Snowmen, reindeer and Santa (pillows)..oh my

It is no secret that I am a lover of throw pillows.  I have closets and bins full of these colorful decorative accents and cannot stop myself from buying more…especially during the holidays.  You can pick up affordable versions at discount stores like Home Goods, Marshalls and Target or you can opt for something a bit more elegant and unique at stores like Pottery barn, Neiman Marcus and Restoration Hardware.  Not to mention the unlimited styles available on Etsy.

Regardless of your home’s decor or your favorite holiday motif, there is a holiday pillow with your name on it.  Check out these options:

Pier I is always a favorite holiday destination.  They have such a wide variety of sizes and designs and this happens to be one of my favorites.  I especially like the mini size that makes it just right for the back of a dining room chair or to add to a jumble of pillows on your couch.  And who doesn’t love a dog in a cap and scarf?


A long time favorite of mine has been this pillow featuring a car with a Christmas tree in the back.  It just seems to say it all.  This version is available at Pottery Barn but other similar looks are available at World Market and Etsy, just to name a few sources.


Every holiday home needs a reindeer or two or three.  And this pillow from Pottery Barn proves that you do not have to use red and green in your holiday decorating in order to set the mood.


The man of the hour, Santa Claus, is a necessity in every holiday home and this vintage looking Santa pillow from Target is perfect and oh so affordable!



Some pillows can even be educational.  An Advent pillow  like this one from Garnet Hill not only helps teach the kids about the real meaning of Christmas by counting down during Advent season but helps with counting and number recognition and adds to the excitement of the holiday.


A little fur goes a long way in setting a festive mood and the best part, these pillows can be used throughout the winter months, not just during the holidays.  Therefore, more bang for your pillow buck, so to speak.


Typography is popular year round but never more so than during the holidays.  There is no prettier way to express your holiday wishes than with a pillow, beautiful in it’s simple message.


Plaid, plaid and more plaid.  Enough said.


Pillow from Neiman Marcus

And, last but not least, the lovable snowmen that melt my heart and celebrate my love of all things snowy and bright.  And you can enjoy this cute guy from Target all winter long!





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Ten things that made me happy in November

happy face american flag from floozeesdoozeesdotcom


  • Nothing makes me happier than the fact that this election is OVAH!  Enough said!
  • Creativity always makes me happy, especially when it comes from my own daughter.  Look at this pretty vignette she created in her own kitchen with found items she already had.jenna-pic-of-striped-vase-and-polka-dot-mug
  • Weekends away with discoveries of new places.  Visited Jerome, AZ and what a fun old mining town it is!
  • Thanksgiving with new friends and family.  Traveled to Austin, TX to spend the holiday with my daughter’s new in-laws and was able to see my favorite Aunt as well.
  • Polishing off a bottle of wine and solving the world’s problems with one of my besties (can you have more than one bestie?  I hope so)  I so enjoy these evenings in her pretty home filled with candlelight,  girl talk and wine!
  • Stores filled with holiday decorations and familiar music.
  • Sirius radio because I can get Christmas music all day long beginning on November 1st and lasting through December.  This girl is very happy about that!!
  • Wearing long sleeved shirts!  San Diego finally had some cool weather that made it possible for all of us to put on those new long-sleeved shirts and sweaters we have purchased this year.  Hope it sticks around for awhile.  And for those of you who wonder what cool weather means here in southern California…the high today was 69 degrees and the skies were cloudy all day.  (I think that is the lyric to a song ie Home on the Range)
  • The smell of pine and fir in all the parking lots filled to the brim with Christmas trees.  Oh my how I love that smell!  I could stand there all day long and soak it all in.  Fortunately for me, there are many candles that provide a very believable aroma that makes it possible for me to avoid standing in parking lots into the night.
  • This stunning, magical, peaceful, dream-like photo on Instagram.  I can’t copy it but here is the link...enjoy.
  • It was a good month as I found 11 things that made me happy.  Sometimes life in these United States can seem overwhelming and we all just need an escape.  That has certainly been the case for me this past month with the never-ending posts on the election, both pro and con.  When this happens to you I suggest a visit to this Instagram site and you will be reminded of not only this incredible earth we live on but also that there are a lot of things more important than whether your side won or lost this election.  My gift to you is here.

What made you happy in November?


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5 holiday curb appeal ideas to use on your own home

Now that the dishes have been done and the guests have left and you have begun your after a holiday meal exercise program, it is time to get serious about your Christmas decorating.  One of my favorite Christmas memories are the Christmas Eve drives we would take to look at all the neighborhood decorations.  To this day I look forward to walking or driving through neighborhoods and oohing and aahing over the lights and trees and even the Santas perched on the rooftop.  Not really a fan of the blow-ups but the kids seem to enjoy them.

You can turn your home into one of those holiday drive homes with just a few simple ideas:

  • My own personal decorating motto is definitely less is more.  The simplicity of an arrangement like this makes it possible to enjoy the beauty of each item in a display.Natural items like pinecones, greenery and berries make this an arrangement that can be enjoyed long past the holidays.


    via BHG

  • While I love a red, green and white color scheme I can also appreciate something different.  Combinations of silver and gold or multiple shades of blue or green, for example, can look just as pretty as the more traditional color combinations.  A bare window box is filled to the brim with colorful plastic ornaments in unusual colors like turquoise and lilac, along with traditional reds and greens.  So fun and SO easy!
  • Celebrate your inner child when decorating the exterior of your home.  Look closely and you will see that even Santa can be elegant!
    Christmas Holiday Decor
  • Nothing could be easier than wrapping an item with strings of lights.  If it is not breathing you can light it up!  This bicycle looks like a pretty package in the snow wrapped with battery operated lights.  And don’t you just love the old-fashioned”fat” lights?
  • christmas-lights-on-bicycle-from-bhg

    via BHG

  • The best outdoor decorations are those that look as pretty during the day as they do at night.  I love a festive and welcoming front porch or path decorated with seasonal flowers and candlelight.  With flameless candles you can safely use any container to create your own luminaries that will look inviting during the day and cast a warm glow when BHG
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I want to live here


Welcome to the second installment of my “I want to live here” series where I feature rooms that appeal to me so much tha I actually want to live in them.

As the song says, this room features a few of my favorite things–A fire and a Christmas tree, wood paneled shelves, leather furniture, large windows, red plaid and row upon row of books.  Combine all these elements and you come up with a beautiful and inviting environment.  Other elements that make this room so livable include:

  • A mix of design styles with contemporary furnishings anchored by a traditionally styled mirror, for example.
  • That acrylic coffee table that literally disappears, allowing a full view of the roaring fire from any angle
  • Simple wood bookcases filled to the gills with your favorite reads
  • A mix of textures i.e. smooth metal table and furniture legs, wood bookshelves, grainy leather, woven rug atop shiny wood floors
  • Colorful pillows and throws that celebrate the season and could easily be switched out for other seasons.
  • Thoughtfully chosen decorative items that eliminate clutter including the tree that has not been over-done.  Very tasteful!
  • Simple fireplace. I am not usually a fan of large, carved wood mantels and fireplace surrounds.  The beauty of the black stone set against the high polished metal on this fireplace is stunning!
  • A view of snow-laden trees will always capture my attention.

Most everything in this room is available at Williams-Sonoma Home, online and in their retail stores.

Is this a room you could live in?


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I want to live here

I know it is a little early in the season but “Dear Santa” please let me live here!!


via Mountain Living Magazine

I do not even need to see the interiors to know I would be very happy here.  First of all, it is located in one of my favorite spots in this country, Aspen, Colorado.  Afternoons spent on the dock, evenings in front of the firepit and mornings gazing out at the beautiful lake– I would not have a care in the world–oh yea–just one–how do I pay for this?!

Could you live here?

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Baby got (furniture) back

Few things are as unwelcoming as being greeted with the plain back of a chair or sofa as soon as you enter a room.  If you have one of those rooms where the back of your furniture is visible then you know what I am talking about.  But furniture manufacturers have gotten wise to this problem and come up with some pretty impressive ways to beautify your sofa or chair’s backside.  Take a look:

If the room is large enough the easiest solution is to place two sofas back-to-back like this, creating dual conversation areas.

Traditional Family Room
However, if this furniture arrangement does not work in your space, never fear, there are other options.
A beautifully framed sofa requires no help.  While this arrangement has the sofas back to back, the wood frame of this couch creates a stunning look on its own.  Nail head trim would work just as well in framing the couch and creating interest.
contemporary living room / family room

Ethan Allen certainly knows how to solve a problem!  The beautiful woodwork  applied to these accent chairs is pretty from all angles.

Bold Living Room
Placing a console table or bench behind a sofa will fill up the back area of a long couch and allow you to place a lamp and decorative objects on top, thereby masking the back of the furniture.  You can imagine how bare and uninviting this room would be if nothing was placed behind that very long white couch.
Montecito Mid-Century Living Room
Sometimes all you need is some interesting back detailing in the form of stitching,for example, to break up the monotonous look of a long sofa.
jamesthomas, LLC
There you have it.   No need to get expensive implants to improve your backside…a little ingenous stitching or furniture placement will solve your problem.
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Happy Veteran’s Day

design flag folk art from k william kautz and painted furntiure barn

Flag folk art available at


I was raised in a military home.  I spent my entire childhood with a father who was an officer in the Navy.  We did not move as often as most military families and my father did not go on long deployments as he spent much of his time in school or in port so we were lucky.  The military is in my blood.  My husband is a Vietnam War era vet and we have many friends who have served…in fact, most of our friends either made the military a career or served a 4 year term.  I am so very proud of all of them and thankful to those who are serving now, preserving our freedoms and the American way of life we are all so fortunate to enjoy; never more evident than in the election that took place this past week.  So to everyone I know and don’t know, who served and are serving—Thank you for your service!


Captain Joseph P Harrison USN (ret)



From the nineties (check out those outfits) with Sr. Master Chief (ret) Ron Bowlin and his wife PN2 Sheryl Bowlin–two veterans we are proud to call our best friends

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