Meyers brand of pine scents as well. 

Another great reason to blog about Christmas decorations - we pulled up last years blog post to help us remember what we did! All my girls helped with the decorating this year and it was so much easier to refer to the pictures from last year. Some of what we did was the same and some was a little different.  
 That's my favorite pine scented candle on the stove - Balsam from Bath and Body Works. 
 Everyone's favorite spot in the kitchen.  I can't seem to keep those candy jars filled. 

 (oh look - the dishes magically disappeared - children come in so handy sometimes)

Here is our sweet little cat-dog.  Yes, this is our napkin basket on the kitchen counter.  He thinks it's a dog bed. So, now it is. 
 Moving into the family room - this is where I like to keep the classic reds, and cozy plaids.  My Hannah found this Fairisle blanket and pillow recently at Homegoods and fell in love with them.   It has become everyones favorite blanket to snuggle up with and watch a Christmas movie. 

 We recently attended my nieces beautiful wedding - this pretty ornament below was a wedding favor - I love how it is hanging just below our ornament from our very first Christmas together in 1992! 

 I've taken a different approach to wrapping this year and have been wrapping presents as they come in, instead of my normal of doing it all on Christmas Eve which is no fun.  This year I've actually enjoyed it and have put more effort into making the packages pretty!  I purchased real ribbon at Michael's for 70% off and plan to keep the ribbon and re-use it year after year. 

 Would you like to learn how to take fantastic pictures of your Christmas tree making the pretty starbursts lights?  Head over to this blog post that will teach you all about it!  It's really very easy, I promise. 

My sister gave me a set of these pillows this year and I LOVE them!! 
 Moving into the dining room, I keep the blues and silver and metal tones in here to match the colors that are already here. 

This ornament tree is another gift from my sister this year.  I just love it on the dining room table all sparkly and pretty. I use one of those little battery pack set of LED lights wrapped around it - it's the perfect size. 

 Even the homeschool rooms get a touch of festive!  
 Boo set up this battery operated ice skating set on her desk that she enjoys while she is doing her schoolwork. 

The Christmas dollhouse comes out this time of year and stays set up in the homeschool room as well.  Boo enjoys decorating her own little house just like Mom does. 

I hope you enjoyed spending a few moments in our holiday filled home.  You can see last year's holiday house walk by clicking here! 
And this was the husbands contribution to the holiday decor this year.  #moviequotes :) 


Susie said...

Oh! It all looks so beautiful :-)

Heather O'Steen Photography said...

Thanks Susie! Hope you have a Happy Christmas!

Unknown said...

Your home is gorgeous! I LOVE the caffeination station! HEHE!

Renae said...

Beautiful Home!!

Erin (No Bohns About It) said...

So gorgeous!! We live in the city, and I always feel like I could never be a suburbs person. But beautiful homes like yours totally change my mind! The little school room is my favorite. So perfect!
-Erin (No Bohns About It)

Life As The Coats said...

What a beautiful home you have!! Everything looks so good. I am in love with your kitchen!! I also love the wreaths on the outside windows, so festive!! :)

Trac~ said...

Love all of the decorations and the tree is beautiful! The furbabies and ray of sunshine are precious as well. :)

Stacey said...

I definitely understand what you mean about looking at blogs and feeling insecure. I do the same thing but it's crazy! Home is for the people who live here. ♥

Now after saying that, your home is gorgeous! I love your kitchen and all the Christmas touches. The Christmas tree is amazing and is the star of the room Pinned. :)

Katie @ Team Skelley said...

We had this very same discussion in our Sunday School class last week -- about how social media can either make you feel like you can never measure up to everyone else's Christmas celebrating or it can push you to try to recreate someone else's holiday where you feel like you have to keep up with the Jones, Christmas-style. I think that we should all give ourselves a little grace and not be so hard on ourselves. I personally have never seen a home decorated for Christmas that I did not enjoy. If it is done with heart, then it is beautiful.

Heather O'Steen Photography said...

Thank you Linsley!

Heather O'Steen Photography said...

Thanks Erin! The suburbs are really quite nice!

Heather O'Steen Photography said...

Thanks so much! The kitchen has been a labor of love for sure!

Heather O'Steen Photography said...

I love what you said Stacey - home is for the people who live here. :)

Heather O'Steen Photography said...

Yes Katie - You are exactly right!

Cara@HomespunKitchen said...

Love, love, love your home! So classic and cozy! Where did you get the dollhouse? My 9 year old would love on like that!

Heather O'Steen Photography said...

Hi Cara! Thank you so much - I ordered the dollhouse on Amazon several years - but I only paid half of what it is listed for now. Here is a link -

Debbie said...

Very pretty! I am so jealous of the snow!!!

Shwetablog said...