Christmas Mantel: College Apartment Version

So, I really don't have a "mantel".  But I still wanted to be apart of the link party! I created a fake-mantel-credenza-lookin'-table in our family and although it's nothing like these beauties:

....I'm okay with that.  Now, at my house in California, my mom and I go ALL out with our check back next week to see it!

As for my "fantel", here it is! 

I got a mini Christmas tree from Trader Joes which was conviently all wrapped in lights already.  Then I found a garland wrapped in white lights.  I bought some fresh greenery to stick in with the fake stuff...a great way to make it look alive and smell wonderful, too! The candles and clear vases are from Ikea and we change the candle color with whatever season we're currently in.  My grandma bought me two pretty ornaments to go with our color theme of purple and turquoise and for a final touch, I bought some fresh flowers for the small vase on the left.

And what, do you ask are those lights reflecting in the mirror?!  OH...those are our cute little snow flake lights from Ikea!  Only $14.99!

{A close up}

For our second little "Fantel" area above the TV, I found some small stockings.  We used our candles with our initials to hold them in place.

A little Christmas bear to hold our chick flicks upright sits on top of some fresh greenery.

My aunt bought me this adorable silver glittered Christmas tree.  It's perfect for the space, as it gives it a little height and sparkle!

So, I'm here to prove that you don't need a big budget to create a fun Christmasy space.  College girls can decorate, too!  If you really want to see some fun Christmas decorations, stick around because next week I'm going home for the Holidays and we're pulling out all the stops (:

What's your mantel (or fantel) look like this season??

I'll be linking to Layla's mantel party (:

Love and Fake Mantels,

Thanksgiving Recap (seriously this time!)

Now that I'm back to a good internet connection, I can share some pictures with you!  Here is what I wore on Thanksgiving...we will call this Fashion Friday for this week, since Friday I was running around Black Friday shopping and forgot to take a picture (: 
{Oh and that's my grandma.  Yes, grandma.  Can you believe it?? She's way too cute! And Shasta jumped in the picture, too}

What I'm wearing:

Dress: B.P. department of Nordstrom
Tights: Target
Boots: Nine West Outlet 

Now for our Thanksgiving table.  It was stunning!

A while back I found some pictures with cute pumpkins and name cards.  I quickly sent the pictures to my grandma, who's a designer, and she put the ideas into action.  Dontcha love what she came up with? Stay tuned this week for more pictures of her beautiful home (:

Hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving's with your family and enjoyed all the delicious food and memories made.  I know I did!  

Today I will be reading a book on the Israeli-Palestinian if you have any knowledge on the subject, please share it with me! {But seriously} Then tonight I will enjoy my last night home with family, as tomorrow I fly back to school.  But only for 10 days, then I'm back for break!  These past 3 months have flown by.  Do you feel the same way?  What are you doing on this beautiful Sunday?

Love and Sundays,

Fashion Friday + A Thanksgiving Recap

I'd love to title this post the above title, but for some reason, the internet connection I'm getting up in the Sierra Mountains isn't letting me upload pictures.  So my Fashion Friday Post and my Thanksgiving recap will have to be put on hold until I return home tomorrow.  I'm oh-so-excited to share our Thanksgiving with you.  The table my grandma set up was simply beautiful.  I've taken many pictures of their 8,000 square foot house to share with you next week as well.  She's an interior designer, so be prepared to be wowed (: 

 I hope you've all enjoyed Thanksgiving, relaxing with family and friends and of course eating as much as you could handle.  Our dinner was delicious and the apple cake I indulged in after the meal should have been a sin was delightful.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for pictures!

In other news, today I have the honor of being featured on Remodelaholic's craft blog, Polly Want a Crafter.  Be sure to check out my Custom Word Art.  It's simple, easy and is a great way to bring pizzaz to any space.

I'm off to do some Black Friday shopping!  What are you doing today? Have you recovered from Thanksgiving dinner yet?

Love and Black Friday,

Grace: What it Means to Me

Grace is so many things.  And it means something different to everyone.  Throughout the past two weeks, we've heard what Katie, Megan, Jhen, and Leah have to say about grace.  Now it's my turn! (:  

To me, grace is found in the undeniable and never-ending love from the Lord.  He alone died for our sins so we could have eternal life in Heaven.  Our hope is in holding onto God, but grace is found in Him holding us even tighter.  Grace is the Lord extending the offer of salvation to everyone.  No matter your past, your struggles or your heart's condition...He wants you.  Grace is found in the hope of the promises of our God.  It is Christ giving us second and third chances.  Sometimes I don't even understand the immeasurable amount of grace God gifts us with.  I feel so undeserving of His love and His hand in my life.  But that's when you know you're experiencing grace: an undeserved gift, freely given.  And it tastes so sweet.  

Grace was directing my path to a school I never thought I'd end up at.  It was providing the financial means for me to be here.  Grace was my mom's surprise visit to Seattle my freshman year when I had a break down.  It was, and still is, being surrounded with loving friends.  Grace was morning sunshine when I felt drained, a hug from a friend, an A on a project I put my heart and soul into, the encouraging words of a teacher, cards in the mail from my grandma, reading for pleasure, and meeting my best friend in Seattle.  It was waking me up on the morning my roommate had a cardiac arrest in our dorm room. Grace was protecting her.  Grace was surrounding the Doctors, her parents, and our group of friends.  Grace was seen in her miracle recovery.  Grace was and is a comforter, a peacemaker and a gift from a loving God. Without grace, I wouldn't be sitting here typing this.  Grace is precious.

What does grace mean to you?  Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! May you be blessed with love, family and laughter today! Can't wait to share with you what our Thanksgiving table looks like (:

Love, Grace & Truth,

Grace: Leah from The Way We Are

Today Leah, from The Way We Are, is sharing what grace means to her.  She's fabulous and has a beautiful home.  Lots of her own personal touches make her home a warm and inviting place to gather.  And her family is just adorable.  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time when families draw near and you can reflect on all the blessings in your life. Grace is God's grace in my life. I am so so blessed with a beautiful healthy family. A warm, cozy home. And lots and lots of love! 

Thank you so much Michaela for having me! I think you are such an incredible lady and I love your amazing blog!

Thanks, Leah!  You're great, yourself (:  Make sure to check out Leah's blog which is full of beauty, elegance, lots of style and love!  It's one of my very favorites.

Love and Grace,

Grace: A Frozen Moment in Time

Sometimes Grace is just a mere moment or event or special memory.

Yesterday it snowed in Seattle.  It was my very first Snow Day, as classes were cancelled.  I felt like a little girl! Although the snow turned into ice and caused a huge hassle this morning in getting to the airport, I'm so thankful I was able to witness the first snow fall! {And, yes, I got home safely!}  It was a delight and an answered prayer. {Read about praying for snow here}.   To me, snow is a representation of Grace.  It's beautiful, white, pure and refreshing.  What in nature represents Grace to you?

Love and Grace,

Grace: jhen with From Here to Eternity

Hi everyone! Today we have the true pleasure of learning what Grace means to one of my favorite bloggers, jhen.  Her blog, From Here to Eternity, is full of grace, as she writes each post beautifully and takes stunning pictures.  Every time I read a post of hers, I come away feeling so blessed by her words.  So, let's hear what Grace means to jhen...

Grace is...

I honestly had a hard time finishing this statement.  I thought it would be easy... Grace is what I blog about on a weekly basis.  So I had to go back to my roots, back to who I am and what I'm living, and ignore a post I wish I could write to share with you.

For me Grace is forgiveness.  Grace is a second chance I've been given.  Grace is the smile on my daughter's face and the hope in my husband's eye.  Grace is the laughter I can hear and the joy in my heart after I caused one of my greatest heartbreaks. 

Grace is the Forgiveness of Christ in me and the Hope I have each day.  And Grace is the each day I have to extend it to another... 

Grace is...

Grace is an undeserved gift the world so needs to receive.
A kiss, a hug, a simple smile, for a Hope they can believe.

It's the gift of love from man to wife, even after such broken years,
A choice to choose to make it last through bitter hearts and tears.

It's for the mother holding him so tight as each treatment wears him thin,
His brittle body loses strength with each breath that he breathes in.

It's for the father working hard despite his lack of pay,
His feet are tired, hands are worn, and he's seemed to lost his way.

It's for the orphan children without a hand to hold
As they innocently sit and watch their tragedy unfold.

It's for the pregnant mother who chose to give her away,
And for the anxious couple as they await their adoption day.

It's for the old and young with hearts yearning for a love,
The Grace the brings Forgiveness from our God above.


This is beautifully written.  I'm so glad you could share with us, jhen.  You're beautiful inside and out.  Make sure to check out her sweet blog over here.  You'll enjoy her photography, her family (and quite a cute little girl, may I add!), her life and her love as you read.

Love and Grace,

Baby It's Cold Outside

I somehow abandoned a weekend post for my lovely readers.  But I swear I had a good excuse.  I've been on my knees praying for snow all of yesterday.  And today it snowed! I'm so excited.  It didn't stick, but walking out of church with snow blowing in our faces and landing on our eyelashes was thrilling.  This whole snow thing is new to this California girl (:  Today my adorable roommate Anna and I went to a park nearby and took some pictures before there's no colorful leaves left.  I wish it captured the flakes of snow, but they're a little too tiny!  I'll leave you with some of the pictures...

{Get your MadeByGirl print here}

Happy Sunday! What'd you all do this weekend?? Is it snowing where you live?

Love and Praying for Snow,

Grace: Fashion Friday #8

Since we're talking about grace, let's see what it looks like in fashion and hair trends!

Carrie Underwood was as stunning as ever at the CMA awards

I adore the flowy fabric and soft colors.  The one shoulder is a wonderful accent!

Kate Beckinsale looking fabulous in this gown.  Her hair is just as graceful as the dress.

The bottom of this dress is breath-taking. Of course, I'd never have anywhere to wear it...but I can admire it from afar (:

I love Taylor Swift's white overlay to the stripped fabric underneath.  Girlie and fun!

Now for the hair:

Graceful Curls:

Julia Roberts hair is always divine.  Luscious and rich and full of body.

Jennifer Aniston is a classic as well.  I love the body this style has, but still keeping it young and fresh with the side braid! Easy for anyone to pull off.


Love this updo my hairstylist did on me for a quick photo shoot!

And this one, too! {Hair by Lindsay Dabalos)

I adore Taylor's updos.  The perfect amount of soft curls framing her face.  Wish I could learn how to do this one!

Straight Up Graceful:

Drew Barrymore looks classic and beautiful with her super straight hair.  Casual and delightful!

I'm pretty excited because I have the fun excuse of putting up some pictures of prom dresses I wore in high school!  Here are some dresses that I felt graceful in:

Love and Graceful Fashion,

Grace: Megan from Honey We're Home

Well, I'm thrilled. Because today Megan from Honey We're Home is sharing with us her thoughts on grace!  Being one of the very first blogs I ever read, Megan's has always inspired me.  She has a beautiful home (have you seen her closet?!), wonderful decorating ideas, and the most adorable little baby.  But it's her heart that draws me in the most.  Every time I read her blog I feel like I learn more about how to be a good wife and mom someday.  So special.  So now, here's her idea of what grace is:

I’m delighted that Michaela invited me over to her blog to write about what Grace means to me.  She’s such a darling young woman- beauty, brains, and a heart for God- I love that!

For me, Grace is God saving me and loving me unconditionally despite all the mistakes and foolishness in my past.  And grace is His kindness towards me.  Although we attended church (sporadically) when I was a child, my Mom and Dad always instilled in me that there was a God who loved me unconditionally and was always there for me. 

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Later, when I was in law school, I found a home church and intentionally gave my heart to the Lord.  It was like a light was suddenly shining, lighting my path.  I was so thirsty for God and His Word and I loved getting intimately acquainted with Him over the next several years.  During that time, I also sang in the choir.  Some of the most profound moments of joy I’ve experienced in my life have been when I am singing to God, worshiping Him- be it at church or in the privacy of my own home- or car! 

So I leave you with a video of one of my favorite worship songs, Love So Amazing. 

Thanks for having me, Michaela!

Thanks, Megan!  I grew up singing in choir, too.  Singing is one of my favorite things to do-- especially in the car (; Sure wish we lived closer...I think we'd make great shopping partners!  Make sure to check out Megan's adorable blog, Honey We're Home.  It's fabulous! 

Love and Grace,

Made By Girl Giveaway Winner!

First off, I'd like to thank everyone who entered.  You are all so sweet and such a blessing in my life!  I'm so happy to be making new blogging friends.  I'm still trying to make my way around to everyone's blog who became a new follower.  I'm sorry if I haven't been to yours yet.  {give me some time and I'll be there!}

Anyways...I guess I should announce the winner or somethin'!!

DRUMROLL please!

The winner is... Kelsey from Tattered and Inked!  Commenter #111
 (I used the random generator, but silly thing wouldn't copy and paste on here!)

Congrats, Kelsey!  I'll be e-mailing you sometime today to get your shipping info so I can send off your new Made By Girl print! Make sure to take a look at Kelsey's cute blog (:

Thanks again for entering!  Hope you'll stick with me through the rest of my Grace Series this week. We still have more guest bloggers coming your way! 

Love and Giveaways,

Grace: Interiors

Grace is found everywhere in interior spaces, too!  And there's no doubt that everyone will have differing opinions on what it looks like to them.  Today I'll be sharing my favorite interiors that seem to exude grace to me.

Simply Graceful:

Nothing overdone or flashy about it.  Just pure, cozy, and rustic.  I see grace in the whimsy of the chairs and beautiful ceilings. The windows letting in tons of light also make me feel warm and peaceful.

Sleek white cabinets and porcelain white tiles with the contrast of the rich table color would be enough to make me want to stay in here for hours. {And hopefully cook something delicious!}

Grande Graceful:

The flowy curtains, crisp white and grand, undeniably elegant chandelier contribute to the feeling of this dining space.

Girlie Grace:

How could you not experience grace while taking a bubble bath in this bathroom with the soft pink, organic wallpaper ?!

This luxurious pink bedroom with mirrored accents and lush bedding had me at first sight.  After the bubble bath, this is where I'd be headed (:

The Great Grace Outdoors:

Please take me here.  I love the clear blue skies, luscious green grass, and calming effect the water has on this Southern California backyard.

This picture captivates grace because of what I see taking place here.  I could see girl friends having a tea party, a family having a small lunch, a mom and daughter chatting about life, or a husband and wife enjoying their morning coffee together. The waterfall, windows with shutters, and beautiful trellis of greenery transport me to a small English bungalow in the middle of a graceful spring day.

Grace-filled Reception:

If I could imagine a beautifully planned, perfectly executed reception area for my wedding, this would be it.  Why?  Because to me, this room is the essence of grace.  Soft colors, draping fabric, warm lighting, lots of flowers and sparkling crystals. Yes, please!

I'm drawn to soft colors, luxurious fabrics, lighting and warmth.  What spaces exude grace to you?

{PS. Only one more day to enter my MadeByGirl giveaway.  Go HERE! And if you've already entered, make sure you left me your e-mail on your comment if you're a no-reply commenter.  Also, check back Thursday morning for the winner!!}

Love and Grace,

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