Christmas Village

The weather has been absolutely wonderful here in Miami. We have had temperatures from the low 50’s to the high 40’s and I’m loving it!  Friends, I actually get to wear sweaters and boots.  “Yippee”!!  It’s really beginning to look and feel like Christmas.  All we need is some snow flurries (a girl can dream right).  Anyway, a Christmas tradition of mine is building a Christmas Village. There is a story behind this Christmas village.  A long time ago when I was first married, I began to build a Christmas village.  Every year I would add a house and some little people to it.  I remember going shopping with my mom and picking new items to my village with her.  As the years passed, my village grew bigger and prettier.

This is my Christmas Village that I set up every year on my dining room buffet. This village has become a tradition that I look forward to every year. You see this village reminds me of the times I went shopping with my mom and that light house you see over there, well that’s the last piece she gave me before she passed.

I love this little village and believe me there is more of it, but it just doesn’t all fit on my buffet table therefore it’s safely stored away. It is a Christmas Village that I now set up every year with my daughter, so that one day I will pass some of my pieces to her and she can begin her own Christmas village someday.

Thank you for going down memory lane with me today.  That is what’s so special about the Holidays for me.  They always tend to bring back memories of precious times spent with loved ones that are here and also passed on.  I know that this Christmas Village brings nostalgic memories to me and I hope that my daughter will create her own with her family some day.

What Christmas traditions do you have that have been passed down from your family? Are there any you have begun with your own family? I’d love to hear them, but in the meantime thank you for visiting this blog and keep creating beautiful memories with your loved ones.

 

20 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas

The elves are back and ready for new adventures! If you haven’t heard about the Elf on the Shelf, then where have you been?! Just kidding;) but really every year the return of the Elf on the Shelf brings joy to the kiddos and stress to the parents. It’s not easy coming up everyday with creative ideas, not to mention remembering to move them on the daily.  So I have come up with 20 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas to help us moms and take the pressure off a little during this busy Holiday Season. First of all let me introduce you to our Elf on the Shelf  Gumdrop. You see Gumdrop came to be a part of our family on November 26, 2011.  Gumdrop stayed with us during the day and reported back to Santa nightly on whether our daughter was naughty or nice that day.

Gumdrop has zip-lined in the house, made friends with the American Girl dolls, cut out pictures to make a list for Santa and even had a cold from traveling to the North Pole every night.

He’s gotten into the candy jar, made himself breakfast, went fishing in the sink and even worked on the laptop while using the potty. He’s one busy elf.

 

The following year my daughter said Gumdrop needed a friend so we adopted an Elf Magic Elf and named her Holly. The two of them have had a great time in our home. Here are some of the escapades they have had over the years.

Gumdrop and Holly have made snow angels together, swings from the chandelier, played video games, but still made sure to brush their teeth.

This is one of my favorites when Holly rolled Gumdrop down the stairs in a roll of toilet paper. That was priceless, I can still remember my daughters face when she woke up to that scene in the morning.

A year later a cute little reindeer named Nutmeg made his way into our home and the three of them have been up to many shenanigans together. They listen to music, play games, and love to have a good time.

In this photo (below) they are flying from the ceiling fan in our living room.

I hope these 20 Days of Elf on the Shelf Ideas helps you with easy ideas on what to do with your family elf or elves (which was the case with us). Even-tough my daughter is no longer little and knows the truth about Santa and the elves we still continue this tradition by turning it into a family competition on who can out do the other with the Elfscapades. We each take a turn and see who comes up with the best Elf Shenanigans. It keeps the fun going and I have to confess I like coming up with new ideas for the elves. Well friends have a fun time moving those elves around and try not to stress out because I had my times that I forgot or was too tired to move them on a night or two. Keep it simple and have fun.

till next time,

 

 

 

 

Farmhouse Hutch

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday with their family and friends. I know that I had my fill of turkey, and pie to last me the rest of the year.  It was one crazy extended weekend with family, food and shopping. Talking about shopping I was disappointed this year with the Black Friday sales.  I usually get all of my Christmas shopping done on Black Friday, but this year that was not the case. Kohl’s sales were so sad, I didn’t even earn Kohl’s cash after my purchases this year.  I always get Kohl’s cash on Black Friday, but all I ended up buying were a pair of boots and some bath towels because the sale items weren’t all that enticing.  JCPenney had much better deals, but no coupons this year. What was up with that?  Seriously I wish I would have stayed home and slept late! What I did get was my farmhouse hutch that I bought from the Fancy Flea market a few weeks ago.  A few posts back I mentioned that I had bought a hutch [here] and the Fancy Flea, but had to leave it at my sisters house because it didn’t fit in my car.  Good news I drove up this weekend to pick it up and brought it home.

I love this little farmhouse hutch!  It is exactly what I was looking for and the perfect size for my dining room.

I particularly like the old latch on the door.  It looks vintage and adds a hint of rustic charm to the piece.

The hutch is made of wood and has a bead board backing.  It is painted green and beige, but distressed for a rustic look.

I had been searching for a small farmhouse hutch to house my Rae Dunn collection and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Here is my hutch full of my Rae Dunn collection, well as much as I could fit in it anyway.

I also added touches of copper accents  (a pitcher and a few mugs) in the hutch for variety.

I added some of my Christmas pieces to decorate it up for the holidays.

I love how it turned out! What do you think of my farmhouse hutch?

My husband is happy and says that I can’t buy any more Rae Dunn pieces because they don’t fit in my hutch. LOL!  Little does he know;)  Now the only dilemma I have is whether to keep it the green color it is or paint it white? What do you think? I would love to hear from you, so please leave your opinion or suggestions in the comments below. I will be sharing Christmas crafts in the next blog post so be sure to come back to see that. As always, thank you so much for always reading this little blog of mine.

New Favorite Pillows

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow?  Where has the time gone?!  I do have to say that I am ready for Black Friday shopping and all the great deals.  I’m not a big fan of the new trend to go shopping on Thanksgiving day.  I believe in celebrating Thanksgiving by spending the day with family.  I do my shopping on Black Friday even though it is hectic day for shopping.  After my crazy day of waking up super early and standing in line at stores to get those early bird sales items, I need some sleep.  I to get my best night’s sleep with these new Hanes pillows from Downlite Bedding. Did you know that Hanes made pillows? Well neither did I, but they have become my new favorite pillows.

 

These pillows are super soft, I tell you it’s like sleeping on a cloud.  They are made of a hypoallergenic knit fabric and they are very comfortable to sleep on.

The only thing I didn’t like was the color pattern which comes in either a white or a light colored pillow covering. So I had to use darker pillow cases to cover the pattern.

Do you see that quilt in the picture below?  This is one of my finds from the Fancy Flea Market I went to a few weekends ago.  When I was growing up my mother had chenille quilts on her bed and when I saw this one it reminded me of her.  It’s an old fabric, but was in pristine condition and it made me so happy that of course I bought it.  Who would have known that these old fabrics would be in style and it makes me wish I would have kept my mom’s old quilt that had flower patterns in soft color tones.

If your looking for new pillows and like soft comfy pillows then give these Hanes pillows from Downlite Bedding a try. You can go to their website at www.downlitebedding.com and use the special promo code DYGEN15 to take 15% off any purchase.

Well friends I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends. If you go out shopping have a great time and good luck on finding great deals. I will definitely be making a stop at Kohls for doorbusters and Kohls cash. Thanks for stopping by the blog and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

xoxo,

Maritza

My Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Thanksgiving is Thursday and the thing I love best about Thanksgiving (aside from spending time with family) is all the yummy food.  One of my favorite pies to make is my sweet potato pie. Every year I make this pie and everyone loves it. I tell you they can’t get enough of it.  I wanted to share this recipe with you (my friends) to enjoy for dessert on this special holiday. If you love sweet potato pie as much as my family does (believe me they request it every year)  then this one will definitely become a family favorite in your home as well.  This is a traditional sweet potato recipe with a little twist. This is what you will need:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup condensed milk

The recipe calls for uncooked pie crust and I use the Pillsbury pie crust, but you can make your own or buy the frozen ones as well. I like the convenience of these pie crust because less time in the kitchen equals more time spent with family. The directions are easy to follow as well.

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour in the oven on a baking sheet. When done, let cool. Scrape the pulp out of the skin, transfer to a large bowl, and mash. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Add evaporated and condensed milk and stir mixture into sweet potatoes. Beat together with mixer until smooth and pour into an unbaked pie shell.

Butter, sugar, and brown sugar mixture.

Eggs, spices, evaporated and condensed milk mixed in together.

Sweet potato added to mix and placed in pie crusts. This recipe will make 2 pies.

Bake on bottom rack of oven for 1 hour or until center of pie is firm. Serve warm. Add whipped cream topping if desired and enjoy.

I hope you try making my sweet potato pie recipe this year and that you enjoy it so much it becomes a family staple at every Thanksgiving.  If you do make it please let me know how it came out?  Did you like it or not?  I would love to hear from you!  Well friends thank you for stopping by the blog today and from my home to yours “Happy Thanksgiving”.

xoxo,

Maritza

 

 

My Latest Christmas Haul

It’s the most wonderful time of the year “Christmas time that is” it is my favorite time of year and I’m so excited to share my latest Christmas haul with you my friends. I haven’t really began decorating for Christmas yet because I still have out my fall decor and don’t usually decorate until after Thanksgiving Day. While others have gotten an early start on decorating I did go out in search of Christmas decor. Here is what I found:

So let me begin with my HomeGoods finds. It’s getting really hard to find any Rae Dunn lately and finding Christmas Rae Dunn, well that is just close to impossible here. So when I saw these mug sets I practically ran over anyone in my way to get to them first. And as my excitement was at an all time high can you find what is wrong?? Yes, stupid me didn’t notice that the Mr. and Mrs. Clause mugs are two Mrs. and no Mr. UGHHH!!!  I was so furious with myself when I got home and noticed it. Hopefully I can find another set and return this one. Anyway don’t you love the santa gnomes??  I love gnomes I have them all over my yard and when I saw these (not to sound like the insurance commercial) I had to have them.

On to my next (craze) I mean find are the vintage trucks.  I am absolutely in love with anything vintage truck, no joke ask my family they think I’m nuts. It started last year and this year a full blown addiction. I got the these (above) truck tea towels, mug and Magenta oval at Marshall’s. Now the truck (below) is from Old Time Pottery and it’s my favorite. The truck is ceramic and lights up! How adorable is that and it was only $14.99.

I also went to Target of course to hit up their dollar spot, but decided to look at the Christmas section and found these trucks and campers. I totally fell in love, but I didn’t give into temptation. Yes, I know it was very, very hard, but I didn’t buy them. For now anyway….

On to the dollar spot where i found lots of goodies.  I got the ceramic houses and christmas tree, snowballs, plaid runner, tree cut-out, Christmas Tree sign, some string and decorative tapes, snowballs and buckets. Funny story with the buckets see I only wanted one, but they were so jammed together  I couldn’t separate them and neither could the cashier so I ended buying them both. No worries I am sure I will find good use for it.  Also, I have some crafting ideas I will be doing with some of these items so stay tuned for that.

I saw on Instagram that Walmart had many flocked Christmas items and so I headed there next.  I went to Walmart specifically looking for there small flocked tree with the burlap base for $12, but they didn’t have it in the store so I ordered it online. While there I picked up this gorgeous 24″ flocked wreath for only $9.97.  It’s a steal for that price so I recommend getting yourself one.

I also picked up a burlap bow for $7.98 a candy cane bow for $1.98 also this 4 Ft. garland for $7.98. I have seen similar garland for over $12 dollars in other stores so this one was another steal.  Go get yourself some of those as well before they’re all gone.

My last stop was Kirkland’s. Now I love Kirkland’s but unless you have a coupon they can be pricey, so I went with my 30% off coupon and got myself this elf pillow, and hat.  The elf legs are from Michael’s and I also used a coupon for those as well.  When my daughter was 2 years old we got her an Elf on the Shelf and she loves anything elves. I began to decorate with elves after Gumdrop our elf became part of the family. Now we have 2 elves and a reindeer that come back every year.

So there you go that was my latest Christmas haul from shopping most of my favorite stores and a few others.  What do you think?  What is your favorite holiday decor item this year?  Share with me your thoughts in the comments below. I will be back with an update on how I style and decorate my home for Christmas with these lovely items and much more, so stay tuned. In the meantime thank you for always visiting me her on my little blog.  I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.

xoxo,

Maritza

Weekend at the Fancy Flea Market

It was a sunny, cool day at the Fancy Flea Market and my sister and I had a great time.  This was my second time at the Fancy Flea, and the vintage finds and the farmhouse finds did not disappoint. In my last post [here] I mentioned that I had a wish list of items that I had my heart set on finding.  Good news!  I found all of them but one.  At the top of that wish list was a hutch for my Rae Dunn collection.  I am very happy to share that I found the “perfect one”, but I couldn’t bring it home with me because it didn’t fit in my car. As for now it sits in my sister’s garage waiting for me.  Whenever I get it home, I will share It in a later post along with all the other things I bought. Well as for now, let me share just a few of the amazing finds from that day.

One of the booths I visited was the Vintage Living Market Place and it had the most beautiful items. There were vintage and farmhouse products that just blew me away!  Just look at those mantels.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  Friends, I really want a mantel for my bedroom, but that was not on my list for this trip; so maybe next year.  Or maybe I could I make one myself? Hmmm.

The mantels were not the only thing that caught my eye, Christmas was in the air and they had so many other spectacular things that I could easily spend to much time and money on. I’m telling you, I was there all day and I couldn’t get enough. Tons of white furniture and wood work that looks like high quality workmanship. Look at that rustic wood bench with the metal daybed back. The wood and metal are such a great combination.  They work well together and look great.

I love old doors and I would love to have them in my home, but I just don’t have the space. Maybe someday in the future when I move into my dream home. You never know!

 

 

Lastly, I saw these rustic wood coffee tables with the wheels on the bottom.  They are made of pallet wood (my favorite) and I like the different color variations. These tables are a work of art and look beautiful in any farmhouse style home.

It was a wonderful, amazing, and fun filled day at the Fancy Flea Market and I’m so glad I went again. All the great vendors and breathtaking items made it very hard not to want to keep going back, and I can’t wait until next year to go back again. Well friends thank you so much for supporting me here on this little blog where I am able to share these great experiences with you. Don’t forget to keep coming back to see my hutch all decked out in my dining-room along with some other surprises I have in the works.

xoxo,

Maritza

I’m Headed Back to “The Fancy Flea”

Hi friends, I’m so excited to share that I am headed back to “The Fancy Flea!” Back in May [here] I visited the Fancy Flea Market for my first time ever and I loved it. This is a traveling flea market that goes to different cities/towns and it has various vendors that set up their gorgeous items for sale.  Items range from vintage to farmhouse, and I love it all.

Here are some of the pictures I took from my visit last May.  I did not share these pics in my previous blog post, but I thought I would give you a peek of all the fabulous items available at the Fancy Flea.

There were so many beautiful items that it was very hard for me not to go broke. I could have stayed there all day because the inspiration and treasures were too much to pass up.  I’m really excited about this weekend and all of the new amazing finds I will bring home with me. (Well, that’s if my husband lets me back in the house after my shopping spree)  I have my eye out for certain things (a wish list) of items.  If I find anything else I love, then “I don’t know how they ended up in the trunk”.

I can’t wait to share all my great finds from The Fancy Flea with you all next week. Be sure to come back and visit me on the blog. Have a great weekend!

xoxo,

Maritza

Hutch Refresh

Don’t you love it when old junk gets a new life. Well that’s exactly what happened to this hutch that someone had thrown out as junk. You know what they say “one mans junk is my sisters treasure” (brahaha). My sister found this hutch and as any junk lovin’ person knows that we have a vision of what it can become.  So of course she took it home and gave it some love.

My sis painted the hutch with white paint she had left over form another project, but distressed it a little to give it farmhouse character and charm. Then she used black chalkpaint to paint the back of the hutch.

What a difference in the before and after don’t you agree? Add the finishing touches like your favorite Halloween decor and of course some Rae Dunn.

I love how her restoration project or hutch refresh of this hutch turned out. With a little love you can bring any old junk back to life. Nice job sis you have outdone yourself again!

Well friends I hope you enjoyed this short, but sweet post on a hutch refresh. And remember to always look and things (or what others consider junk) with a vision of what it could be and make it beautiful again. Hope you have a great Halloween tonight trick or treating with your kids or handing out candy. See ya next time and thanks you for stopping by this little blog of mine.

xoxo,

Maritza

 

Fall Harvest

The leaves are changing.  There is color all around.  A crisp cool breeze is in the air and the smells and sights of autumn are everywhere. Nah… how would I know?  Here in Florida it’s still hot, rainy and humid. Welcome to fall in Florida! It’s on my bucket list to one day be able to see the actual changing of the leaves.  Those beautiful changes that make the trees seem like layers of golden caramel gentling swaying with the breeze. A girl can dream! In the meantime I live vicariously thru Hallmark Channels Fall Harvest Movies. I love autumn because it’s the gateway to the holiday season, and who doesn’t like the holidays?  Besides the family drama, the holidays are a time for family and loved ones to gather together to celebrate.

I love the Hallmark Channel’s Fall Harvest movies.  I’ve been watching them for so many years.  Just give me a nice soft throw, a warm drink (preferably in a Rae Dunn Mug) and I can stay on my comfy sofa and watch these movies all night long. The new movie line-up is great and I have to say my favorite movie so far is “All of My Heart Inn Love”.  It’s a sequel to last years movie and I hope there is another one next year because it was really a sweet movie.

The thing I love most about the Hallmark Channels Harvest Movies is that right after they are done comes the best part, yes, I’m taking about  “Countdown to Christmas.”  I am a Christmas fanatic! Christmas is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and my favorite time of year. I can’t wait for the smell of pine trees to fill the air in my home. The beautiful decorations, the shopping, the baking, the wrapping of gifts, and so on. I even look forward to the elves coming back to visit during the holiday season. You know those elves that watch our kids and report back to Santa every night. Christmas is what I look forward to all year long and I always watch the Hallmark Holiday Movies with my daughter (it’s sort of a tradition).  We drink hot cocoa, snuggle on the coach and watch the movies together every year. It’s great mother/daughter time and I love every minute of it. There’s nothing like Countdown to Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel.

 

You can find the programming schedule for all the Fall Harvest and Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel website at http://www.hallmarkchannel.com  Do you also love the Hallmark Channel Movies? Which is your favorite? Make sure to catch them on Saturday nights and Happy Viewing friends!

xoxo,

Maritza