{31 days} joy all year

{31 days} header

~secondhand and created~

These are back at Target…

Lit Vintage Tin "Joy" Sign - Brushed Bronze

This year there is also HOPE, LOVE, a heart and a star.

Last year I bought the JOY…

When I brought it home and opened it I was in love, but I knew it could be better.

joy full 2

So, I painted it.

Then I hung it on a piece of wood that had been outside since we moved into our house almost 6 years ago. It’s nice and weathered.

I thought I would like the “JOY” to be horizontal, but the letters were taller than the board.

joy full 3

So, I went vertical.

And, I love it!

It hangs next to our fireplace year round.

joy year round

Last year I displayed it in our front entry as a Christmas vignette.

joy full 4

I also used it in our fall decor.

joy full 1

Today, I purchased LOVE and the star as they can also be  kept out year round. I hope to paint them and hang them on some more salvaged secondhand wood!

My mother-in-law arrives tomorrow night, so I am hoping that I can get some fun posts up while she is in town, and I might have some extra time for projects like this one!

{FYI…last year a lot of the stores ran out of stock on this item. Best bet is to check online and see if you can do an in-store pick up…they will hold it for you for 2 days!}

home is…{31 days} secondhand and created joy all year.

Join me while I link up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days.
Click here to find a list of all 31 posts as they are published.

simplifying christmas

We are blessed that the kids school teaches them the real meaning of Christmas. It’s just something I can’t teach them. Not that I don’t want to, I just don’t know the true story well enough.

I grew up going to church for Easter and Christmas, maybe.

Or, I would go with Honey and Pop-pop when they were taking care of us {again, very rarely}.

However, I married Ryan in Catholic church and vowed to teach my children about God…so I am. With help from Ryan and their wonderful teachers at school.

What I can teach them is that Christmas is not about presents.

It an experience.



The tree.






This year we are simplifying the gifts.

In the past, we have gone overboard. I buy gifts. Ryan buys gifts. We buy gifts from their aunts. They get gifts from Meme and Topher. They get gifts from Nana and Bops.




This year we are taking the money that my parents are sending and signing the kids up for swimming lessons, climbing camp, and gymnastics.

They received gifts from Nana and Bops that they will be able to open.

Beyond that {and a few small things in their stockings} they will receive four gifts.

{image from jones design company}

I have changed it up a bit and they will receive something to WEAR, something to READ, something for PLAY, and something they NEED.

I am hoping that something to wear, read, or need may also be something they want, so I changed “want” to something for PLAY.

Not only will it cut down on the “stuff” they get, but it has also cut down on my shopping.

I narrowed down the list and have stuck with it.

I am done…except for Lorelai’s “something for PLAY”.

She has so much, and has such a great imagination, that it has been hard to come up with something.

Of course, if I had been stealth and sewn the doll when she was sleeping or at school, I could have given her that  for her “something for PLAY”.

Any great ideas for a three year old girl?

Otherwise, I am able to spend the next couple of weeks crafting, driving around to look at Christmas lights, playing with friends and family, reading Christmas books, watching Christmas movies, coming up with more surprises from the elves {this may take another post…we don’t do elf on the shelf, but we surprise the kids with things, every once in a while, that the elves leave for them}, and enjoying the real magic, joy, and reason for the season.

home is…remembering what is important.