A Holiday with HEART Blog Tour

December 7, 2015

Happy Monday!  I’m very excited for today and for each day of the week ahead.  It’s the kickoff of A Holiday with HEART– a blog tour that I am hosting, and one that I think you’ll love.

A group of really talented bloggers (and also wonderful people) are sharing more than just a look at their beautiful holiday decor (which they are doing), but also sharing some of the meaning behind it.  Their traditions, their favorite pieces, and the sentimental reasons for putting it all out each year.

Today is the first day of the tour and it starts with yours truly.  I’ll list the other bloggers participating with links to their posts at the end of the post and boy, is it a good list!

The motivation behind A Holiday with HEART comes from a feeling– the feeling I want to create in my home around the holidays.

My home environment as a child was a bit unconventional.  I’ve mentioned before here that my mother was chronically ill and because of that, my dear father was mostly in charge of any holiday traditions, decorating, and so on.  Our house kept things pretty simple and a little bit mis-matched if you will:)  I would enter the homes of friends or boyfriends around the holidays and their homes were so inviting, festive, and felt so warm.  It’s that warm, welcoming feeling that I aim to create in my home each holiday, as I want our family and friends to enter our house and come into a place of peace, shelter, laughter, love, and cheer.

I love a good tradition, and today I’m sharing some of our family’s with you starting with the tree.2015-12-06 15.51.52The first year we were married, Jon and I started the tradition of buying a new ornament together every year.  We started with a small velvet bird, and stuck with the theme.  Each year, buying a new bird or birdhouse for the tree, then attaching a small tag with the year.  We’ve had the same base ornaments all these years, but this year I switched out some green ornaments and ribbon for black and red buffalo check, gold and brown ornaments, and added a few new touches like the gold leafed feathers.    2015-12-06 15.52.58 2015-12-06 15.53.09 2015-12-06 15.53.20This one is from sweet Ruby’s first Christmas.  And here we are, this will be Anna’s first Christmas.  Sniffle sniffle.  Where does the time go?2015-12-06 15.53.41 2015-12-06 15.53.53The tree skirt was made as a wedding present from Jon’s sister, who has made them for all of her siblings when they got married.  Because it’s so traditional, I think we will always keep a red tree somewhere in our home to use it.  It’s so beautiful and just feels special.2015-12-06 15.54.13You’ll have to excuse our lack of furniture in this room.  I ordered some chairs a while back and when they arrived they just didn’t feel right so I sent them back and have been searching for a replacement.  As a result, this room is the most empty in the house, and it’s kind of taken a back seat with the decorating, even though it’s the front room.  Jon said that big window was just aching for a tree to be set up right in front of it, so that’s the spot.  And while the room is kind of sparse at the moment, we are loving the custom coffee table, however (more on that later!  Now, back to the holiday!).2015-12-06 15.54.42 2015-12-06 15.55.06

IMG_7083 IMG_7103IMG_6983 IMG_6989

Another favorite tradition– the felt tree advent calendar.  I had one just like it when I was a little girl that my paternal grandmother made.  Jon also had one just like it that his mother made.  A couple years ago, Jon’s two sisters (they’re a talented bunch!) made one for each sibling (7!!!) and their family.  I can’t even begin to think about how much work it was. 2015-12-06 15.56.56Ruby loves peeking inside each numbered pocket to see which ornament will go on the tree the next day, then picking the perfect spot.2015-12-06 15.57.03

A few other favorite traditions: our annual overnight stay in a downtown hotel to see the lights, go swimming, and have hot chocolate room service.  Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. A holiday cookie exchange party with a group of old friends.  A fancy holiday date night to a restaurant downtown called The Roof.  Giving gifts to a family in need.

A few I’m hoping to start this year: a little tree just for the girls in the playroom.  Hot chocolate and cookies for our neighbors on Christmas Eve.  And now that we have a child old enough to understand it a bit more, reading about the true meaning of Christmas.

Next stop on the tour is my sweet friend, Courtney from A Thoughtful Place.  She is as lovely in person as you would hope she would be.  And she has the legs of my dreams.

The head over to Kristen from Bliss At Home.  Kristen has a quiet sincerity about her that I just love.  And if you ever meet her in person, she is supermodel tall and blonde.

After that be sure to stop by Erin from The Sunny Side Up Blog.  Erin is one of those people you meet and instantly become fast friends with.  She is sweet and as sunny as her blog and has rockin’ hair.

Here is an updated list so you can follow along!



Courtney: A Thoughtful Place

Kristin: Bliss At Home

Erin: The Sunny Side Up


Kirsten: Simply Grove

Marianne: White and Gold

Shavonda: SG Style



Sarah: Sarah Dorsey Designs

Jennifer: Style House Interiors 

Julia: Cuckoo 4 Design

What traditions do you love?  Do share…..


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  1. […] more thing for this week, I’m anticipating in 2 blog hops this week. Jennifer Stagg of withHEART is hosting the “A Holiday withHEART” series and I’m up on Wednesday. Start at her blog […]

  2. Tom says:

    Nice Job!

  3. So lovely! Love your tree and home so much. We do something similar. And I always had an advent calendar that my mom made with little resents in it. But I’m lazy and buy my kids an advent calendar each year 😉 Yikes But they are thrilled either way. Happy Holidays my friend and thanks for hosting such a special blog hop.

  4. […] traditions as part of the Holiday with Heart blog tour hosted by my sweet friend Jennifer of withHeart. If you are coming from A Thoughtful Place, […]

  5. Erin says:

    Jen! LOVED your post. Your tree is so beautiful and I loved hearing about your fun ornaments. Your home feels warm just through the pictures so I think you are doing a fabulous job creating that environment for your kids. The picture of your daughter and the advent calendar is absolutely precious! I’m so grateful I got to meet you this summer! You are so beautiful – inside and out. (So is your house!) I love that we both said something in our posts about becoming fast friends. 🙂 Wish we lived closer and could hang out more often! Happy holidays cutie! Oh.. and thanks for the kind words about my hair. 😉 xo

  6. Your home certainly is a place of peace, shelter, laughter, love, and cheer – I can tell just from photos 🙂 What beautiful traditions – I want to live near you to be the recipient of your hot cocoa and cookies! Such a great idea for a holiday tour – I’m so happy to be a part of it.

  7. Samantha says:

    Awe – this was so sweet and special. Love that little advent calendar….you DO have a talented family! Wow!

    Thank you so much for including me this year. Your post just got me so fired up about Thursday – yay! Now I’m off to read from the other girls today. Can’t wait to see the rest of the week too!!!


  8. […] once again, I’m anticipating in 2 blog hops this week. Jennifer Stagg of withHEART is hosting the “A Holiday withHEART” series and I’m up tomorrow. Start at her blog by […]

  9. […] little twist. My sweet friend Jen from With Heart is hosting a very special blog hop called A Holiday With Heart. She’s invited a group of us to  share more than just how we deck our halls for […]

  10. Shauna says:

    We had the same felt advent tree in my home growing up too. This brings back so many memories of it. Love hearing about your traditions! Just warms the heart❤️. Merry Christmas!

  11. […] über talented friend Jennifer of withHEART is hosting a holiday tour series that is supposed to highlight each blogger’s traditions and […]

  12. […] am so excited to be joining with Jennifer from withHEART today for her series, A Holiday with Heart.  I absolutely love the idea behind this series: […]

  13. […] summer I had the pleasure of making a new friend, Jennifer Stagg of withHeart, at the Haven Conference. I attended her presentation on video blogging and learned her pro tips […]

  14. […] it doing all sorts of Christmassing and one of our favorite traditions.  Be sure to check out the A Holiday with HEART posts— they sure are special and each blogger put their heart and soul into their posts.  I love […]

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