{A Clean} Home for the Holidays!

In our household, the holiday rush begins the day after Thanksgiving.  I start putting up Christmas decorations — beginning with 30 wreaths, and I host a small dinner party in my dining room (shown above).  Then it’s pretty much non-stop until New Year’s Day.

This time of year, I’m always running short on time when it comes to cleaning up around the house.   And the joy of having teenage boys!  They come in from outside and leave behind a trail of dirt.  Needless to say, it can be quite a challenge keeping the floors clean.

So, imagine my excitement when iRobot offered to send me a Braava Floor Mopping Robot to try out!  Have you heard of it?  It’s like something right out of The Jetsons.

When my Braava came, I couldn’t open the box fast enough.  I immediately loved it’s sleek design, and it was super easy to set up.  I was also thrilled to discover it cleans as a dry and wet mop.  I quickly put it work and I’ve already saved a bunch of time!

job number one — the kitchen!

While I decorated the dining room for my dinner party, my new little friend was busy keeping the floors clean — and it didn’t complain once.  Try getting your kids to do that!  In fact, the Braava is so quiet, I almost forgot it was on.  It even stayed on the job while I took a walk around the neighborhood to gather pinecones and branches to use in my decor:

taking a walk outside…

…while the dining room floors are getting wet-mopped inside!

it even cleaned under the bar cart…perfect!

Thanks to the Braava, I got my dining room ready for guests in record time!  Now I can move on to other tasks without worrying about the floors.

the table is set!

In my next post, I’ll show you some of the easy and inexpensive things I did to create my ‘natural and green’ holiday decor.  In the meantime, if you want to know more about how the Braava works, you gotta check out the iRobot website!

This robot cleans extremely well and it’s very easy to use.  I’ve got a new bestie!

How do you get your home ready for the holidays?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks to iRobot for sponsoring this post.

Easy Holiday Centerpiece

With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to share an easy centerpiece idea.

All you need is a bunch of tulips and holly sprigs, both of which you can get from your local grocery store this time of year.  For my centerpiece, I clipped the holly from shrubs in my yard.  But you can use any greenery that has a rich shade of emerald.

Typically, yellow is not a color one would associate with the holidays, so that’s what really makes this centerpiece unique.  The bright hue also contrasts against the dark green leaves, creating an eye-catching arrangement.

Considering the days are getting shorter, we could all use a little more sunny yellow in our lives this season.  Flowers do the trick (easily)!

No Ordinary Christmas Colors

As the holidays draw nearer, I enjoy discovering creative color ideas for Christmas decorating.  This is the best time of year to bring unexpected colors into your home, and experiment with non-traditional holiday hues.   In doing so, you may find the perfect palette to keep around in the new year.  This post includes some of my favorite combos so far this season.




I’m recycling this one!

This is my living room last year, but I have since painted that room turquoise, so I’m doing the blue thing in there this Christmas.  But I absolutely LOVE these candy colors and will probably put up another tree somewhere else in my house so I can use these ornaments again!

photo credits:
houseandhome.com; porterhousedesigns.com; awhitecarosel.com; bhg.com

Photography and Fall Colors

Today I’m featuring pictures that were taken by my terrific twin teenagers.

our street, USA (Nicholson)

My sons, Nicholson (Nick) and Tyson, have become very talented iPhone photographers. So, of course I want to encourage their artistic side.  I thought, what better way to showcase the colors and beauty of fall than to use their photos.  And you can find my Autumn Paint Picks at the end of this post .

leaves and stone (Tyson)

sky fall (Tyson)

the statue at my school (Nicholson)

flame (hmm…not sure who took this one)

Nicholson and Tyson have a birthday in November.  They are my fall babies, so maybe that explains their fascination with this time of year.  They’re great, smart kids and I’m very proud of them!

Tyson and Nick – schoolin’

Nick and Tyson – coolin’

And here are my Awesome Autumn Paint Picks for 2013.  Enjoy!

In Season: Orange and Brown

both photos from museinteriors.net

Are you enjoying this fall weather as much as I am?  If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know I love, love, love fall, and this time of year I usually dedicate a post to orange and brown (a la pumpkin and pinecone).


Orange and brown together are so inviting, and they can make any room feel cozy — even with the addition of cooler colors, such as blue.

Orange and brown feel especially right during the fall months, but these colors look and feel comfortable all year long.

linda woodrum



How will you use orange and brown this fall?