black & white.

There is something so amazingly simplicity about the absence of color. Normally we live in a world painted with lively colors, but when you take away that instinctive sense, pictures seem to become inspiring & timeless. In my own home some day I would love to frame black and white prints to decorate my walls.

How can you not be inspired by these:
A few of my own:


'tis the season for: winter weather

It was with our first winter storm that we ventured out into the abyss of snow, enjoying every bit of out 20 inch snow storm. It's moments like these where I am so thankful to live in an environment with snow.


'tis the season for: tradition

Traditions. That is what's on my mind today concerning Christmas. Traditions are such a fun way to celebrate the Christmas season, each family having their own. Well, this afternoon I am sharing a few of mine with you.

Cinnamon rolls. Every Christmas morning, ever since I can even remember there being a Christmas holiday, has been spent opening up our presents from Santa with a warm plate of homemade cinnamon rolls. My mom, sister and I make the dough, roll it out and add our favorite ingredients to it: caramel, nuts, cinnamon, raisins....

Nutcrackers. I was 4 when I got the first Nutcracker of my growing collection. Each year after that my sis and I have received a Nutcracker from my parents. Usually they are tied in some way to the year before. For instance one year my sister was the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz, so my mom found a Tin Man Nutcracker. Another year the theme of my banquet at school {like Prom for our school} was Pirates of the Caribbean and my mom managed to find a Pirate Nutcracker. Didn't think that was possible.

Elf + Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer + Muppet Christmas special. These are probably 3 of our favorite Christmas specials. I have seen them too many times to count and take so many of their quotes into my every day Christmas banter. I mean, "Don't slip on the icy patch!" and "Son of a Nutcracker!" and just 2 of the most delightful phrases ever. Where would we be if we couldn't quote such classy movies as these!

PJ's. This is the attire for our Christmas Eve events {after the children's program of course} and also the attire for our Christmas day events. Staying at home all day and relaxing with family is the best present of all.

Seafood. This is our tradition for Christmas Eve supper. We don't bother with the traditional food, but have a little treat that reminds us of home {California}.

Gift exchange. A gift exchange is a great way for our family along with my cousins, uncles and aunts to celebrate Christmas. We're gathering together a few days after Christmas to celebrate the festivities before our family jets off to Chicago for a few days.

Baking. Pies are my favorite to bake {as my cousin J knows}. It's my tradition to bake the pies, and I do it with pleasure. A few of my favorites are: triple berry, caramel apple, and pumpkin spice latte cheesecake. I'm always looking for new recipes, so if you have a favorite, please let me know!

Puzzles. When I think of Christmas puzzles I always think of the relatives of my mom's side, especially my Grandma Drews. She seems to be the queen of puzzles, staying up into the late hours of the night to add a few more pieces to the festive puzzle.

Pictures. Capturing moments of the celebrations is something we do in abundance and I'm sure many others do as well. Pictures are a timeless keepsake that can instantly put you back into the atmosphere of that particular event.


'tis the season for: ornaments

Christmas might be the same season all over the world, but it's the particulars that make everyone's Christmas experiences different. Every family has their own special cookie recipes, their own Christmas traditions {which I will be touching on at a later time} and their own tree ornaments.

Some people keep their trees in a box in storage and others adventure out and cut down a fresh one each year, letting it's aroma fill the living room/family room. I think you can guess what side of the fence I sit on, but either way Christmas trees are one of the best traditions.Some may decorate their trees with with popcorn or cranberries strung on a string, but that seems like something out of a movie, or in my case something right out of Gilmore Girls on their 7 trees {Santa's Secret Stuff episode}.

Some decorate with shinny tin/glass balls in different circumferences and different colors to make a symmetrical arrangement. Some use themed colors, lights and ornaments to create a tree shining with a plethora of alike colors.

Our tree is one of those with popcicle ornaments and hand painted crafts made by my sister and yours truly from our early years. It's mixed with family memories, baby shoes, angels, shepards, numerous animals, some sporting memorabilia, and many other amazing ornaments that bring back memories from the past years. There are so many ways to decorate a Christmas tree, but everyone has their own certain way.

What about you? How do you adorn your Christmas tree?


our weekend winter wonderland consisted of...

:one of the biggest, longest, craziest snow storms that I will never forget

:popping in a few Christmas movie and relaxing on the couch {White Christmas & Holiday Inn}

:getting out the sewing machine and fixing a few pieces of clothing that were long over due to be mended

:romping around in the snow on our first big storm of the year

:wishing for only a day that we only had one short driveway, not 2 long ones

:sipping hot tea while sitting by the fire

:making snow angels in the almost 2 feet of fresh powder

:shoveling snow for hours on end, {some of the snow drifts were up to our waist in places}

:marveling at the wonderful winter wonderland that has set in all over the Midwest

:falling asleep to the sound of the wind blowing through our snow covered pines, rattling the window panes


ten on ten {december}

I awoke to the site Jackson sleeping in my sink. Yes, my bathroom sink. He seems to find the oddest of places to call comfortable:
A little crafting project that I will fill you in about at a later time.Crafting while watching Gilmore Girls, could it get any better than that?So many Christmas puzzles, so little time.A few of my new purchases from a scrap booking store here in EC {Picture This}.Oh yes we even named the tree.

give away....

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone for giving me so much encouragement! Whether is was a comment on my blog, a message on facebook or a word of encouragement in person, you are so sweet and I couldn't have done it without you!

The lovely lady of the week is....
Jennifer saying "Congrats Emily!! I hope it goes well!!"

Jen, if you would pick out your favorite set of cards and send me your address I will send them off asap. You can leave a comment on facebook if you wish {if that's easiest for you} or send me an e-mail!!


photo shoot

Let me introduce you to a lovely friend of mine, Megan. The other day we took a trip around town capturing a few photos, but underestimating just how cold it would be. Of course we managed to picked one of the coldest places her in EC for our first stop, but we managed to get some beautiful shots.It's always been a dream of mine to be a photographer ever since I was a little girl. I think the dream started when I saw the movie Sabrina {the more recent 1995 version}, and from then on I always thought being a photographer would be one of the most romantic jobs. In the movie, Sabrina travels to Paris to see the world and ends up falling in love with the city from behind her camera.

That is what I am desperate to do: travel to Europe. Travel is all I can think about some days {which can be a wonderful distraction}, traveling to different countries and seeing the world in a different way. Being exposed to so many different types of rich culture, beautiful art, and breathtaking landscape seems like the ultimate journey.

I'm a total beginner, but love taking my camera every where I go. It's such an honor to be able to capture amazing moment on film {well now on a memory chip, but film sounds so much better}. I take inspiration from so many different places like here, here and here. It's amazing how different life looks from behind the camera.


'tis the season for: Christmas parties

Last weekend was a hectic one filled with Christmas cheer, movies, many cookies, and some crafty projects. It was a splendid celebration on Saturday night with some pretty amazing ladies. We watched the ever famous Grinch movie {the new one, which I had never seen} baked dozens of cookies, and even had a little gift exchange. The party continued into the night and concluded into the late hours of the morning.

It was a quick ride home + a shower before the next Christmas party at the oh so lovely home of
Jessica! It could not have been a more splendid party, with it's wonderful crafting stations and the lovely company of such stylish ladies. We did it all from Christmas cookie platters and yarn wreaths, to paper garlands and felt flowers. It was such an amazing way to catch up with old friends, and meet so many new & inspiring faces!!

Don't forget to help
celebrate the opening of my new etsy shop by leaving a comment, thus entering you to win a set of homemade cards! Hope you are all having a splendid week!


my new adventure

Wow, this week has been a busy one for crafting. This week I took the plunge and opened up my very own Etsy shop! If you notice the little blue button off the the right that is a link to my store so come check it out at {blissfulmae.etsy.com}. From fashioning tags & setting up shop, to uploading information & wrapping up pieces, there has been many pictures taken and words written. I am over the moon excited to see my hard work in a shop and it has been a blast getting it there. Here's a little peak into BlissfulMae:I just have to say thank you to all those who encouraged me with this Etsy shop. It's a new adventure that I am excited to explore. As a thank you and celebration of this shop opening, I am giving away a little sample of my homemade crafts! I am giving away a set of 4 homemade cards {your choice from the 15 different sets}.

So please join me in celebrating and leave a comment this week. Let me know your favorite set and you will be entered to win it. On Friday I will randomly choose one of you to become the owner of your favorite card set! Thanks for stopping by and have a bliss-filled week!


'tis the season for: decorations

This Christmas season, I thought I'd do a special blogging collection of Christmas and all it's pleasure. Song, decorations, traditions, delicious treats, ornament, you name it and I will blog it. Starting on the first day of December seemed to fit perfectly. It won't be on any particular schedule but I will try to accomplish at least 2 a week.
Lets start this collection off with one of my favorite aspects of the season: the decor! When I was a little girl I expressed my love for others in homemade gifts {and still do}. My mom helped to curb my passion for creating and painting into gifts for my aunts and uncles, friends and grandparents. That's how these little decorations {the picture above} came to be. I must have made at least 4 sets of them and loved painting every inch of those Christmas trees with their snowman friend.

In the 7th grade I expanded my painting 'skills' to a nativity scene and it was a challenge staying in all those lines that had been etched into the wood. Even now that I have aged {lets just say a few years} homemade gifts still have a special place in my heart. There is a thing of comfort in gifts from others that were thought of by the heart and created with their own 2 hands.

It's decorations like these that fill your rooms and turn a house into a cozy home filled with many memories from years gone by.
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