If you have not been receiving my blog via Feedburner may I suggest that you sign up to BLOGLOVIN' on my sidebar.

Apparently no one has received any email post since April.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

BLOGLOVIN' is just another reader and you will receive my post in your email just like you did before with Feedbuner.

Thank you to all of you who cared enough to let me know you were missing my post!!

I love hearing from my readers and was beginning to wonder where you all were, now I know!!

See you on Bloglovin!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

6 Blog Post On The Softer Side Of Fall


Autumn decor: sweater pillow, IKEA plaid blanket, Dear Lillie harvest pillow cover. {Dear Lillie}
How to make changes in your home for the cooler days of Fall  without using true autumnal colors can be much easier than you might think!

Personally I had to find ways to do this forever. You see I am not a lover of orange, russets or browns.

In the past I had to figure out how I could warm up my home to a cozy looking place to snuggle up by the fire, without using the typical warm earth tones.

Coastal Homes Coastal Homes Coastal Homes
We will all do it a bit differently, but I have written a few post on my step by step method and examples of what colors and elements you can use…….

The Softer Side of Fall shows great color combinations to use.


Fall Décor In Soft Neutrals will give you a list of elements and examples of how to use them.

basket (800x728)

Ten Steps To A Budget Friendly Fall Mantel shows an example of a fall mantel with no orange and gives you a step by step breakdown of how to get the same look, plus sources where you can purchase the elements.

fall-fireplace framed
( I used this mantel designed by Melissa Michaels to show a step by step post on how to create this mantel.)

How I decorate for Fall shows different examples of elements I will use in my own Fall décor

GEORGICA POND: A Country Wedding
(This was created by Mel from  Georgia Pond blog.)

Step by Step For My Fall Mantel will show you exactly how I constructed my own Fall mantel.

basket candles

18 Ways To Decorate For Fall Without Orange will show you wonderful examples of vignettes Fall décor without any orange.

Tone on Tone  ornamental Kale and white pumpkins♥♥♥

If you would like even more post to read about Fall décor, just type in the word FALL in the search box on my sidebar and you will see even more post about this subject.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Another Test Of My Faith


Gods hands

As many of you might already know we have had a rough couple of months at our home. My sweet hubby had to have bypass surgery on July 2. 

If you follow along on Face book you read how well he was doing. He was a star patient doing everything he should. All his vitals were great, he was eating better, exercising at rehab, and doing all the right stuff.

It was all pretty seamless, or as seamless as emergency bypass surgery can go.

He had only one little problem. He seemed to develop acid reflux. He had never had this problem prior to surgery. 

We did all the usual remedies, cooking more blandly, not eating anything we knew to cause a problem, and took the medications that were recommended by the doctor.

He would get  acid reflux when he would walk on the treadmill at rehab, or here at home, and sometimes with eating certain foods, but to be honest there was no rhythm or reason to any of it. 

Upon going back to the cardiologist for a recheck we pursued the question of what could be causing this.

You see my husband listened to his body once again and did not dismiss what we thought was acid reflux.

The cardiologist was a bit concerned, but not overly. He recommended a treadmill with an echo cardiogram.

The test was done a week later, and it was somewhat inconclusive, so he felt that we needed a more definitive answer to what might be going on so he wanted to do another angiogram.

The Dr. thought he saw a slight difference in the shape of the left side of Doug’s heart, it was ever so slightly smaller, which would indicate less blood flow.

NOT what we wanted to hear, but we truly wanted some resolve.

Gods hand 2

On Wednesday of last week my sweet hubby went through another procedure. 

I knew if everything was clear, and good to go it would take a little over an hour, if not, and they needed to do stints, it would be closer to 2 hours or a little more. 

After about 4-5 hours of riding an emotional roller coaster in the waiting room I finally found out what was wrong with my love.

One of the three bypasses had failed. It was the main artery bypass. 

There were five doctors in the procedure room observing, and discussing what would be the best thing to do since the main artery was 99% blocked, and that is why they did the bypass to begin with.

They decided to do what is basically like a rotor rooter, and clear out the main artery, and they placed 3 very long stints in his main artery.

We are not sure why the original bypass failed, and we will be discussing this with our Doctor further in the very near future. It does happen, but not very often, about .1% of the time the type bypass they used will fail.

(there is a lot more technical information, but I won’t bore you with those details here.)

Gods plan

For now, we are being very thankful people that once again my sweet Hubby was spared, even the Dr. said, “Thank God you did not have a heart attack.”

After a lot of research Doug said, “I don’t understand how I did not have a heart attack.”

I reminded him, “ I do!! you were covered in prayer and for now God has answered my request to keep you here with me for a bit longer.”

You see I call it a request because I realize my ultimate prayer should be...
 “Thine will be done!”
But, I also know that God listens to request and this time he listened to a lot of people requesting a return to good health for my sweet Dougie.

The blessing in all of this is that I DID see God’s hand once again. You see I am learning to LOOK for him in every step of my life.

I was looking for God’s hand and this is what I saw………….

The machine that they used on my hubby is fairly new, and not all cardiologist are knowledgeable in using it. One of the Dr.s that is very capable was on duty, and was called in to assist. 

How in the world will 5 cardiologist be able to clear their schedule to consult, and observe for over 2-3 hours while Doug was in the procedure room? Hmmmm? interesting.

Some might think coincidence, but I am a praying wife and I say, “It was Gods hand!”

I don’t have answers why he has gone though so much other than the logical one’s like, eating better, more exercise etc, etc., but I do know I have seen the hand of God many times in the last two months and I am so very grateful.

I will never pretend that I did not have my panicked moments. Sitting that long in a little room wondering if he is going to be alright, or live is not fun, and it was truly an emotional roller coaster.

I can say it was one of the worst days of my life, and yet it was one of the most wonderful too, once I saw him out of that procedure room. I was never so happy to see him in all my life.

We are human, and we have human feelings. One of the greatest is Love, and oh how I love this man, and  I realize we have such a special love that has been blessed in so many ways, but we also have human frailties, of worry, fear and anxiety.

trusting in God

I am still learning like the rest of you to try and not focus on the problem, but the problem solver.

The ultimate test for we humans is always in our faith, faith in the fact that God is omnipotent, and that he knows best in all cases.

We must realize that even though it feels like it is just happening to us, and our loved one’s it actually might be effecting more people than we might ever know about, but God knows the whole story from beginning to end and he will do what is best for ALL, not just for me and my hubby.

That is what I have to trust in, his omnipotence. I will never be able to accept the hurt of a loved one, or the loss of a loved one, but I must always accept that God’s hand is in my life, and he will always do what is best for all, and that my dear friends is the ultimate test of faith in my life.

He never promised us it would be easy, or perfect but he DID promise he will be there to get us through whatever we have to go through in this thing called LIFE!!

You can read about what happened originally Here, be sure and read to the bottom of post.
Another post about Blessings In Disguise…… Here.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Ten Steps To A Budget Friendly Fall Mantel

Fall mantel2
Do you want to make changes in your home for the Fall season, but have a hard time knowing where to start?

This post is just for you!

I see so many mantels that are a bit over board in their decor ,and they would not fit into everyone’s home. 

Some home decorators like a more is more look as in the above image.

It is easier to do a more simple version so I started looking for a mantel that was simple, balanced and well designed.

Plus, I wanted it to be a mantel that any homeowner could personalize to their own design aesthetics on a budget.

fall fireplace

In the above image you will see that the mantel   meets all of my criteria, simple, well designed, balanced, and I believe that the overall composition can be personalized to fit in most homes.

I also believe that most home decorators could duplicate this mantel if given the resources, and some guidance.

Not everyone is as clever as the designer, Melissa Michaels,  to come up with this composition on their own.

After getting permission from Melissa I decided to do a step-by-step of how to create this mantel. 

Find a picture of a mantel that you love, and admire that will fit into your home, and your budget. You are going to use this image as your pattern.

I have already done the first step when I found Melissa’s mantel in the above image.

Label each design element on the mantel you have chosen.
Shall we dis-mantle the mantle piece by piece, and see what we can come up with?

fall-fireplace framed


Once you have identified all of the pieces it is time to make a list of what is needed.

Decorative objects (three golden apples)

Two picture frames with artwork in two different sizes.

Large vase for Fall branch with leaves.

A grouping of decorative vases.


Study what each piece adds to the grouping.

For instance………
Three golden apples add balance, and a bit of shine to the grouping.

Two picture frames add a layered look, and height to the composition.

The Large vase with the Fall branch add height, theme(Fall), color and life.

The group of two vases add something solid next to something clear, and they also add texture.


If you took a pencil, and drew a line from the top of each object to the next piece you would create an up, and down line, creating an undulating line. 

It is important to have your objects go up and down in height when creating a vignette on a shelf or mantel.

This line will create movement to the observer’s eye viewing the composition, and that is a very good thing.

undulating line 2


Now that you have your list of objects shop your own home first, and use whatever will work in your composition. 

Remember we are trying to work on a budget. If you are missing some pieces make a list and then the fun part….. 

Since this post is to show you how you can do this on your own, and on a decent budget we will start from scratch for the purpose of this lesson.

Where to begin?

I am going to start with the large vase that will hold my Fall branch because I have decided I want to do a color instead of a clear vase. 

Since color can be a jumping off point it is wise to choose your larger more colorful pieces first.

This is where you get to use your own individual style and taste.


I chose this blue/gray demijohn 21in. vase from Target. 

The reason I chose blue/gray is because it works in my home, and I love to use darker values of blues in the Fall/Winter months.

Now that I have my color jumping off point I start to think of the next object that will most likely have more color to add to the composition, and the next choice will be the artwork.


With blue as my base I make a trip to ETSY!

Etsy is such a wonderful resource of talented artisans and you can often find pieces at a reasonable price.

I typed in Fall watercolors in the search box, and here are a four of the beautiful images that I was attracted to.

I have them paired in two’s since we need two for our composition…………….

Pair #1
Watercolor art My Tree  climbing tree love tree by CheyAnneSexton, $20.00

Acorn Love /  Acorns / Fall / Autumn / Brown / by kellybermudez, $20.00

Pair #2
Fields of Love / watercolor print / grey and yellow / gray and yellow / Archival Print

paired with………
Fall leaves Fine Art Print of original by VerbruggeWatercolor, $18.00

At this point most people would think it was time to choose the picture frame. 

We are not going to do that next because we need to first choose our two decorative vases. 

The  decorative vases color, and texture will determine what direction we will go with the picture frames and matting.


Took a trip on line to Target! Target has great decorative pieces at a budget friendly price point. Plus, it is available to all on line.

Remember I am trying to make this budget friendly and accessible for all of my readers.

The first pair I chose resembles  what Melissa chose in her composition.

                    $25                                $20
e605ea0182a2265f329402185db30d9c       1f51a4225b43795620c6027ebe2862f4
                   VIA                                         VIA


                   $45.99                          $47.99

You will notice that the pair of vases vary in heights. This is important because as I previously said we want an undulating line to keep the eye moving from one object to the other in an up and down motion.


At this point I pull together the elements in a collage to see which pairings are pleasing to my eye, and it will also give me a clue to what picture frame finish and color I should be using.

Ribbet collage Fall mantel blog post

In this pairing I have a nice color combination, and textural and height differences. It is warm and looks very Fallish to me.

Ribbet collage Fall mantel blog post #2

Since I tend to like lighter and brighter when choosing elements for my own home, this particular pairing is more pleasing to my design aesthetics so I am going to choose pairing #2.


I bet you think we are going to pick out the picture frame don’t you? 

At this time we are going to choose the small objects that are represented in Melissa’s mantel by the golden apples. 

The apples give a bit of shine to the composition. I am going to do my own interpretation, and get some shine and textural difference by using votive candle holders.

In the Fall/Winter months I love to light candles so I always try to incorporate candles in my vignettes so that is why I have made this particular choice.

However YOU might choose the golden apples, pears, or even some other small decorative element that you enjoy using in your home.

Keep in mind, the lower height is what made me go with votives vs. a higher pillar candle



We get to choose the picture frame!!

At this point I have all of my colors, textures, heights and elements.

I take a closer look at my artwork which has clearer and brighter colors, then I look at my votive holder which has just the right amount of black.

I think a black frame will be a nice contrast in this configuration. For those of you who tend to like a more subtle contrast a nice natural to medium tone wood frame would work equally as well.

Ribbet Edit Fall Mantel blog post artwork

For me, black is my choice, since black and white are used in the room with my fireplace.

You will need to choose two different sizes of frames to give height, and a layered effect. Take a look at Melissa’s composition and see the heights she used.

fall-fireplace framed

Both frames are a bit higher than the second largest element, (clear cylinder vase) in the composition. 

Keep that in mind when choosing your frames. You might have to layer matting in your frame to make the artwork fit with off the shelf frames. 

We are trying to keep this budget friendly so we don’t want to do a custom framing job which can tend to be very expensive.

Stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Target have a nice selection of frames, and matting that you can work with. Ikea is also another great resource for budget friendly frames.

Of course none of this is an exact science, and what I have shown you is my own personal design aesthetics.


The important lesson to take away from this is to lay out an overall plan before taking the plunge, and make sure it is pleasing to your eye and your budget.

I hope this blog post has given you a new way to look at composing vignettes in your home, and that you now feel empowered to move forward.