Top Posts of 2012

As the 2012 comes to an end today, I wanted to recap my most popular blog posts and projects of the year. Before we get into that, I would like to sincerely thank those of you who read this humble blog. I get so much joy out of interacting with you through a shared love of home, art, crafts, bargains and everything else. I hope 2013 holds many great things for you!

Most Popular Posts of 2012:

DIY Dipped, Color Blocked Spoons
Because it's easy and fun and makes a great personalized gift!

A little bit tedious, but the end result was totally worth it!

Stringing Patio Cafe Lights
We used salvaged columns to create an outdoor room– the husband outdid himself. 

2012 Christmas Home Tour
Because everyone likes Christmas decorations!

$10 DIY Painted Faux-Toms
Polka dots + cheap shoes = winning combo.

Sweet, Simple Nursery Mural
Anyone can paint a tree, I promise. And anyone can make those paper flowers, too.

Still nowhere near as popular as the first DIY fountain, by far this blog's most popular post ever!

Everyone likes a good before and after!

I just saw these for sale at HomeGoods yesterday. Why buy when you can make your own?

Because exercising is more fun when it's on a cute bike!

Jewelry is expensive. Make your own!

 When your dogs like to dig, you need a creative solution.

A "handy" way to make your own greeting cards and draw fun letters for different projects. 

Well, those are the favorites from 2012. I hope you have a happy and fun (and safe) New Year's Eve! 

* NYE 2012 *

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Holiday Things to Buy Right Now

Now that the Christmas holiday has passed, the holiday stuff is officially on sale. (Fist pump!) I love a good bargain, so naturally I'm all about post-holiday sales. I like to look for these types of things when I go out shopping after Christmas:

1. Wrapping Paper
The key here is to get wrapping paper that's not necessarily "holiday." Avoid the Santa heads and buy the simple polka dots or whatever other pattern would work for any occasion. I stocked up on some beautiful wrapping paper at Marshall's on Wednesday that was $1/roll. It was 65% off because of the holiday sale, but these patterns can work for weddings, birthdays, bridal showers, etc. Check out the golden faux bois! (Forgive the iPhone pictures...)

You may want to buy a couple of boxes of Christmas cards for 75% off too, while you're at it. That way you're not running to Walmart at midnight looking for generic holiday cards like I was this year!

2. Holiday Decor You Wished You Had This Year
For example, we have now gone through three Christmas celebrations without a tree skirt. Every year I say I will make one, every year I forget to do it. So when I spotted this simple off white tree skirt with a shimmery taupe border for $10 at Marshall's, I had to snatch it up. It's super neutral, so I can use it every year even if I change the theme of the tree. Can't beat $10 for an extra large tree skirt!

3. Holiday Decor You Couldn't Normally Afford
Right now, Wisteria is having a 75% off sale on its holiday decor. This means that all of the beautiful holiday stuff is finally within my budget!  My team at work gave me a $50 gift card to Wisteria, so of course I had to go check out the holiday sale.

I came home with a beautiful square preserved boxwood wreath that I can hang year-round (marked down from $180 to $44) and a 12 inch mercury glass ornament for $6. I love the mercury glass ornament so much that I'm going back to today to get  a few more for next Christmas. I wouldn't normally be able to afford a bunch of huge glass ornaments for the regular price of $24/each, but the 75% off discount gives me the chance to get this really unique, statement-making decoration to enjoy next year. Even the husband agreed I should go back and get more of these– well, you don't have to tell me twice!

(Sorry for the junky picture. My dining table is in complete disarray right now!)

4. More "Holiday" Stuff You Can Use Year-Round
Do you normally have a wreath hanging on your front door? Maybe you want to hang one on the inside, like I did with the boxwood? Well then, you should buy this silver branch wreath holder that's on sale for $13.99 at West Elm. I'm totally in love with it– so much so that I bought it yesterday! (Free shipping, of course.)

5. Presents For Yourself
 Why? Because you probably got gift cards for Christmas and want to stretch that free money during the post-holiday sales! The Target + Neiman Marcus collection is already 50% off, so it's the perfect time to buy yourself that really rich-looking Lela Rose top you've been wanting. (No? Just me?)
Plus you've been wanting to buy one of those trendy Fair Isle/grandma sweaters, and now it's half off at Old Navy!

6. Hot Cocoa & Candy
I don't know about you, but hot cocoa is still important to me after the holidays. After all, it's still cold outside. A lot of places package the hot cocoa with festive mugs in holiday gift sets, so those are all on sale right now. Same goes for Christmas chocolates and other holiday foods that still taste great on Dec. 26 and beyond. Your New Year's resolution to diet can wait!

7. Patio String Lights 
What's the difference between patio lights and white Christmas lights? Not much. Go the bargain route and buy some festive twinkle lights to use year-round during the holiday sale.

Will you be out spending your holiday cash this weekend? Or are you needing to save after an expensive holiday? Either way, I hope your weekend is great!

* Can't wait to see Les Mis! *

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Random Holiday Bits & Sales

We returned home late last night from a holiday trip to El Paso to visit our family. While we were gone, Dallas decided to turn into a winter wonderland!

I made the 9-hour drive in my new slippers from Target, a Christmas gift from the husband. They are SO comfortable. 

 We got to meet our niece, Kennadie, who lives in this nursery I painted back in July.

created with the Instapic frames app

I wanted to contribute to the holiday dinners we were attending, so I made this caramel gingersnap ice cream courtesy of House of Earnest, one of my favorite blogs.

 On Christmas Eve, we went for a hike in the Franklin Mountains. Beautiful desert Christmas!

The next day, Scott's brother proposed to his fiancé on that same trail. It was the spot to be this holiday!

We bought our nephew these Spy Net Ultra Night Vision Goggles when Amazon was running them on Christmas special for $30. They were a HUGE hit. All of the grown men in the family wanted to play with them.

And these were the Christmas cards we sent out this year, purchased through the Walgreens website. I was happy with them except that the picture of the dogs printed out darker than I thought, so we lost some of the detail on their faces. 

It was supposed to look like this! I posed the pups for more than an hour while I fiddled with my new camera. They are such good models (when sleepy).
 Anyway, we're all set to take down the Christmas decorations today and get our life back in order. We may have to head to the stores soon to spend some gift cards and hit up the post-holiday sales! Here are some of the sales I'm aware of right now:

• The Target + Neiman Marcus collection is now 50% off.
• Wisteria's holiday decor is 75% off.
• Anthropologie's semi-annual sale is on- extra 30% off sale items with the code WOW30.  
• Extra 25% off sale items at J Crew and up to 60% off at J Crew Factory
• 50% off holiday decorations at Home Depot & Lowe's

And I'm sure every other store is having some sort of sale, too. Spend those gift cards! :)

* Snowed In *

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Glittered Wooden Spoons

Just popping up to share the latest twist I've made to the DIY dipped, color blocked spoons.

One word: GLITTER!

Same process as before, but with some extra crafting bling. Paint spoons with whatever base color you want, and then paint over it with Martha Stewart multi-surface glitter paint.

Once that's done, use the all natural, non toxic Zinsser spray shellac to seal the paint to the handle.

Tie your bouquet of spoons up in a bow and give it to someone who likes a little sparkle! It would make a great stocking stuffer or teacher gift, don't you think?

* DIY Gifting *

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Favorite Things: Amanda & Meredith

Quick favor to ask...

I entered our holiday mantel into a Facebook contest hosted by Design Star Emily Henderson (one of my favorite bloggers, by the way). Anyway, I need your votes! If you could take one minute to vote by clicking here, I will totally love you forever.
* The entry is under my name, not the blog name– Jordan Bostic Grantham.


Have you ever heard of a Favorite Things Party? The idea is that you and a group of friends get together, with each one bringing their favorite thing to the party. So if the party included you and four friends, you would bring four of your favorite things under a certain price point. Each person presents their favorite thing and explains why it's their favorite, and then everyone goes home with four new things!

Anyway, I love this concept. My best friend and I decided to do it for each other this year, buying one another our favorite things (up to $30). We haven't exchanged our gifts yet, so I can't reveal what I'm getting her just yet. Instead, I asked two of my other friends to tell me their favorite things under $25 so I could share them on the blog. Maybe one of these will spark a last minute Christmas gift idea for you! Plus I just love hearing what other people like because chances are good that I will like it, too.

Amanda is a preschool teacher, wife and mother of two (soon to be three) who happens to be one of my dearest friends. She loves shopping and getting good bargains almost as much as I do!

Amanda's Favorite Things Under $25

Meredith is a young mom and wife with great style. She always achieves high style without spending a lot of money, which is something I love about her.

Have you ever had one of these parties with your friends? If you want more ideas, head on over the party hosted by The Nester, where more than 50 people have shared their favorite things.

* Last Minute Shopping *
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Randoms & Happy Weekend

'Tis the weekend to prepare gifts for your coworkers and friends before the holiday travel begins! With that in mind, here are a few DIY projects from the blog that make great gifts:

• DIY Painted / Dipped Wooden Kitchen Spoons (Version 1 and Version 2)
DIY Pinterest Recipe Book
DIY Anthropologie Inspired Necklace
DIY Ombre Statement Necklace
I Love You This <----> Much Book / Greeting Card
DIY Outdoor Fountain from Flower Pots
DIY Photo Coasters
DIY Doodle Coasters
DIY Corn Hole Yard Game
DIY Glitter Glassware
DIY Welcome Door Mat
DIY Painted Faux Toms

Also, if you need a cookie to take to a party, I highly recommend these Nutter Butter Santa cookies!

This weekend I will be baking tons of Reeses banana bread in adorable Tiffany blue Sockerkaka silicone loaf pans from Ikea (can't find them online, but they have them in store– they look like these). I'll be including the loaf pans with each gift, since I think they are so cute. The hubs and I are going to give them to our coworkers. 


Check out my "Michael Jackson Christmas" look I was sporting for our office Christmas party. The jacket, completely sequined (and heavy!) with big shoulder pads, was on loan from a friend's mom. Driving to work was like having a disco ball in my car; sunlight was bouncing all over the place!


If you follow the blog on Facebook, you may have seen this already. I just wanted to share the heartwarming interaction I had with a stranger in Target this week:


I am co-hosting another baby shower tomorrow (so many babies lately!), so tonight is dedicated to creating a diaper cake and making decorations. It's not at my house, so fortunately I don't have to clean anything. Phew!

What are your plans? I know everything is so hectic during this holiday season, but I hope you'll take a little time to savor the time spent with family and friends (and the TRUE meaning of the season)!

* Fa la la la la Friday *


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2012 Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to the 2012 Christmas version of our home!

As you'll notice, I'm a big fan of those $1 red bows you can buy everywhere.

 Come on in!

Mantel details...

Christmas tree details...
 A little bit brighter in the daytime...

My flea market ice skates!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

More festive fun from past years:

* Chalkboard snowflake door
* DIY Holiday Decor
* Cutest Christmas cookies ever.

Here are some Christmas home tours from some of my favorite bloggers:

House of Earnest
Young House Love

... Plus a pink Christmas from Emily Henderson and a nontraditional holiday tablescape from Little Green Notebook.

* Mmm... Hot cocoa. *

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