Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Decor

I received an email from a NYC company called Urban Compass earlier this month asking me to participate in their Home for the Holidays campaign and share some of my Christmas décor and how it relates to our community.

At first I thought, "I have no idea how cupcakes or my blog relates to a real estate company in The Big Apple."  But I was more than happy to oblige.  Because.


I love Christmas music.  I love decorating for Christmas.  I love the lights and the shopping and the gift giving, the charity and joy, food and family... I mean what's not to love about Christmas?!?

Now I realize something I love even more about this time of year.  Whether we live in a swanky SOHO loft or a 1957 rambler in the Upper Midwest, whether we celebrate Christmas, or Hanukka, or Kwanza, or just being alive; most of us take time to decorate our homes and share them with others this time of year.  We find common ground that connects us to others despite our differences or geography, and we expand our community for the purpose of celebrating the GOOD in the world. 

We could all use a little more celebration of good in the world, right?

So without further ado, here are a few pictures of the holiday spirit I've tried to infuse into my little home during this most wonderful time of the year.  I hope you enjoy it, and if you have time, check out Urban Compass on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to see their Home for the Holidays pics (and let me know if you see any of mine there because I'm not on Twitter). 

Welcome to our home!


While working on this project I became more aware of how most of the cherished treasures in our home are handmade or were gifts.  I think that's true for many in this part of the country and speaks to what's important in our community/neighborhood.  These trees I made with some friends last year at a holiday craft-o-rama.  The wooden nativity scene was made by my father-in-law as were many of the wooden trees and décor you'll see throughout.  The large barn wood and corrugated metal board that I'm using to hang Christmas cards on this year was an anniversary gift from my husband and made by a friend of his.  This year, I made these simple stockings because my son wanted one with his initial on it.  I don't expect them to last forever.  ;)
A glass nativity set from my mom.

 I'll admit, I don't like the fake candles on our table.  I had some pretty red ones that smell like cinnamon.  But we opened this big set of fake candles last Christmas at a family gift exchange and one of my boys was SO excited!  When we were decorating after Thanksgiving he remembered them, specifically went searching for them, and put every last one out when he found them.  So.  He wins.  Pretty cinnamon votives are stashed away for another year.
I did something different this year that I think I'll do every year from now on.  I framed our Christmas card!  I'm sure this is a novel idea that no one has ever done before...


A mini "Sweetie" made my by friend Megan with Her Bunnies Three.  She's the best!
Our tree.  We've had this artificial tree since the first Christmas we shared as a family.  This is it's 9th year.  I want a real tree so, SO, SOOOO, badly!  But.  Choose your battles.  Or something.
 Our star doesn't light up and isn't the "star" of our Christmas tree show.  Ha!  But I love how humble it is.  It too was made (with sticks gathered from the woods) by the best father-in-law. Ever.  (He doesn't even have internet and I'm not sure if he knows what a blog is.  He's that cool! ;))
Lots of school made ornaments.

Every year I let the kids pick out an ornament for the tree.  Last year my oldest picked this one because it reminded him of a chipmunk (he named "Chippy") that visited us outside the resort we stayed at while on vacation the summer before.  I love that he chose something that connected him with a memory from family time.

I discovered that almost every year I've chosen some kind of red bird for my ornament.  I guess I have a thing for them.  Cardinals are the NC state bird after all.  A homage to my roots perhaps??
Awe, look how young we are!!

My kitchen even gets a little spark of Christmas.

Just a few ornaments here and there...
...a few other details... (Look, cupcakes!)
...and my inspiration chalkboard.  I like to write things that inspire me (thank you Pinterest!) and hope my kids notice them.  For Thanksgiving it said "Let our lives be filled with both thanks and giving."  This one is less inspiring as it is just something fun for the boys.  They like counting down the days to Christmas.  Plus when I read off a bunch of quotes for them to choose from, they were both busy singing their favorite Christmas songs (Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls) and thought my ideas were dumb.  So much for trying to inspire them!

Best part of the décor?  The people I share it with.  Here's one of them.

Thanks for coming on this tour with me.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy lots of time shared with the loved ones in your life!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

News, News, and More News

Hello Again Friends,

I didn't expect to have so much figured out so quickly, but this "break" has been pretty productive!

First, I accepted a part time position with my boys' school district which I am SUPER excited about.  This schedule keeps me busy when kids are at school while still allowing me to be available for them when they are not.  With this new addition to our life, I have decided to hold off on accepting new clients/orders during the school year. 

The good news is - I HAVE SUMMERS OFF!!  Which means I will continue to be available for weddings and larger orders June, July, and August.  At this point, Libby's Cupcakes Etc. will be primarily a Custom Wedding Cake/Cupcake provider without an emphasis on birthdays, graduations, baby showers, etc.  This is a little sad for me because one of the things I enjoy is coordinating cupcakes with your themed parties.  But, as I said before, there are many friends and my own family that I will continue to bake for year round, so don't be surprised to see some of that on my Facebook page/Instagram feed.  I have to admit though, it IS kind of nice having "free time" again. 

Finally, although I won't be opening orders up to the public, there is an opportunity for you to continue to enjoy Libby's Cupcakes Etc.  Starting mid-December I will be doing occasional baking for Stumbeano's Coffee Roasters downtown Fargo location (201 Broadway, lower level of the Loretta Building, sharing the patio with The Boiler Room).  If you haven't tried their coffee yet, GET THERE!  There is not another place like it in town.  They are having a holiday event the evening of December 11th with special cupcakes from yours truly while supplies last.  I hope to continue to supply cupcakes there about once a month.  I will update Facebook when they're available.

Thank you all so much for your kind words and comments throughout this transition time.  I feel truly blessed to be able to set boundaries, prioritize my family and life, and still continue to ENJOY making cupcakes and connecting with my clients!

You're the best!