I found these awesome pillowcases on Etsy here--they are very cute, inexpensive, and Royal Kane is offering free shipping. What a great idea for a Christmas present. They would look good in my boys' rooms.
I have long admired Anne Harwell's prints and designs. Here are just a few that I love that can be purchased from her Etsy shop found here. I am a big fan of her colors and whimsical design. I think that any of these would make great gifts for somebody with similar taste.
I don't know if I've ever mentioned that one of my favorite blogs it Meg Duerksin's Whatever blog that can be found here http://megduerksen.typepad.com. It is sort of a photo journal of her family's every day life. and is very honest and real and she makes us feel like we know her because of our common ground of experience as moms. I love this photo of the art wall in her house and the fact that she admits that she feels no guilt in throwing away pieces after they have been displayed. I find that I am saving less and less as time goes on. Each one of my sons has a box in which I put the most treasured pieces. I make sure that I purge the box every couple of months. The only way to keep a home clutter-free in my opinion is to edit, edit, edit. You'll be glad you did.
A good friend of mine who is a graphic designer sells these personalized melamine plates and platters on her Etsy site. I think they make fabulous and useful gifts. I love the platters because if you take an appetizer to the party and happen to leave your plate there, the hosts will know who it belongs to! You have to order by December 10th to get them in time for Christmas. Visit her site here. She designed the pirate monkey for my son as a birthday gift. He loves it!
Christmas is definitely my favorite time of the year. We have decorated the house and are getting things in order. My kids adore the Christmas tree and my oldest is especially obsessed. He decorates mostly himself and wakes up every morning and stares at it as he is eating his breakfast. I keep my decorations pretty simple: tree, mantel, and manger scene on one of my buffets, and a Christmas cactus (love the red and pink blooms) on the other. The manger scene was given to us as a wedding present which I thought was such a great and meaningful gift. As far as clearing clutter, I do go through my decorations as I am putting them out and get rid of anything I don't like anymore or something that is tattered and torn. And, as a rule, my decorations have to fit neatly into four boxes.
Trying to get ready for Christmas and the New Year I feel a strong desire to get everything All Squared Away. Do you? OK--I've tried many different ways to organize my earrings (I am a big accessory person), but I think I have finally found one that works for me. Here they are (almost all of them in one place) on a little earring tree I purchased at TJ Maxx for about seven bucks. Finding a storage solution that works for you is key--one that fits in with how you work, dress, etc. More and more I am loving to see my things out, so I can know and remember what I have. I still haven't figured out the necklace storage, but am working on it.
I am now a stay at home mom but in my former life I was a French teacher--I have my B.A., M.A., and A.B.D. (next step to Ph.D. in French literature). I love teaching and miss it but in the meantime I am enjoying operating a part-time home organizing and design business. Contact me for more info if you are interested!