Mini Christmas Tour

Hey y’all.  I know I am running late sharing about Christmas decorations in our new home but here I am with a few shots. We did just move in less than 6 months so give me some grace here…these also aren’t great photos but better than nothing right?


I will be honest it takes some adjustment when you move, get a taller tree, and don’t know exactly where you are going to put too but as I always say “it takes time.” SO if you just moved or this is your first Christmas in a new home give yourself a break.  It will take time to figure out how you want to nest your home for the holidays but you (and I) will get there!  It doesn’t all have to be down pat THIS YEAR RIGHT NOW! (preaching to me;;)

With my entry table (which was a desk I had cut down and topped with marble) I couldn’t decide between poinsettias and baskets or just plants.  I think I may have texted a couple friends about whether are not poinsettias are “granny” and only for church and bank vestibules?  Started a poinsettia debate. Your thoughts?  I can take it;  Seriously I think I was craving some color and just bought the dang poinsettias and now I have them and they are red which I love. I did find some burlap little covers in place of the foil wrappers.

I also love these empty frames and framed Old English writing page I have as art on this wall..but it doesn’t photograph well. (especially when you are shaky and too lazy to get out tripod) But I do love it in person and that is what matters! You can hardly see it, but I also love the clear acrylic tray I have my nativity set sitting inside…it keeps it flat and intact and looks cleaner than the greenery I had underneath at first.


I need to paint one more frame in brass on that wall!

And looking into the study, our favorite room in the house!


The wreath is from Balsam Hill like all of the outdoor wreaths on windows and the garland on banister is basil from Williams-Sonoma, I had it last year and loved it but it has already dried quickly this year.

Onward to the living room, I have never had anything over a 7.5 tree..but now we have a 9 foot tree and its more to decorate especially when you are barely over 5 foot! But it is worth the extra work! I do love my tree from Balsam Hill, its the Stratford Spruce and the lights and on off switch are the best and its not super big in diameter but not dinky either.  I do think the branches are a little hard to attach ornaments but I think like the rest of a new house and new things is just getting used to it.  I did use the silhouette ornaments that I have blogged about so many times…I nearly retired them but just had to get one more year out of them and the boys haven’t complained (yet)…


Recognize pillows? The toile is made out of the fabric in my old living room drapes, I had just enough scrap for two pillows.  I want to do some amazing fabric maybe bolsters or lumbars on these sofas I just haven’t been able to commit yet…

I did little boxwood wreaths on the sunroom windows (which is rear of house) to mimic the windows out front….love that cheery ness and it has worked fine with raising and lowering blinds. I love these antique pine pieces in this room from Leftovers.  They really hold up to the boys and daily use.


This room gets a lot of wear and tear, this is where the wii and xbox and snuggling all take place…that’s why we need lots of blankets, basekts and Christmas books.


Back up front in the living room, just bottlebrush trees on the piano, I love bottlebrush trees. You can get a glimpse of my plank ceiling in the above photo but not much.  The check is my favorite buffalo check in the linen colorway from Calico Corners.  I had them made custom and the hardware is custom too (in this room only;;)


and hearing Christmas hymns being played!

The tree is actually behind one of the sofas and I am used to having it as focal point centered on windows…have to adjust my ways;; And it works I think because it’s a taller tree and I love that we can see it from dining room and kitchen. I am also used to a mirror over the mantle and put a wreath over it most years or word art but  now I have “big bird”… I love my Audubon from my friend Melisse at Campbell’s Melange and couldn’t bear to put him away for Christmas…especially since we finally have it hung properly…it was leaned for months.


My decorations look somewhat the same as they have year after year because I have the same stockings, same ornaments etc…that is comforting isn’t it..even when you are in a new house you have memories and part of your history with you in your books and Christmas ornaments etc!


I will be back later in the week to share a little bit more. Good luck mamas with all your Christmas chores this week!

{Balsam Hill did sent product to me in exchange for my review}

Southern Artist Deann Hebert

I recently started following this artist on Instagram, not sure how I found her but I instantly fell in love. I think the cotton caught my eye…love me some cotton whether its in art, wreaths, decor or textiles. So I started following her and fell in love with her work and story.

Deann Hebert and I share a deep love for the South, its people and culture so I knew I had to feature her here on the blog.

Deann painting

Isn’t she beautiful?

DeannHebert inthestudio

And look at her workspace…it’s an old mattress factory near Franklin, TN.  You can see a tour here. Her studio was also featured in the  most recent issue of Where Women Create magazine. In the article for WWC she said “to me the heart and soul of the South is found in its people and places, and my work reflects the warm hearts and weathered faces of its folk and the sweetness and elegance of its landscape.  From my studio inside The Factory, I continue to add layer upon layer to my own uniquely Southern story.” See why I had to share…this girl, this woman is special AND talented.


This piece below is called ROOTS and that is what her work is all about…Roots in Southern culture and the meaning and importance of the places and things that bind us all together: cotton fields, old churchs, landscape and on and on . . .

Navy Whispers

I am trying to find a spot for a piece of her work in my house but until then this one is going to my assistant Leslie tomorrow (Merry Christmas best asst on the planet!)

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This is one of my favorites….called “Southern Appeal”

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These large originals are wonderful (40 x 40 I think) and one was even in an HGTV Showhouse….but she offers giclees in other sizes and prints as well…This is her shop..this would be such a good Christmas gift (hint hint)…

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And I love her her branding and logo, I am always drawn to that as well, it is on trend but still her..she is so authentic and true to herself, really inspiring to me as a business person that you can stick to your guns on style and direction and still do well. God blesses authenticity. So glad I found you on Instagram Deann, I wish you all the best with you art and journey! Learn more about her art, studio, home and story here on her website.


December Sale on Mini Consults

As a way to say thank you and express appreciation to my clients and readers, I am offering Mini Consultations (which involve 3 questions) for $275 entire month of December! You can read more about a mini consult here and you can contact Leslie and I through the website here or email to inquire… This is for online only!


In January the fee will increase to $395. You can prepay now if you want to do the consult later because of holiday chaos…a mini consult also makes a great gift so tell your hubbies!

Christmas Light

I haven’t even started decorating trees inside (they are out of box and lights are it weird I like them naked) but we finished the exterior this weekend! Y’all this is a big deal for us because we put out a few wreaths on our three windows and one door in our other house and did a little light up things here and there or luminaries in jars but we never had lights on our house…gasp shock I know!  We just both grew up in the country and didn’t have them growing up and never saw it as a priority but last year our oldest put the grip on us with “but how will people know we love Jesus if we don’t have Christmas lights on our house??”  Ouch, good one Drew..way to work your mama! So I vowed “next year I will hire someone to put lights on our house, I won’t beg and prod my hardworking husband to add this to his list I will just take care of it and scrimp and save and do it as a gift to my family for the Christmas season” and I did.  And it feels good.  It’s not much, just one strand on the roof and some trees wrapped (oh how i want to wrap the branches too…maybe next year, apparently its time consuming and costly;;) and a little nativity but here you go..

Our new old house with LIGHTS!


Next year hopefully our sidewalk will be brick and we can do lights around beds and sidewalks…hmmm net lights on rounded boxwood might look good too….look out Clark Griswold!

I worked with Juan Cuellar of JC Landscape to do this and he was so nice! He worked with my budget and didn’t seem to mind I couldn’t go nuts or overboard. I highly recommend him his number is 281-932-9159  just was hard for me to find someone and I didn’t want to add the project to my husband’s busy schedule or risk him on roof;;


A view of some of our big tree trunks can see our awesome neighbors across the street got colorful..i love looking out my kitchen window and seeing their gingerbread house! We did use these wreaths (Stratford Spruce 24″) from Balsam Hill (yes they are blog sponsor and I am grateful and excited to be trying out their products this year so far very pleased) so these wreaths have battery operated LED and they are pretty bright don’t you think?  I used the same garland over door too! You push the button on battery pack when installed and hung and then they come on and stay on for four house and then off 18 hours.


So deep heartfelt thanks to Balsam Hill to helping us make this dream of lighted wreaths on all windows come true, it honestly probably wouldn’t have happened without the blog/advertising partnership so I am thankful.


We also did a little nativity area on the side of the house.  I have always loved these simple silhouette nativity cutouts.  So I ordered this one from Amazon and honestly I was a little sad when I saw the size;;; We had it in the front at first and it just looked to small and wrong scale with the house so we moved it to the side yard and our neighbor Jessica was looking out her window and realized it was reflecting on the house and let us know my hubs played with it enough moving it back and forward to make it larger and centered.  SO easy and so cool.  Henry had to get in on the scene for a bit and play a giant wiseman!


Too funny huh?

Okay and a few shots of daytime and I will stop;


I did just use regular old outdoor red Christmas ribbon for bows and we had to screw them to the wood window sash because our screens don’t come off easily to hang them from inside.  But if you can take off screens or don’t have any that is a good option.  This blog has a great post on hanging wreaths on windows. I also did paint my door darker (or I should say my friend Reuban did it;) And I maybe need to make bow on door larger (hey its Texas) my bow making abilities aren’t great but it works! And I am still loving these planters from Renovate. These  stripe ribbon on topiaries I ordered from Midori. My topiaries are eugenia (spelling that right) from Tall Plants in Houston….they are doing well!  They just need WATER!


So there you go… the beginning of our first Christmas in our new home! I will start decorating trees inside tomorrow hopefully. Just two…we have always had just one but we love sitting in our study so much we are doing one in there too this year.


I also want to continue to just drive home the point that I love our new home and Christmas in our new old house is so fun but I am always aware there are so many without homes and hurting all around this world.  I know that isn’t why you come to my blog or visit my site to hear that but I want you to know I am grateful and don’t ever want to present a perfect picture.  We still have bathrooms that need remodeling, some old wiring to address and our own personal struggles.  Just wanted to say that.  I also wanted to share one of my favorite worship songs ever.  I honestly have been struggling a lot with faith questions and pain in my life lately (wow this got serious fast). I have frankly been pretty angry at God.  But I still know to my core He loves me and He is faithful and He sent Christ and then his Holy Spirit to help us bear pain this broken world can bring us and learning to identify with some of his suffering is strangely a blessing..I am not a theologian but I am a lover of Christ and I haven’t given up on God the Father.

    Light of the world, You step down into darkness.
Opened my eyes let me see.
Beauty that made this heart adore you hope of a life spent with you.

And here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that you’re my God,
You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me.

King of all days,
Oh so highly exalted Glorious in heaven above.
Humbly you came to the earth you created.
All for love’s sake became poor.

Pressing Events Big Sale

My friends at Pressing Events are having a big sale this weekend with deep markdowns on select, retired Mackenzie-Childs, some Crane monograms notes and other printables…even some Conseula bags and more…  they are making way for some big changes, EXCITING changes so go by and get in on the close out of some cute stuff!

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{note the stag isn’t on sale but don’t we all need a check him}

This below is my fave, the Mackenzie-Childs courtly check in enamel, it’s so classic.  I had never wanted any because I had always lived in a house with a check floor but now I am in the new old house I am craving some checks and I think plates in this pattern will be perfect touch of check I need…Ok so this isn’t on sale but Pressing Events always has it lots (fyi cute husbands) of this pattern in stock! My faves the canister set with brass accents and the teapot!


Pressing Events is located in City Centre area of Town and Country…next to Pronto! and not far from Kendra Scott, PaperSource, Anthro, Sur la Table on one side and just down the way from Pottery Barn and Barnes and Noble in the main Town and Country shopping area…Its so easy to find off tollway and I-10 and memorial area. They have paper, baby items, wrap, wreaths, Christmas ornaments, my fave Barefoot dreams wraps for adults, candles and more.  And they are nice.  Nancy and Victor and Edward are the kindest…They will do custom Christmas cards for you with a million emails and tweaks and never make you feel rushed.  They are the old time type storekeepers.  Class acts.


This Casapri wrap looks like Scalamadre wallpaper to me!  LOVE IT…of course the things I really like aren’t on sale but a lot will be!


And I am sorry this fuzzy but had to show you the courtly check WRAPPING paper from Mackenzie-Childs..they have it at Pressing Events..not on sale but its available!

These select Mackenzie-Childs pieces that are retired ARE on sale…love me a fluted edge don’t you? And a check!


More on sale

MC sale

And lots of amazing paper IS on sale..these Crane folded notes are marked down.I love this font forever!


 More that IS on sale, holiday scent Tyler candles and notice more stacks of paper ready for printing!

tylercandle sale

Pressing Events in Town and Country and yes I am proud to have them sponsor my blog! They will be closed Friday but open tomorrow on Saturday from 10-5 pm!!!!! Come on Houstonians, shop Local!


Huge Leftovers Holiday SALE


PicMonkey Collage

And a Bow Making Session on Saturday at 2:00!!! I am going to try to come and make a big bow for my front door…I am so not a bow maker but I am glad “Magic Mike” is and he is going to show us all of their tricks! Hope to see you there!

And they have lots of smalls for stockings, ornaments and garlands..I am so proud of them for getting one of their little special “SHEEP” soaps in Country Living’s gift guide this month! I will instagram a pic of it for yall to see!

Christmas Past

I know, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving but I would fibbing if I said I wasn’t already thinking about Christmas decorating in our new old house and missing that part of our old house a bit.


So while I obsess over what size tree and garlands are going to work in this house and how to get the wreaths up on the second story windows, indulge me in a look back at Christmas in our little cottage. I loved this fresh basil garland and wreath i used last year from William-Sonoma but this year I am using artificial from my friend at Leftovers Antiques and Balsam Hill..we just have too many windows at the new place!



First I can’t believe how much my little Santa has grown!  His brother too but he doesn’t let me take as many pictures!;;;



Can’t wait to get stockings out!


I knew I would miss those red drapes at Christmas but Nana will put here tree here too!


This big pine armoire stayed in the old house but it was Nana’s anyway lol! Do you and your mother share furniture like that? It’s something husbands just seem to love!;;


Not sure if I will use the silhouette ornaments again or not..i have used them about 5 years now I think ..or four but they have held up so well and I do love them! We are getting a new tree..this one from Balsam Hill because we have taller ceilings in new house.  Henry and I have asthma and allergies so we can’t do a real tree.  I hope I love this new one!


Missing the backporch a bit too! But Nana has her big table out there and is enjoying it mucho!


I will miss Christmas morning in this house and a lot of the things that went along with it but looking forward to making new memories!

christmascollage5So Happy beginning to the Holidays y’all…I know this can be a tough time for many and honestly it can be for me too despite the monograms and plaid ribbons..I struggle at Christmas missing my grandparents and fallout from family divorces and other more private hurts seems to surface  but I hope I can draw nearer to Christ and my family this season and quiet those demons and celebrate the hope that is Christmas. Let’s be purposeful to not over stress, over spend or have too big of expectations but rather just enjoy what is! As women we put a lot of pressure on ourselves lets try not to…what have you learned about enjoying the holidays over the year??? Praying it is the best Christmas ever for all of us..despite decorations or anything else!

Country Living Feature

Earlier this year I started working on a project in Burton, Texas, for Holly Kuhn owner of Old Glory Antiques in Denver.


I first blogged about it here and here.  Holly and her husband Brian have been coming to the Round Top Antique Show for  years and finally bought property in Burton for a shop and getaway home.  The property includes an old Dance Hall where they have their twice yearly “Old Glory Texas” pop up shop and also a two story Texas farmhouse that had been renovated into a bed and breakfast.  The property has been renovated nicely but the decor did not reflect Holly K’s style so she called on me to help transform the space.  We worked via email and text to develop a plan to turn the “Old Glory House” into a space that showcased her antiques and style and was also a comfortable place for the Kuhns, their associates and friends to feel at home while in Texas.


This was a fairly big project for me and tight deadline to get ready by the fall show so I called on friend and fellow decorator/stylist Becki Griffin of Curious Details to collaborate on details with me and be my sounding board.  Becki came out and helped me move furniture around and develop a plan to pull the space together.  I knew I wanted lots of details like the Scout books for guests  and monograms on pillows, shams and towels! Little things and big things to make every inch of this house just sing!


Becki and I had the entire Old Glory Texas store next door to pull from as far as antiques and accessories.  What I didn’t have on the premises I filled in with from a few of my favorite antique stores locally and big box sources. Like these beds in the bunk room from Restoration Hardware kids and bedding from Ikea.


 This room I used an new Amish made bed and Pottery Barn bedding..the side tables are Old Glory antiques and the lights are from Restoration.  The silhouettes in this room are from my friend Kelly Evans’ Southern Gilt Antiques on Etsy and in Houston’s Antiques on Yale in the Heights!


I love how Becki styled the nightstands just right.


I could just go on and on about this project and probably will..there is just too much to talk about. So many rooms, eight in all including some bathroom fun!


Country Living spotted the project on Instagram and before we knew it they were headed to Texas to shoot this project just as we were wrapping it up.  My friend Becki who had been assisting me quickly changed roles on the project! Lo and behold Country Living asked her to the be the stylist for the shoot (smart people).  She also took these photos for my portfolio!  So Becki wore many hats on this project and did each with grace,  precision and skill! And we are still friends!  What a miracle!  Becki and I have both talked about what a blessing this project was and truly has been amazing.  Holly Kuhn was an angel to work with and well I hate to gush but it was just a dream project.  So thank you Holly & Brian Kuhn, thank you amazing Becki Griffin, thank you Haulright movers in Brenham the best most patient men, thank you to Country Living’s Steel Marcoux and Page Mullins for appreciating our work, thank you to my mom for stuffing duvets and pillows, thank you to Kevin Gilmore of Oaks Renovation for your carpentry skills and patience, Heidi and Jason Jaster and the list goes on and on.

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KuhnTexas (click here for pdf)

Watch for more photos coming soon to the portfolio section of the blog. And if you haven’t seen the Nov issue of Country Living here is the article above! Also Becki did a great post here on the project with more images!

House updates–The Study

We keep loving our new old house and doing more little by little like getting drapes, things on walls, and shrubs for out front. Here a few more peeks.  I hesitate to show full room shots because well it’s just not fished and perfect but that’s okay. It’s a home and it takes time as I have said and I know y’all understand.


The biggest transformation has been in our little study.


When we bought the house I knew I wanted gray walls and a cozy place for chairs after all it’s only 10 x 10!  All of the elements above are finally really coming together! We really want vintage leather chairs for this space eventually but that will be a big splurge so for now I have done IKEA karlstad chairs and ottoman and they have been slipped in a dark gray by LS Slipcovers (of course) the long skirts and fabric really changed the look of these chairs.  They are actually so comfy, I think the high arm on these chairs makes them especially comfy for Ikea furniture and I may have Laura add down cushions to really add comfort.

Below is the view from the kitchen. And you notice we chose the Schoolhouse Electric light in our lighting debate  . . .


It’s the Vega 5 in brass and we love it.  Even my husband. Come to find out his light he wanted to use needed some work after all so this was a great alternative. Right babe? “His light” needed rewiring and some work anyway. If you follow me on Instagram you know about this lighting discussion we had going between my husband and I;; Thank you Schoolhouse for this fab light! If I am ever in Portland I will so be visiting in person!

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Another one of my favorite things in this room was unplanned..the botanical chart from IKEA in the photo above..yes IKEA…I had this piece rolled in my garage still in the box for maybe 2 years or since it first came out…never knew where I would use it but it anchors this space..I need something big with so many smalls on the shelves.  There is a lot going on in this tiny room.  Notice the trumpet and the big tortoise shell I found at Round Top…it’s on a stand..I couldn’t resist. I hung my friend Sheryl Campbell’s beautiful little paintings of the Mississippi River at sunrise and sunset inside the bookcase window area, I love how the chairs nestle in the window space.  It means no room for drapes but that is okay.


I got this little ladder at Round Top its from an old dept store apparently…love it! Not exactly a library ladder but i love the nod. This wall is opposite the chairs. There are shelves on three walls and a portion of the fourth.


I am just playing with this vintage ribbon may not stay?

You may remember this space was originally very dark stained knotty pine.


I am sure it made many wince that we painted it but we really like it and well it’s our home and we want to love every inch. My husband and I sit in this room a lot while kids are in TV’s also a great place for coffee and just thankful for this tiny little room filled with books we love!

Below this is looking in directly from the entryway. I love the little barley twist tea cart because it has wheels and makes for easy coffee maneuvering;  BUT I may end up getting a lower and larger end table. I have to come clean that lamp is totally from Hobby Lobby lol. I actually used some in a client’s gorgeous house too and they work..they are a great scale… I have a great vintage one but it’s just too big for the space. There is no shame in the Hobby Lobby lamp y’all (if used with caution); And yes I may have changed the shade.


I am still tweaking shelves and just when I think i have it like I want it, I find another box of books somewhere!


So there you go..our little study!  I think I will likely streamline shelves a bit and add sisal under the old rug to give a layered look. I have already added the martini stool from West Elm just since I took these photos!

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A big “thank YOU” to Schoolhouse Electric for sending the Vega 5 in brass to us….we love it and  we worked with Schoolhouse on several other lights in the bathrooms, can’t wait to show you the striped schoolhouse shade we used in the boys bath upstairs! Select Blinds also sponsors my blog and gave me a great discount to use my favorite blinds throughout the house. What a blessing. These are lined but not privacy lined.  I wish wish wish I had made the extra investment and gotten the “top down” option on these blinds like I did in our master bathroom. In full disclosure these items were discounted (the blinds) or “comped” (the Vega 5!!) but I would not have used them if I did not love them in the space be assured! For more on my disclosure and blog policy read at bottom of page here. Basically and simply some of my favorite companies have offered to work with me and give me discounts or sample items because I have already used their products so much and recommend them to clients and readers and we know its a good fit for us to work together.


{Sources: Ikea Karlstad chairs and slips by LS Slipcovers, antique rug from Round Top/The Arbors’ MR Rugs, Vega 5 overhead light in brass from Schoolhouse Electric, SW Intellectual Gray on walls, Selectblinds Tropical Isle blinds in bamboo tortoise, pillows from etsy, lamp from Hobby Lobby, Buffalo check blanket purchased over a year ago from Schoolhouse Electric, tea cart from ebay,} Note: I noticed the bamboo tortoise blinds are out of stock right now at Select Blinds but order samples there are several similar including the New Guinia camel..their samples are fast and simple to order and really help with decisions.

Thank’s for looking y’all..I will try to share more soon!

Gorgeous pumpkins

I have such a thing with pumpkins, I love the ghost and heirloom variety and its something I splurge on every year.  I would rather have scads of awesome pumpkins every fall than buy lots of fresh flowers throughout the year (don’t get me wrong I love tulips and other great cut flowers but pumpkins top the list!) And yes I love the PLUSH pumpkins offered by my friends at Leftovers Antiques here in Texas and online at LoveFeast Table! LoveFeast is sponsoring the blog this month so I wanted to highlight their pumpkins, acorns and more!


You have probably seen the LoveFeast pumpkins (made by same source as the Leftovers pumpkins) on other blogs and websites…be sure and look closely and don’t be fooled by imitations! Did you know that LoveFeast also sells my beloved Sugarboo art and products as well as some gorgeous tablecloths and other home decor, baby gifts, etc… I love this little bag and other items for teacher gift or a friend (or myself!;;)!


So sweet!


But it is the plush pumpkins with the wonderful stems I always think about when I think of LoveFeast and what Chris Ann and Kristin do!

Have you seen the new linen and metallic pumpkins???


And the acorns…I love the acorns but the problem ladies is I wanted about FIFTY! lol!

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I love the colors and I love their friendship!


Admire them so much! Read more here!


I also admire how they articulate their philosophy

A beautiful life is built of many pieces—the people, things and experiences that inspire us to breathe deep and savor each step in our journey. 

They believe that beautiful things happen around the table as families and friends share and do life.  And good to remember this time of year!


So I am thrilled to have LoveFeast as a sponsor on the blog!  Be sure and check out their acorns which I love and the breast cancer Hot PINK pumpkins that benefit Breast Cancer Research..

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I need to get one of these for my mom, a breast cancer survivor (she is doing well thank you for everyone that continues to ask and pray) and she is a lover of plush pumpkins!

Note: Holly Mathis Interiors occasionally does blogs posts highlighting sponsors who purchase ads.  They do pay me fees for their ads and I will always disclose any products or paid advertising at the end of posts.  I also work with several online shops and ad networks such as google to help with the expense of maintaining the site. As a rule I do not do embedded links or giveaways. Read more about my blogging policy and philosophy at the bottom of this page.

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