November 25, 2015

Holiday Gift Ideas With JCPenney

Have you started your holiday shopping yet?  I like to start early in the season so I can put some thought into each gift, but not too early that I am not yet in the holiday spirit. I enjoy shopping when the stores are decorated and the holiday music is playing.   JCPenney challenged me to create a few gift ideas for some of my favorite people. I was happy to learn that I could buy a few of our most trusted brands at great prices.
With my list in hand, I headed out to my local JCPenney store to get my shopping started.  The first person I had in mind for a Gift Toast was my sister-in-law.  She works very hard at her job so I thought about what she enjoys doing in her off-time and came up with this gift idea for her.  She is an avid reader and she likes to relax at home.  I was delighted to find a pretty red Kitchen Aid® tea kettle, just perfect for the season!  Next, I spotted a display of mugs with initials on them so I grabbed one of those too. Finally, I added a JCPenney Home™ Cozy Spun Throw in a lovely grey winter pattern.  Now she has everything she needs to a cozy afternoon of reading by the fire this winter.
I think this is a great gift for a "Relaxing Reader".
My next gift is for my favorite guy.  When I spotted JCPenney's large Levi's® department, I knew I would start there.  My husband, Billy, loves his Levi's® 559™ jeans and JCP has them for a great price.  I easily spotted his choice style and size.  Then, I chose a St John's Bay® puffer vest in a great red color and a St. John's Bay ® Quarter Zip sweater that would be perfect for the winter weather.  
I am calling this outfit a gift for the "Mountain Man".  Rustic clothing choices are everywhere this season and I am loving it.  This will be the perfect outfit for Billy to wear on vacation in the mountains this year.
Next up, I was looking for a smaller gift to give my girlfriend who hosts a huge holiday party every year.  After all of that party planning, she will need to take a bath to relax.  I hit up JCPenney and purchased a gift set of Philosophy bath and shower gels.  This is a gift for a "Happy Holiday Hostess". 
Philosophy products are my go-to bath gels and I know she will enjoy them too.  I added a nice new towel from the bath department and I had the perfect hostess gift.  I think this would also be a great gift idea for a teacher on your list.
JCPenney will be a having lots of great deals for Black Friday.
Get in store early this year! You could get a $10 off $10 or $100 off $100 instant-savings coupon, or maybe even a $500 off $500 super-savings coupon (while supplies last and some restrictions and exclusions apply). There’s also a chance to win 1 of 10 $10,000 cash grand prizes. All the details and official rules here.
When do you like to begin your holiday shopping?  Tell me in the comments for your chance to win a $100 JCPenney gift card.

Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/25/2015 – 11/30/2015

Be sure to visit JCPenney’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


November 23, 2015

The Smells of the Holiday Season & A Giveaway

*I am teaming up with Air Wick® for this sponsored post.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Even though it isn't quite Thanksgiving yet, we are in full holiday decorating mode in our house this week.  I look forward to this season all year long and I have been planning our decor for weeks.  Even before we bring that first box of holiday stuff from the attic, I begin adding scents to our home with holiday candles and wax melts.  Nothing gets me into the holiday spirit quite like the smells of the season do.
This year, I have been burning this lovely AirWick® Emerald Woodlands scented candle.
The AirWick® Life Scents™ candles offer a constantly changing fragrance that acts like real life.  Emerald Woodlands adds the scents of morning frost, evergreen and sugar cookie to the room.  I love the sleek design of this jar and the label is easily removable to add a sophisticated look to your decor. This candle will burn for up to 30 hours.  You can read more about these candles on Air Wick's website here.
I love the warmth and atmosphere a burning candle adds to my home, but I also enjoy the option of using wax melts in an electric warmer to diffuse fragrance slowly.   
Air Wick® Scented Wax Melts fill your room with long lasting scents and contain natural essential oils.  I have been enjoying the Air Wick® Scented Wax Melts in the Spiced Apple Crumble scent in our living room.  The scent fills the entire space of our open plan living, dining and kitchen space with the smell of spiced apples and vanilla.  The wax warmer sits on a shelf and blends in with our holiday decor.  Each pack contains 8 melts and lasts 160 hours.  You can read more about Air Wick's scented wax melts on their website here.  With my supply at the ready in a basket, I should be able to keep our home smelling great through the entire holiday season.
Now it's your turn for a chance to win some holiday candles for your home!  I will select a winner and Air Wick® will send you a gift set that includes 2 Emerald Woodland scented candles and 2 Apple Crumble scented candles.  Just leave me a comment by Monday (11/30/15) telling me when you begin your holiday decorating and be sure to include your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.  Happy decorating!

November 21, 2015

Our New Sofa {Birch Lane Montgomery Slipcovered Sofa}

I had planned to wait until after the holidays to post my review of our new sofa, but a few people have asked if I could give my opinion sooner.  So here it is!  It is the Montgomery Slipcovered Sofa from Birch Lane.  We absolutely love it.  It is always a bit scary to order a big ticket item like a sofa without actually sitting on it.  I have learned that the most important thing to do when ordering online is research.  I read all of the reviews, ordered fabric swatches ahead of time and measured.  I also exchanged a few e-mails with Birch Lane gathering more information regarding care of the fabric choices.  Then I placed the order and crossed my fingers.
Birch Lane Montgomery slipcovered sofa review -
I am right in the middle of decorating this room for Christmas so you will get a few peeks of that decor too.  I am so happy that this sofa arrived in time for the holidays.  I ordered it on October 16 and it arrived on November 10.   I placed the order on their website and received tracking information so I could keep up with the progress of my order.  Once it shipped, a local shipping company called to schedule delivery.  It arrived first thing in the morning on the day of delivery.
Birch Lane Montgomery slipcovered sofa -
It is incredibly comfortable.  The down cushions are so plush.  I think that is the main thing I notice after living with Ikea stuff for a while (I still love Ikea sofas!).  The cushions hold their shape very well and don't need to be adjusted as often as our old sofa.  Here she is without all of my throw pillows so you can get a good look.
Birch Lane Montgomery slipcovered sofa -
The slipcovers are a necessity for us, but I do like the casual style they add to the sofa.  The Montgomery is also available in an upholstered style if you prefer a cleaner look (and don't have kids and pets like us).  
This isn't a sponsored post and I wasn't compensated in any way for this review.  I ordered and paid for this sofa.  Just wanted to be clear about that ;)
White painted sofa table with Birch Lane Montgomery Slipcovered sofa -
The Montgomery has a higher back than our old sofa and I like how it divides our space visually.  I also like that it has a medium sized footprint.  There are so many huge sofas out there now and my room just can't handle anything that big.  Definitely get out a tape measure before you order anything online. I can't stress that enough.   
Birch Lane Montgomery Sofa -
I had ordered swatches and I highly recommend you do that too.  I ended up choosing a fabric that wasn't even in my top 3 choices after looking online.  It is important to see it in your own space and, even more importantly, to feel it.
Birch Lane fabric swatches -
I knew that I wanted a lighter neutral, but not white.  I was leaning towards the bottom middle swatch (a cream twill fabric) but ended up going with the top left swatch.  It is the Bryant Oatmeal Textured Slub fabric.  It is soft to the touch and the texture gives it a nice appearance.  

Overall, I think this sofa was the right choice for us and I would recommend it. 

November 18, 2015

If Planking Walls Is Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts & words about the loss of our dog, Forrest.  It has been a tough year and although many of you started visiting here for home decor posts, you have all been so supportive of our family.  I really do hope to get on with more home ideas now!

So we've been adding a couple of walls of planks to our house because apparently it is my latest addiction.  I keep telling myself that someday a nice young couple will be cursing us out as they remove all of these planks, saying to each other, "what were they thinking?" much like we did as we removed panelling and wall paper from the 70s and 80s in our 3 fixer uppers :)  But I just can't help myself.  I love planks and the character they add.  Plus, they are super affordable and a relatively easy way to update a space.  
Planked gallery wall -
Last week, I shared the planks we added to our dining area.  We also added planks to 2 walls in the living room - the one pictured above and the front wall where the big window is.  The big shared wall in our living/dining room is still painted Behr's Castle Path.  It will be staying that way - for a while at least.  My boys staged an intervention and made me promise to leave that wall alone.
Wall planking shiplap added to living room -
And of course adding planks means taking everything off the walls and starting fresh.  Our living room definitely needed a refresh.  I like to keep things very rustic and traditional down in our family room, but I like to have a bit more fun with this level of our house.  I switched out the bold striped drapes for these Aztec panels I found at Target.
Ikea Billy bookshelf with trim added in front of plank wall with Target Aztec drapery panels -
The entryway chalkboard is wiped clean right now but it will soon have some new chalk art for the holidays.
Wall planking in split level home -
I also took everything down from the gallery wall that goes up our stairs and re-did it, keeping some pictures and adding some new ones too.  I actually think this wall looks naked without planks.  The struggle is real. :)
Gallery wall up the stairs -
While I was at it, I added some numbers to these stairs on a whim.  I actually took the time to measure out the center of the stairs.  But I apparently shifted that measurement somewhere between the 3rd & 4th stairs.  Oops!!  I need to repaint each stair back (which really needed to be done in the first place anyway) and re-do the #s but my kids have been having a good time making fun of my mistake.  They walk up the first 3 stairs on the left and then cross over to the right.  Perhaps I will just leave them.  Their imperfection has brought us more laughs than perfectly numbered stairs ever could.
Numbered stairs and plank wall -
  And that's what we're up to around here this week.  Are you excited for holiday decor?  I am in full holiday decorating mode so I am ready to share holiday posts just after Thanksgiving.  

November 11, 2015

Sweet Forrest

He held on for as long as he could, but we had to say goodbye to our sweet Forrest.  Our hearts are broken.  And filled with gratitude for 10 years of companionship & love.  So much love.  Just love...