Archive for November, 2012

In the first “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” post I showed you the outside of my home and porch.  Today I bring you indoors. I’m going to break the inside of my home down into a few posts because I have a lot of decorations and my post would be way too long if I were to try to put it all in one.  Today I bring you…

My Red Dinning Room Set With Christmas Greens…

My dinning room is one of my favorite rooms in my home!  I love the cranberry red walls, the big bay window and the built-in cupboards my hubby made, that sit on each side of the bay window.  Even when it’s not Christmas this room stays beautifully lit with white lights wrapped in the grapevine surrounding our bay window.

At Christmas I add to it, and this year is no exception as I have hung a pine garland, with burlap bows, around the big paned window.  The window holds a cranberry wreath and below it on a covered bench sits a primitive snowman atop some old throws and Christmasy linens.

On each side of the bay window, are two beautiful built-in corner cupboards my hubby made for me when my son was a baby.  I LOVE what these cupboards do for my dinning room.  Each cupboard shelf is set with different decorations…twiggy trees and a Christmas caroler,  primitive angels and snowmen.  Each middle shelf holds a small ring of pine, some sparkly, vintage angels and a taper candle.

What you see to the right of this last picture is one of my favorite Christmas signs I’ve made that says “A Child Is Born” and the words “And  His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Prince Of Peace” written through it (quoting Isaiah 9:6, I was disappointed to find out after I’d finished painting it that I left out “Ever Lasting Father, but I still love it!  I may make another some day with the whole verse in it.).  Below the sign is a quilted advent calendar of the nativity scene that I made when I was first learning to sew.  In each little pocket is a piece of candy for each child and verses surrounding the birth of Jesus and some of the prophetic words of his birth in Isaiah.  I also put a slip of paper in it with an activity to do each day, like build a snowman, have a cookie & hot cocoa bar, go sledding, etc.  My kids love this advent calendar so much and have been asking me, “How many days ’til we get to do the calendar?!”

On the shelf of the bay window stands a primitive snow angel and J-O-Y blocks atop stackable primitive Christmas boxes…

At the each end of the bay window shelf is a little rustic tin with pine, button stems and primitive stars inside and a primitive angel beside it…

Every year my chandelier is strung with pine boughs and my table gets set with a Christmasy display…

On my table is a red and tan woven table runner set with CHRISTMAS blocks I made, an old rusty sleigh with boughs, pip berries, and a pair of bedsprings I’m using as votive candle holders.

The dinning room stair beams always has a pine bough garland on it, usually I hang primitive snowflakes or candy canes, this year I kept it simple with a few burlap bows…

Above the entryway between the dinning and living room is one of the first signs I painted, several years ago, that says, “Christmas Time Is Here, Happiness And Cheer” with a couple of snowmen pillars and more greenery…

I am so happy that Christmas time is here and so thankful for the happiness and cheer that accompany it!

I hope you are enjoying the posts of my Christmas decorations.  I’ll post more next week!


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(Blazer, Blouse, Cami & Jeggings – Maurices, Earrings – Francesca’s, Boots (similar) – Charlotte Russe)

Love the fall hues in this blouse and as I’ve mentioned before I LOVE my mustard blazer!!!  As you can see my daughter worked her way into another photo session…isn’t she adorable!?!  

I wore this outfit Thanksgiving day to my families dinner and because I love this blazer so much almost wore it out Black Friday shopping as well! Yes, that’s how much I love this blazer…I would wear it two days in a row.  The only thing that stopped me was that when I took these pictures Thanksgiving morning it was 56° and the by Black Friday morning it wasn’t even 20° and we had two inches of snow.  The weather definitely called for more than a 3/4 sleeve blazer covering my arms.

Speaking of Black Friday…any other crazies score some deals!  I did the usual Bath&Body Works buy everything in sight and we got almost all of our kids Christmas gifts!  Best of all I had a great day with my hubby, niece, sister and brother-in-law!!!

I apologize for the ramblings in this post, I wrote and rewrote this post so many times, due to writers block due to lack of sleep and enthusiasm for anything this morning!  My exhaustion has made you all the victim of my brain block, ha, ha!

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Christmas, to me, truly is the most wonderful time of the year!!!  I love everything about it!  From decking my halls, walls and everything in between, to shopping for the perfect gift for all of my loved ones.  There’s nothing quite like the smells of Christmas treats baking in the oven, the crackeling of the fireplace that warms my house, and stockings hanging on the mantel above.  Listening to holly jolly songs like “Jingle Bell Rock” and the soft beautiful songs like “Silent Night”, that sing of the birth of a tiny babe who would be the savior of this world.    The warm glow of the Christmas tree lighting the gifts below and the scent of pine filling the air, watching old childhood favorites like “It’s A Wonderful Life” and new ones like “Elf” while snuggled on my couch under my favorite quilts with my family.  The list goes on…it’s all so wonderful!!!

The fact that I love Christmas is no secret to those who visit my home this time of year.  I go all out with decorating and I’d like to share my Christmas home with you over the next couple of weeks.

Welcome To My Christmasy Home

I felt the need to show you it lit at night also…

I usually wrap pine boughs around the roof of my porch but this year I just did lights along the top and hung boughs with berries, a bow and a frosty star on each porch beam.

As you walk up the stairs unto my porch you would be greeted by twigs wrapped round the posts with stars, matching the ones on the beams.  On either side of the stairs are baskets covered in burlap and tied with a bow that hold more greenery and a bit of snow!

On either side of the stairs is an old wooden snowman and a rustic candy cane.

Hanging on my door is my husbands fishing creel that is tied with a red bow and filled with more pine and some pip berries.

To the left of the door is an old rusty milk can holding a scragely little pine tree standing over a piece of white fence, the chunky JOY letters my husband made me and a rustic candle holder.

Just to the right of the door is an old sled holding a pair of ice skates and a snow days sign.

In the chair beside the sled is a primitive snowman with his cardinal friend sitting atop a wool blanket.

Atop my old door turned table is more greenery which has different candles set throughout it.

Around the side of the house and on the opposite side of the porch nestled in my rocking chair is a basket of pine boughs and an old bench with an even older tool box holding more greenery.

Can you tell I love pine boughs?!  I love using pine with my Christmas decorations both outdoors and inside, wich I’ll begin showing you in my next Christmasy Home post!  Until then, thanks for stopping by to look at my porch and I hope I’ve helped inspire some decorating ideas for you and your home!

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(Chambray TopRock Star SkinniesPlaid Ballet Flats & Jewelry courtesy of Old Navy)

As the title says I have some EXQUISITE news to share with you!  

I am so super excited to announce that LE has it’s very first sponsor…The Old Navy in Eau Claire, WI!!!  I cannot tell you how blessed and honored I feel to be chosen to style their clothes for them on occasion.

Thank you so much Craig Deutsch and Old Navy Eau Claire for teaming up with Life Exquisite and blessing me with this opportunity!

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For this Tuesday’s Fashion & Beauty post I’m going to share with you this years family photo session and what we chose to wear.

I like to have my family coordinate but not be too matchy.  I select similar colors to pull out in outfits and then plan outfits accordingly.  This year it was my youngest daughter’s little bird dress from Old Navy that inspired this years color theme…blue, tan and white, with a bit of orange and red mixed in.  (Where we got each apparel item to make up this years outfits is mentioned at the end of the post and all items that could be linked are done so.)

What is it about the words “family pictures” that makes all of my kids whine like it’s the end of the world?  Why is it so hard to get kids to cooperate for just a little while so we can get some good family pictures to send out to friends and family?  You wives and mothers will understand. You want to portray your family in a beautiful, fun-loving way that shows the best side of your family, or at least how you want people to think your family is, ha, ha.  It’s so hard to capture the good side of your family though in photos.  Kids forbid to do exactly as you want them to in photos.  I don’t know how GAP always has such great pictures!

Every year most of our pictures are of children with cheesy grins and pouting faces.  They aren’t standing how or where they are supposed to.  There may even be some finger pointing to show them where  I’d prefer for them to stand or my husband and I could possibly be giving them a “do it now or else” look.  

This years pictures were no easier than any other year, but I’m learning that usually my favorite pictures are the ones where everyone is just being themselves so I try really hard to keep it happy and carefree so that my kids stay in as good a mood as possible for the photo session.  There may be a bribe of hot cocoa, ice cream of some other treat for afterwards if they can behave!  

Here’s a few of this year’s bad, ugly and humorous photos…

Apparently someone didn’t tell my oldest daughter and son they should be smiling for the pictures.

My son is being all himself here…it’s always important in a family Christmas photo to turn a prop into a machine gun!!!  

This one has it all, what appears to be an adoring eldest daughter leaning on her daddy’s shoulder, me telling my middle daughter not to smile cheesy or it could have been one of the numerous times I had to tell her to stand closer (she kept standing off to the side a bit).  It also has a winning toddler and a little boy with a cheesy grin.  But good job, my wonderful hubby, you look fantastic!

Not sure what my son is doing here.

Something is really funny here!  

This one may have been really cute but it looks like my son is clinging to that “J” like his life depends upon it.

Even my husband has to play during pictures.  It looks like we are having a good time and hugging on each other when in reality he’s squeezing me so tight, my back may have cracked.  He finds this funny.  Me…not so much.

Trust me that is just a few of the less than perfect pictures.  Not saying that what’s to follow is perfect but it’s better than above and a couple of these will be gracing our Christmas card this year…

Seriously, this is the only decent picture we got in front of the old school-house and I only put it on here because I felt I should have one decent photo from that location.  However due to my daughter’s hair in her eyes, my sons, I’m not even sure what to call that face, and the youngest Schroeder member not smiling it definitely wont make the Christmas card.

This is my absolute favorite one, but wish my son’s head wasn’t blocking part of my husbands face.

Another decent one in the corn field.

This will probably make our Christmas card, because although not everyone is smiling, we are all looking at the camera and look fairly decent.  

Love how my oldest daughters are smiling at my husband and I kissing in this one!

I love all of these ones of my kiddos, especially this last one!

And last, my favorite picture of my husband and I from this photo session and possibly one of my favorites of all time!  

These are my best selections this year, all though I have to admit that I’ve warned my family that if it snows before I get a chance to make up our Christmas cards we’re taking them again in the snow.  They are super excited about that, ha, ha!!!

I’m taking off the rest of the week to just enjoy my kiddos being at home for the Thanksgiving holida.  Next week I’m going to show you my home all decorated for Christmas and can’t wait for that.  Until then…Happy Thanksgiving and good luck to all of your crazies like me who will be out Black Friday shopping!!!


On my husband: Sweater (this one is no longer available but the same sweater in other colors is here) & Button Up Shirt  – Old Navy, Lucky Jeans – Thrifted – The Scarlet Poppe, Shoes (similar) – DSW Shoes

On me:  Dress & Scarf  – Francesca’s Collection, Cardiwrap (similar) – Maurices, Boots (similar) – Charlotte Russe

Oldest Daughter – Dress & Vest – The Children’s Place, Sweater – JCPenny’s, Boots (similar) – Old Navy

Middle Daughter – Novelty Sweatshirt, White Blouse, Skirt & Boots (similar) – The Children’s Place

Son – Button Front Shirt, Polo Shirt, Jeans & Boots – The Children’s Place

Youngest Daughter – Dress – Old Navy, Vest – The Children’s Place, Boots – Target

*My wonderful hubby made the chunky JOY letters for me!!

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Last weekend we celebrated my daughter, Miranda’s, 8th birthday!  Per her request we had a Candy Shoppe themed birthday party and boy was it ever a sweet party!!!


The table was set with all sorts of sweet treats…


…from salt water taffy, Tootsie Rolls, gum balls, M&M’s, cupcakes and more!



(The cupcakes were homemade Wacky Cake with homemade Peanut Butter Frosting and a Peppermint Cream Cheese frosting I found online.  Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese frosting use to be my two favorite frostings but this Peppermint frosting has joined the two of them.  May even be my very favorite!!!)

There was also a great deal of candy decor!


(I got the idea of the balloon suckers and lollipop topiary from Pinterest.)

Even the chandelier was given a little facelift, with a string of pink beads and some cheap candy Christmas ornaments, so that it looked like it belonged in a Candy Shoppe!


My favorite decoration was the old window I painted teal and set with burlap to pin pictures of my daughter in and then her name in flower and butter fly letters set in front of it!



The kids made candy necklaces with life savers…


(Yarn and lifesavers, easy!)

and played a GIANT game of Candy Land in which they were the game pieces!!!  They absolutely loved this!


(It was super easy to set up.  Just print out pictures of the Candy Land characters, ie Princess Frostine, The Gingerbread Man, King Candy, etc., and then lay them out with colored construction paper following the pattern of the game board!  Super huge hit!!!)

Everyone seemed to have a really good time, indulging in sweets, playing games and enjoying each other’s company, especially the birthday girl!!!


Happy 8th Birthday, Miranda!  I love you!

Sorry, No Football Food post this Monday.

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(Sweater (Old) – Old Navy, Jeans & Jewelry – Maurices, Shoes – Old (JcPenney or Younkers))

The title is a little misleading because this is actually the second time there’s been a dusting of snow on the ground but it’s the first time I’ve taken pictures in the snow this season!  I was no less excited of waking up to yesterday’s snow as I was when it snowed a week ago.

Seeing the sparkly white fluff frosting the ground made me want to wear my sparkly white sweater and heels.  I went all out with the sparkle theme by painting my nails with a snow technique, using a white sparkly nail polish on top of a plain white polish.  I of course got the idea from Pinterest.

I LOVE snow!  Truly love it, but it was so stinking cold as I posed out in the chilly 23°.  As much as I hate the thought of it, I know my season of posing outdoors is drawing near an end.  I really don’t like indoor outfit posts as much as outside.  Indoors the lighting is off and I don’t have a nice solid background to pose in front.  Thus I will continue to sacrifice my comfort for as long as possible to give you all the best pictures I am able.  What can I say?  Tis the season of giving and this is my gift to you, ha, ha!

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