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by laura janning

Showing posts with label Holiday Decor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday Decor. Show all posts

New Years Treats

December 29, 2014


Our yearly tradition of Chinese take out in our jammies will prevail this year except for one thing......the addition of eating these cookie balls while drinking champagne and sparkling juice when we watch the ball drop.



I am so glad that I took a hiatus during the holidays from losing a few pounds, cause these cookie treats are so stinkin delish. Crowd favorite, they look pretty and are super easy to make.

Santa We are Ready...Outdoor Lights

December 22, 2014

Suffice to say, I think Santa will find our house this year, out here in the country, in the middle of nowhere, thanks to the bright LED glow that surrounds the house and along the driveway.





It seems like the arches that we typically do, were presenting some issues to the Fed Ex man, my kids the dogs and the wind. PVC pipes loaded with lights can get a bit wonky with a gust. Here's the lights from last year.

Simple Classic Holiday Entrance

December 21, 2014

I love simple, red and classic, and so do my front doors...obviously.


And side entrance


Behind the Scenes of the Christmas Card 2014

December 18, 2014

Each year I look forward to planning and sending our Christmas card, so friends and family can get a chance to see the kids and how much they have grown over the year. The cards are important to me.... but not so much to my children. 
This year  to avoid the very predictable "oh mom, why, do we have to" I decided to come up with a clever way to get them more interested and excited about the good ole yearly photo.
Camo, backyard, tire swing.

I think Lily's face says it all. Don't you?

About 2 seconds after getting dressed and jumping on the backyard tire swing, I am thinking that maybe my camo idea was going to back fire. Did it just make the boy's want to play and...... be boys, all while sweet lily, donning the cutest camo skirt, stood perfectly poised while this was going on.

Christmas Breakfast Room and Mantel

December 17, 2014

It was hard not to mistake the drywall dust for snow flurries last time I showed you a glimpse of the breakfast room and mantel during my holiday tour here. It was because this was going on. And even though I covered the doorways with plastic, a million dust particles managed to find a way to escape and cause a mess. 


Now that the dust has settled, literally, I wanted to share our favorite area in the house, particularly at Christmas time. 

Christmas Home Tour 2014

December 4, 2014

Surprise! It's me....and my donkey Oreo. 
We are stop 22 on Jennifer Rizzo's  2014 Holiday House walk.



I know you came here looking for a home tour, but instead you are greeted by the most festive looking donkey you will ever see! Oreo and I are both so happy that you are here for the tour.  If you are stopping by from the DIY Showoff, I think you can agree that Roeshel is the sweetest DIY'er  ever, and it's always a treat to visit her beautiful home!




If you are new to Top This Top That, I am Laura. A city girl turned country gal. I live on a dirt road in a small town (population 501) in North East Georgia on a farm that my husband and I built 12 years ago. Along with the donkeys, dogs, chickens and cats that we picked up along the way, we also have twin 1st graders and a 3rd grader. Needless to say, life around here is very active, fun and full of life.
So come on in and enjoy the tour!

Holiday Table Ideas...... And A Giveaway

December 3, 2014

You know me and fancy don't do well together. As hard as I try, I always feel like the awkward school girl stumbling in my too high of a heel at a party...when I really should have been wearing my flip flops or my converse sneakers all along.

And although I love the look of a fancy smancy table setting, I always want the look of my table to lean on the side of pretty with a casual approach. So I set this holiday table with a lunch in mind with a few of my girl pals sitting around it.

100 DIY Holiday Projects....and 4 of My Favorite

December 1, 2014

December...... The month that my kids have waited for 11 months and 5 days to get here. The month that my vacuum never seems to take a break from sucking up all the fallen tree needles and....the month that we celebrate his birth. I decided to kick off the month with a gift for you. Well, how about 100 gifts. 


Today it's all about getting your holiday mojo on and sharing 100 holiday projects, treats and holiday decor from 25 festive bloggers. Yours truly included. 

Here's four of my favorite holiday ideas that I wanted to share with you.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2014

I just wanted to pop in and wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. 


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.~ Melody Beattie


I just love this picture (source unknown).  It speaks peace, calm and simplicity.

Thanksgiving Table Ideas

November 20, 2014

Little did I know ....

How pretty my table runner made out of brown craft paper here would look on this years thanksgiving table.


Or how the 'fancy' gold chargers that I bought 15 years ago when I hosted my in laws for the the first thanksgiving dinner....only to find out they were really were more like chinette paper plate people, could look pretty darn good with my everyday white dishes with mismatched plates on top.

Keep Warm....and Drink Cocoa

November 18, 2014


I will never forget the first Christmas that I spent away from my family with my then boyfriend, who would later become my husband, and his family in Lafayette, Louisiana. And as I was missing my family and our own family traditions, I was creating new ones as the entire gang of them , the siblings, spouses and 20 kids, made sure to make me feel welcomed and loved while we laughed hearing family stories, played games and....drank cocoa.

The little red scarf....Holiday Mantel

November 12, 2014

Between you and me, I think my cow is rockin it in my red and black scarf........Don't you?


Sitting there all sassy like, surrounded by cedar, evergreen sprigs and pine cones.....
Every cows dream.

Christmas Decor Sneak Peek

November 10, 2014

Even though Turkey day hasn't yet arrived , the Christmas decorations are getting ready to take their positions merrily around the house and property. My Mailman probably thinks I am nuts, with a display of some Potted Baby Spruce trees that I got from Balsam Hill on one step, and a pumpkin on the other. I like to think that this is the 'not yet thanksgiving but close enough to Christmas ' look.


And despite the daily "how many days till Christmas mom" question from the kids, I have begun pulling out the boxes and getting my plan together inside the house as well. I will gladly take the questions.... sometimes upwards of 4 a day....from each child, all to have my holiday decor in place and be able to sit back, smile and enjoy the season.

Jazz Up the Thanksgiving Table....with Craft Paper and a Stencil

November 7, 2014

For the most part I have only used stencils....on a wall. My not always creative mind never took me beyond that.  But when a large roll of brown paper left over from this project, was looking for a purpose, I decided to use a stencil on the paper and create runners for my thanksgiving table.






Why We Are Thankful....

November 5, 2014

I am putting aside my paint brush, the stories from the farm, jokes about my donkey and the project list today, in order to bring you something much more gratifying and from my heart. 

I am very thankful and blessed ..... that my children have grateful hearts. A core belief that my husband and I walk through our life with daily. We remain conscious of the gifts and feeling of thankfulness in our lives.



Fall Door Ideas....and a rhyme

October 30, 2014



I am sure most of you have heard the rhyme, particularly  if you trick or treated in a time where an xray was not needed to scan your candy before you ate it.
Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.

Summer Mantel 2014...Almost, Kinda, Sorta

May 27, 2014

Although summer doesn't officially begin until June 21st, many believe that it's Memorial Day that kicks off the summer season. 




You know, the time where it's okay to start wearing your white shorts and time to put away those boots, unless your the kind that wears boots with your Daisy Dukes that is. 
So, since it's almost, kinda, sorta summer, I figured I would usher in Summer time on the mantel this weekend.


I think my mantel evokes my thoughts about summer......bright, simple, beachy with a touch of orange and aqua blue.


Some orange wooden buoys got a little refresh with white and a pop of aqua to coordinate with some wooden oars that I painted.



The beach sign that I made here, that I absolutely love... has surfaced every year and points South to the .......


Sea glass colored vessel that has some "pretend" beach grass in it. I sprayed some dried greens with white paint...Shhhhh, don't tell anyone, especially this guy......


This Sperm Whale print that I framed in one of my Ribba frames from IKEA .... was actually the inspiration for it all. Factoid for you.  Did you know The Sperm whale is the world's largest toothed predatory fish. Males can reach longer than 65 feet and females 35 feet. Luckily for me and most of you, we should be able to spot one. 


And although this makes me feel slightly better when building sand castles at the beach this year, every time I dip my toe in the ocean I think about the original movie 'Jaws' ...and how after all these years it still creeps me out.
How about you?
Happy start of summer.....well almost.



PS- If you really want to be the subject matter expert on Whales while sitting on the beach this summer go here.



Grateful for~
A beach vacation this summer




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Spring Tablescape....3 looks...1 plate

April 22, 2014

Nothing inspires me more this time of year then natures beauty and
a pretty Spring table....




My hidden passion ( shhhhh)  is creating pretty tables, my challenge is always using what I got and today I am sharing three different looks with one pretty pink plate.....perfect for Spring.

I picked up these floral plates at World Market a few months ago......  I think it was the color, since all my plates are white.



A walk in the garden to clip a bunch of azaleas to sit in a white tea cup and some pink spray paint on a plastic charger, and I created my first Spring tablescape.



It didn't take much more effort to create the second look, other then spraying some yellow spray paint on a glass vase and on a charger. 
I love how it pulls from the yellow flowers on the plate. The combination of pink and yellow is perfect.



The third look is a bit more calmer, with the plates sitting on a silver charger and the table flanked with mercury glass holders filled with the flowers.




Now, my other challenge is choosing which tablescape I will use....since I love them all. 
3 looks inspired by one pretty pink plate.
What inspires you this time of the year?

I am joining some other 'tablesetting lovin' bloggers in a Spring table party. I know you will be inspired as you visit all of the other beautiful tables.


Grateful for~

A table to sit at







Tuesday, April 22




Wednesday, April 23





Thursday, April 24








sharing




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The Easiest Burlap Wreath ....goes blue!

April 10, 2014

Do you realize that it's been 2 years since I first posted about this wreath and it still remains a favorite of every burlap wreath lover in America...... and beyond. 
But just wait until today......I am introducing the fraternal twin of the original burlap wreath.
Speaking of which, did you know I was a twin ...but sadly, she doesn't love burlap like me.





Kicking off Spring Break with my Simply Simplistic Spring Mantel

March 31, 2014

Yes, today officially kicks off Spring Break for us and because of a fractured foot in the house, the family will be enjoying the week taking a stay-cation. We got a whole schedule of events that the kids picked out and we can hardly wait to enjoy the week with each other.





Since today is the first day of spring break, I thought it appropriate to share the spring mantel...... before the kids summer break starts! 


This is probably the simplest spring mantels I have ever done and guess what..... I love it. The approach to my mantel this year is similar to my approach on a lot of decisions in my life these days, simple, effortless and without complication....courtesy of items that were within arms reach in the house and some Bradford Pear trees outside that I co-mingled with some cute little blue blooms from Hobby Lobby.


My beloved Cairn terriers, Kara and Kayla, are making a repeat performance this year (first performance was here) , as is this cute egg print that I got from a book that I ordered here and framed. 


I filled a white compote bowl with mega huge eggs, my kids seriously think a dinosaur laid them, that I used last year here and topped it off with a bird nest that I used on the Spring wreath here.


If you follow my blog regularly you may have noticed two changes to my mantel. Any guesses????


Yup, the mantel is now white and my sweet little family picture has now been replaced with this gorgeous blue clock that I picked up a few months ago while antique shopping in Atlanta. And if you are really observant you will notice the lack of clock hands.


Remember, I am going after simple and effortless ....who cares what time it is anyways! 

What's your approach to life these days?



Grateful for~
Movies, bowling, chuckie cheese and all things on 
the stay-cation list.




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