Little Things – Take joy in the little things, and your joy becomes a big thing

When you can enjoy the little things in life, each day will be so full, that you can lay your head on your pillow knowing you’ve left no joy unturned.

We made It! Here in Upstate NY, we’ve just lived through the coldest February in history. Everyday I hear people complaining about the temperature, the snow, and numerous other thing. All I can think of is… their days must be terribly exhausting! It takes so much energy to continually find fault with the world, when they could be spending their days with a smile on their face, and a heart that is not only thankful, but satisfied with the many blessings in our lives.

Today, even though it was cold outside (we had -24 last week, and that was not windchill!)… the sun was shining & I had eyes to enjoy it. The birds were singing & I was blessed to be able to hear them. Our home was filled with family & laughter, which is one of the greatest joys of all… and so much was right with our world!

Even though I realize that true joy does not come from “things”, I wanted to help inspire you to enjoy the little details of your life. So, I decided to take you for a walk around our home & share some little details that bring a smile to my face.

If we’re not careful, we can spend so much time waiting & looking for the big things, that we miss out on all of the wonderful little details & joys in our day.

Beyond the windows on the back side of our home, we can watch the river as it flows through the forest. It has been so cold this year, that the top of the river has nearly frozen over. Add to that, the several feet of snow that we’ve gotten over the past few weeks, and we can now see what we’ve never seen before… the river totally covered over! But this has also given way to another sweet surprise, we can now see the footprints of all the animals that share our little forest!

River Footprints

Cold snowy weather also brings lots of different kinds of birds to the winter feeders! How precious is this little chickadee!


And this gorgeous little Junco.


A shelf full of great books to read while inside.


No matter how big or how small, there’s something so satisfying about having a terrarium! I like to imagine what it would be like to live inside…in a tiny little cottage :) This one is filled with miniature sinningias… one of my favorite plants!

I have a shelf on my plant stand dedicated to my tiny orchids, and I just love the tiny little buds that they all have right now!
orchid buds

This wee little orchid, with wee little buds, in a wee little fenton glass vase… one of my favorite things.
orchid buds

And the tiny little orchid flowers <3 orchids

Don’t you love the deep blue colors of this piece of stained glass! My dear friend Diane made this piece, and we love the color it gives to the room, as the light spills through it!

stained glass

Soapstone chalk…one of my new favorite things. It was part of a gift given to me by my daughter Casey & her husband Zack for Christmas.
soapstone chalk

My husband made this set of shelves for our dining room, and every season I “shop” through my cabinets & find things to decorate with. In preparation for spring I decided on pear green as this season’s accent color, so my pottery dishes (another Christmas gift from my husband many years ago) are the perfect compliment.
Dining Room Shelves

This was the first piece of McCoy yellow ware that I ever purchased. I spotted it at one of my favorite little shops & fell in love with the “earthiness” of the clay. But because it was a WHOLE $15, I didn’t buy it the first time I saw it. About a week later, since I was still thinking about it, I went back scooped it up :)
McCoy Dining Room Shelves

The deep green glazing on the rim of this little McCoy piece is so beautiful. I even love the little chips, where the yellow ware clay peeks through!

McCoy Pottery

I found this sweet little vintage tin & vintage postcards at the same lovely little shop. Since it has beautiful green markings, I had to use it.
vintage tin

Olive Oil – there was something so beautiful & satisfying about this bottle of olive oil, that out of everything in the store, I used my gift card to buy it. I’m not sure if it is the beautiful shape of the bottle, the gorgeous color of the oil, the delicate wax seal, or the ornate metal label that caught my eye. I have a feeling it was all of the above! I just know I love the way it looks on my kitchen windowsill, with the light shining through the oil!
Olive Oil

This little stained glass pear was made by the same friend who made all of my other stained glass pieces. Thank you Diane, for providing so much beauty & enjoyment in our home! And… since it IS a pear, it had to be here.
Stained Glass Pear

This lovely handcrafted platter was another Christmas surprise from my husband. A few years ago, we saw it while wondering around a beautiful kitchen shop. Noticing how much I admired the hand painted woodland scene on it, he went back & bought it for me! He’s such a love!! The scene is filled with animals surrounding a castle in the deep forest. The folkloric design is from the 17th century, & is handcrafted in a small Portuguese pottery. I also love the black matte finish of the wrought iron display rack. Each time I walk by, I admire the hard work of a skilled artist from a little pottery far away, and the love of my husband & joy on his face when he was able to surprise me with something so beautiful.
Provence Platter

Painted furniture is one of my favorite things, and I love the details on this piece.
Painted Cabinet

This handcrafted pitcher was a piece that I won in my early days on the web. Helping others build their business was/is my business, and this was a special gift from those early days. Don’t you love those pops of green! And of course…there is an actual pear sitting on top of a vintage scale that I found while digging through a junk store. The little wooden butter bowl was a surprise discovery in the bottom of a $1 box at auction.
Painted Pottery

These lovely dried berries are some that I used in our Christmas decor, but displayed in this beautiful green glazed pot & enjoyed by these sweet little white birds…I had to let them stay a while longer! They also remind me of the special day my husband & I had while berry hunting together in the snow <3 Dried Berries

Here you can see the new curtains I made for the season. Years ago, I found a great discount fabric shop filled with beautiful bolts of fabric! At those ridiculously cheap prices, I had to pick up a few of my favorites, knowing I’d find a way to use them someday. Well, this pattern has finally had it’s someday as our new spring curtains! The gorgeous chalkboard was a favorite find at an auction last summer, and the picture is me pretending to be a chalk artist 😉 I do love it though, since the “bee in the wreath” graphic is one of my favorite things. The vintage linen with the green stripes was a $1 find last fall, and the table runner with the lovely shades of pear green was a new find.
Chalkboard Corner

And finally… this is a favorite corner in our dinning room. I love having the window to peek into the forest, the french baking rack filled with finds, the new mantel my husband & I made together, and most importantly … the table & chairs which means family & friends gather here <3 Dining Room Corner

Sometimes joy jumps at you with surprise, and sometimes you must go on a joy treasure hunt! While you’re spending these longer cooler days inside, they don’t have to be void of joy! And, it doesn’t have to come in big expensive boxes. Sometimes it can come in a surprise $1 from an auction, something you found on the curb & re-purposed, or even in something you’ve made yourself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk around our home looking at a few of the “little things” that bring me joy each day, and may you take time to enjoy the little blessings in your home!

Christmas All Through The House

Christmas in my living room

Christmas in my Living Room

Don’t you love taking walks through the village streets at night! It gets dark so early this time of year, but each little house shares glimpses of their decorations through well lit windows. Twinkling lights, beautiful wreaths, creative garlands, and wonderfully decorated Christmas trees all speak of the joy of those who dwell inside during this wonderful season!

I thought I’d let you peek in our windows & share just a few of our Christmas decorations with you 😉

Here are some of my vintage Christmas ornaments up close
Christmas Tree

For my dining room table I decided to re-purpose a wreath that I usually hang on the front door! I used a quilt with matching colors, the wreath, a large jar that I picked up on sale last year, and the wreath.
Christmas Table

Some new snowmen for our collection
Christmas Snowmen

I love these little boxes that our friends bought for our anniversary. The santa was my first try at wood carving.
Christmas Shelf

Here is some vintage ephemera that I found in a local shop, buried under some old books.
Christmas tin

Here is the poem up close so you can read it!
Christmas Poem - Vintage Ephemera

Christmas Shelf

Christmas Display

For my tree skirt, I just placed some $2 pr yard black & white toile around the base of the tree.
Christmas Tree

Some new pieces picked up at the local discount store for $5 each!
Vintage SnowmanVintage Christmas SantaVintage Christmas Girl

My “Prim” Christmas Tree

Primitive Christmas Tree

Primitive Christmas Tree

Primitive Christmas Tree

Christmas Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas day.
Their old familiar carols play
And wild & sweet the words repeat, of peace on earth good will towards man.

Here are some Christmas Pictures from last year.

Simple “Free” Decorating Solutions – Basket of Hydrangeas

Sometimes the best ideas for decorating our home comes from the natural world around us.

When you’re hard pressed for ideas on how to bring your home to life, perhaps taking a peek outside at the “living world” around you will give you just the decorating tip that you’re looking for :)

There’s something very comforting about walking into a home that has a “bit” of nature there to greet you. I like to call it “feathering my nest” :) When you think about it, you are actually bringing life into your home when you bring in items from the outside.

So many times, people automatically reach for what they already know (such as a bouquet of flowers) and their creativity seems to stop there. The next time you’re looking for a new little touch around your home, try to look past the things that automatically come to your mind & look for the unexpected.

This cabinet needed a little something on top, but I wasn’t sure what to use. I already had a nice basket that I was using to display some of my magazines, so I decided to fill it up with some dried hydrangea stems. I really like the way it turned out.

Here are a few other articles that you might like as well.

Grapevines for the in the Sitting Area

Lots of Creative (cheap 😉 Fall Decorating Ideas!

Vintage Pine Cupboard Redo

Because I already feel SO blessed, when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, it took me a while to come up with something.

Some of you may remember my post back in October about one of my favorite antique pine cupboards that I picked up years ago for $2? Well, when I told him I’d like to have my cupboard painted as my Christmas gift, he painted it right away!

I really love the deep red, because it compliments everything in our home. Many readers wanted to see the finished result, so I thought I’d post it for you all to enjoy!

What a wonderful husband I have – and as I told him… he is my gift :)

Here’s a picture of the cupboard before

antique country pine cupboard

* From Pearl

Thank you all for the kind words!

Just goes to show you – one person’s trash really is another person’s treasure!

I picked this piece up at a yard sale. When I asked to gal if she had anything else inside
for sale, she took me downstairs to show me a few things – however, nothing really caught my eye. But when I turned around to come back up the stairs, I spied this cabinet standing up behind the door. When I asked her if she wanted to sell that piece, she said – “oh that thing, I don’t think you could even get it off the wall, because it’s been sitting down here in the basement for so many years!” When I assured her that my husband could indeed remove the piece from her basement (I was thinking piece by piece if we had to :), she said – well, you could have it for $2. No thinking on my part – a quick “SOLD” came out of my mouth!

It has provided a lot of joy over the years, and now with it’s new coat of color, it is ready for many more ahead!

Ok – for those of you who might be saying… well, that was many years ago, those things don’t happen today! I want to tell you – the same thing happened just a couple of years ago to me! I picked up a VERY large vintage pine cabinet for $17 at a local estate auction. Everyone was pretty much finished with the “good stuff” inside when they moved out to the garage. Most of the gals wandered on home, but from my past experiences, I knew that great treasures lay waiting for me out there! Sure enough, when everything was pretty much said & done in the garage, everyone started home. I went up to the auctioneer & said, I’d like to bid on that old cupboard against the wall. He said… who will give me $50, who will give me $20? But no one was really paying attention. I said, I’ll give you $17! Once, twice, sold to the lady. Now… how to get this huge beauty home? Well, because it had tiny wheels on it, my friend Kelly & I simply pushed it down the street :)

The moral of the story?
#1 Keep your eyes open, because most people don’t look through the same eyes of vision the way that you will!
#2 Don’t buy a huge cabinet unless you have a friend to help you push it down the street :)

Stained Glass Christmas Ornaments

stained glass christmas ornaments

About today’s picture:

A dear friend of mine makes wonderful stained glass Christmas ornaments. We have her make a new ornament for each family in our church every year. This was last year’s edition. It sparkles so nicely with the tiny lights shining on the Austrian crystals!

I will post the whole collection – including the newest edition very soon. You can feel free to contact me if you’d like to pick any of them up for family – friends – or yourself :)

You can find her shop “The Glass Menagerie” here on Etsy.