Monday, December 9, 2013


A Season of Farewell...

Ours is a society of pace.  Amongst the festivity and magic of the holiday season, with Christmas but two weeks away, I've already heard the call to the New Year.  As busy women, I'm sure you also feel this sense of "urgency"!  Now, more than ever, is the time to...

Remember that the beauty of this season lies in the hope of a child, just simply, being here.  The greatest gift YOU can give yourself and others is that of truly "being here" with time, laughter, and love.  May you revel in that spirit all your days!   With this anticipation of new beginnings, I hope you are dreaming from your heart, exploring new adventures, and constructing lofty goals for yourself.  No one really needs to lose weight...that's why clothes come in larger sizes! : )  But we do long for purpose in order to live joyfully each and every day.   As for me, I will be closing my Celebrating Home business this month and seeking new endeavors.  It has been a journey of faith, pushing my confidence, finding a creative voice to share.  Without the support and encouragement I have found in you, my reality would have been frustration and defeat.  Please accept my humble and heartfelt thanks!  May I have returned even a small portion of your generosity through our time together!

As I close this final post, I'd like to forward a link to an inspirational site I've found.  It is called Brave Girls Club and I love their motto, "let's be good to each other!"  May it boost your spirits and motivate you to live boldly.   Blessings always!

Images courtesy of:,

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Blessings...for this sliver of solace betwixt holidays, the grace of those close in heart, the simple pleasures of time, health, random acts of kindness, and laughter, all take on deeper meaning.  I cannot think of a more grounded and peaceful time of year to celebrate all that is good in our lives!

Often, this is a time of gathering as well...delicious food, dear family and friends, fond remembrances and cherished traditions.  For me, this is a time to "nest."  The smells of Warm Cinnamon Pumpkin, and Baked Apple Pie bring to mind all things cozy.  I've also re-evaluated our family spaces this season, simplifying the clutter and layering on the comfort, with snugly blankets and updated collections.

My friend, Beth, has the gift of "grouping."  Be it tabletop, nook, or wall she can define a space with effortless inspiration. One of her recent ideas was creating a focal point from the emptiness of a hallway's end. Combining heartfelt typography with similarly hued framed photographs, she has given life to an oft-overlooked area.  

Surprisingly, even these simplest of decorating inspirations can come in many forms.  This summer we were vacationing in the Black Hills.  While dining at a Longhorn Steakhouse in Rapid City, SD, I noticed a unique art piece using shadow boxes.  My inner-DIY'er remembered the collection of NFR belt buckles my husband received from his father.  Being difficult items to display, they were either tossed on a shelf, or boxed, awaiting further motivation.  Pulling the shadow box concept as a collection around our Working Hands print, we now have a meaningful "home" for this treasured memorabilia.

As you look to feature your beloved collections, photographs of holidays past, family heirlooms, or stored mementos, allow the repurposing of household and natural wares to be your muse.  Branches, or our Gratitude Tree, are an easy display piece when adorned with handwritten sentiments, notes of thankfulness, or photos hung from ribbon or tiny clothespins.  Personally, I'm ever on the hunt for unique containers in the form of baskets, pottery, jars, and hurricanes.  Not only does a beautiful pottery piece (think festive Berry Platter) accent your feast, it makes a stunning, and movable!, centerpiece tray/coffee table decor brimming with candles, florals, and other holiday embellishments.  Even simple, clip frames provide easy opportunity to swap out pictures, recipes, favorite quotes, or children's artwork.

To that end, check out our GLORIOUS GIFT SALE, until the end of November...NEW ITEMS ADDED EVERY MONDAY AND THURSDAY (available while supplies last!)  I also encourage you to peek at the TREASURE CHEST items, updated every Monday.  Both sales host miscellaneous items, significantly reduced just in time for your holiday needs!  

Finally, I'd love to share one of my favorite poems with you.  Although I do not know where it has originated, it conveys a sentiment that connects so many of us with family and friends this time of year; enjoy! 

Blessings from my home to yours...

(Images courtesy of:  HD Wallpapers, Celebrating Home; Poem courtesy of:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

FALL 2013

 It's officially my favorite time of year - school is back in session, nature's sights and sounds signal the graceful transition of seasons, the smells of cinnamon and comfort cooking beckon us closer to home, thoughts of holiday celebrations grow in anticipation...what's not to love about FALL?!  For those of us fall fanatics, a word I've heard in particular this year is "nesting".  When I thought about it, I guess that sense of gathering with family and friends is what makes these moments and occasions so treasured.  I hope that you, too, are able to create new memories as well as revel in beloved traditions this season!

With that spirit in mind, I'd like to share a few highlights from our Fall/Winter catalog!  First of all, it seems that the advent of back-to-school, in addition to the plethora of activities that accompany it, ORGANIZATION is a high priority on my list.  I love the addition of numerous totes, bags, and storage containers we've added this season.  Personalization remains available and has expanded in a variety of color and font options.  Get creative with the thermal line of coolers and totes for tailgating or picnicking in Autumn's splendor!
Speaking of personalization, what a wonderful expression of thoughtfulness in gift-giving!  If you're looking for a unique idea, try customizing one of our beautiful bamboo CUTTING BOARDS or PIZZA PADDLES.  I've been using mine for about a year, and the long-lasting bamboo still looks new!  Photo, wood, and etched tile PLAQUES are also a popular choice for conveying heartfelt sentiments.

Throughout the year, fall remains the pinnacle of entertaining for so many of us.  Be it cheering a favorite team or celebrating the upcoming holidays, we love to make it festive!  As you've probably noticed, owls are the "hot" fall decor and dining theme this season - and I agree, they are cute, cute, cute!!!  I can't say enough about our HOOTIE & HAPPINESS line.  They will complement your existing stoneware and be a fun item to use through Thanksgiving!  Have no fear sports fans...we've got you covered, too!  From a football designed bean pot to OFFICIAL GAME DAY STONEWARE accessories, you're set through Super Bowl!
For me, the scents of fall are tied to my best memories of childhood and family traditions.  I will always have some version of BAKED APPLE PIE, or WARM CINNAMON PUMPKIN wafting, with HOLIDAY CINNAMON SNAPS and ICE & EVERGREEN waiting in the wings until the Christmas tree is up!  This year, I've found a few new favorites I'd like to share.  SAGE AND CINNAMON  is a more outdoorsy fall scent which is reminiscent of walks through our local Riverfront Park with hints of a distant fireplace.  SUGAR PINES is also a more earthy scent with a subtle touch of holiday evergreen.  It's amber color will be a great addition to my Thanksgiving lineup as well!

Finally, as many of you know October is not only my ANNIVERSARY of joining Celebrating Home, it is the month we finalized the adoption of our son.  For all the blessings we've received, this is also my month of giving back.  On SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27 from 1:00 - 3:00pm, I will be hosting my annual SANTA & CIDER SALE!  This year proceeds will benefit the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY.  Be it adult or child, friend or family member, even our beloved pets, it seems that we have all been touched by some form of this disease.  This past May, the American Cancer Society marked its 100th anniversary as the nation's largest voluntary health organization.  I invite you to stop by and help me support this wonderful cause and the work they do in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer.  Their motto says it all..."The Official Sponsor of Birthdays"

Images Courtesy of:  Celebrating Home, American Cancer Society,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

JULY 2013


SUMMER (n.) - the season of farmers' markets brimming with garden delights, joyfully shared bounty between friends and neighbors, the savoring of time well-spent in the sun; be it with toes in the sand or hands in the dirt.

Outside of holiday traditions, most families have a humble love affair with the food of summer and the memories it recalls.  My fondest "foodie" times center around my grandmother.  Raised in the wheat-growing country of Eastern Montana, she was of the generation and lifestyle that just flat-out knew how to cook!  As an adult, she and my grandfather ventured a cherry orchard on the shores of beautiful Flathead Lake.  So, it was natural that fresh cherry pie was my first summertime staple growing up!  But she also had that seemingly effortless knack of making most anything taste homey and special; potato salad and jam being two of my personal favorites!  You always knew she made them with love, just for you!  As with many talented cooks however; rarely was a recipe was needed, or passed down.  Fortunately, I have two family treasures I'd like to share.  Either pair with homebaked breads - yum, yum, yum - or the delicious artisanal offerings of your local bakery.

12 - ripe peaches
2 - oranges and rind
1 small bottle - marashino cherries
Chop peaches, oranges, and cherries into small pieces.  Mix 1 C sugar per 1 C peach/orange/cherry pulp mixture.**  Boil down over low heat (about 30 - 45 mins.)  Cool and store in refrigerator.

5 C - chopped rhubarb
2.5 C - sugar
1 package (3 oz.) - strawberry Jell-O
Stir together rhubarb and sugar.  Set aside for 3 hours (do not refrigerate).  Add package of strawberry Jell-O to rhubarb/sugar mixture.  Bring to rolling boil over medium heat for 2 mins.  Cool and store in refrigerator. 

With the advent of such fascinating programming as seen on Food Network, HGTV... I've become slightly more adventuresome in my culinary experiences.  Billings is host to some amazing local food gems!  One, in particular, is the Yellowstone Olive Company.  I've often been intimidated by such places thinking that I did not possess a refined enough palate.  Yet, these people are so truly kind and knowledgeable, it's a treat to visit them!  Selections abound, as do samples!, which is of comfort to those of us indecisive at heart. Currently, my favorite combination is the Cucumber Balsamic Vinegar, and the Carmelized Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.   The oil has been a flavorful yet light accompaniment to alfresco pasta or chicken dishes.  Much to my surprise, I love the vinegar solo!  It brightens my freshly grown herbs, tomatoes, and lettuce without the burst of tanginess that you may normally associate with vinegar.

Recently, we returned from a family trip to the Black Hills area.  As part of our exploration, we happened upon the Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City, SD.  While I am far from the world of a sommelier, these folks were laid-back, welcoming, and insightful throughout their fabulous (and stunning!) restaurant, gift shop, and tasting room.  This was SUCH a fun find!  Two of the wines I brought home would make my "summer list"... Blue Suede Shoes (semi-sweet, blueberry notes, pairs great with chocolate!), and Uncle Ralph's Rhubarb (blush, 100% rhubarb wine, tastes like summer in a bottle!)

Inspired with our new-found food adventures, my son and I are taking on a research project this summer.  As with most kids, a few favorites abound - pizza, chicken strips, mac and cheese, and in his case, pancakes.  We have decided on our own "taste-test" throughout the Billings area.  Criteria include:  fluffiness, syrup, and overall taste.  As we've begun our research, it's not only been an absolute blast to spend time together, it's fascinating to hear his commentary about food and its qualities.  Stay tuned for our humble results in next month's blog!

Is it just me, or does it seem like back-to-school (and even Christmas!) items start filtering into stores as soon as the final fireworks fade from the Fourth of July?  Well the good news is that despite the shelves burgeoning with pencils and notebooks, it's still summer...and sales on summer entertaining necessities are to be found everywhere!  Here at Celebrating Home, we are currently hosting our Sensational Summer Sale through the end of July (while supplies last).

In addition, every Monday and Thursday, new products are added to the Summer Steals Sale through July (while supplies last).  Don't forget to drop by the Treasure Chest every Monday as well - new items added weekly!  

On a final note, please know that Spring/Summer catalog items, both Celebrating Home and Penelope Ann, will be OFF-SALE on AUGUST 14th.  With that said, Fall/Winter catalogs are just on the's a sneak peek!

May you continue to enjoy the summer blessings of family gatherings, peaceful relaxation, and memories full of good food and good times!  In the words of author Henry James, 
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

Images courtesy of:, Yellowstone Olive Company, Prairie Berry Winery, Celebrating Home

Monday, June 10, 2013

JUNE 2013

Salute to Dads!
There are so many things that dads bring to families, including some of the following from my favorite "dad" picture book... 

Image & "About this Book" Courtesy of:

About This Book:  There are lots of things that regular people can do but dads can't.  Dads can't cross the street without holding hands.  They can push, but can't swing.  When dads play hide-and-seek they always get found, but they have a hard time finding you.  Dads really need to be kissed good night at bedtime.  It's a wonder they make it through life at all!

I have to share an amazing father that I found while searching for some fun, creative ideas for my students.  Not only did we have a blast with these creations in class, I began designing them for my own son.  Take a look at the following video for inspiration as well!


At our home,  one of our favorite "dad" traditions is from the grill-master himself.  My husband makes our summer memorable with everything from mesquite steaks to pizza!  This may be the case in your home, too!  For those outdoor chefs, try our beautiful bamboo cutting board.  Sending a personalized Fathers' Day wish, complete with bbq accessories, and a gift certificate for his favorite meat palace, is a perfect token of love for those important men in your life!

As an accompaniment to your next outdoor feast, try our family's go-to baked beans (cooked to perfection in your bean pot!)

(Index card clipart courtesy of

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

MAY 2013

I hope all of you had a joyous celebration this past Mothers' Day!  For me, this holiday has always seemed unique, personal...there's just nobody like your mom!  As I've gotten older, and life has taken those special, inspirational women from my life...grandma, mom and mother-in-law, I've realized that there has always been more to this time of year.  It's about the caring in good times and bad; the familiar companionship of an ordinary conversation as well as a life changing heart-to-heart; it's the perfect timing for a kind word, hug, or chocolate indulgence; it's wisdom, laughter, tears, faith, strength - in a word, it's love.  When you think about it that way, you too are blessed with many exceptional women in life!  "There are the families that we are born into, and there are the families that we choose; our circle of friends. While their faces may change over the course of our lives, the joy they bring us remains constant.” Anonymous

frame graphic by:

Here are some thoughts on ways to give back to those amazing women in your life:
Vintage Wall Photo Frame
~ I love to keep the wonderful photo cards I receive from friends and family at Christmas.  Returning them in a stunning frame is a great keepsake of those who are close in heart.  Instead of framing, I sometimes choose fun photo holders.  Currently there's a beautiful vintage ivory one in our Treasure Chest  that is super versatile, and only $11.00!  Check out the following ideas...

*Wedding Shower - attach black and white wedding photos of family members in addition to handwritten sentiments of love and well-wishes with wedding colored satin or organdy ribbon
*Gift Card Holder - gift cards easily nestle within the wire coils and provide a lovely reminder of your thoughtfulness long after the money is spent
*Garden Inspiration - use twine, string, or raffia to tuck in fun seed packets.  A favorite of mine since my son was a toddler is "son" annual tradition that continues to this day!
*Feed the Body - treasured recipes and recipe cards (even with links to your most coveted Pinterest delights!) are a treat for those astounding cooks, bakers, and chefs
*Feed the Soul - quotes, Bible verses, words of encouragement, goal setting cards all inspire in style

Veranda Home pictured
 ~ I can't say enough about my obsession with dishes and pottery!  In my dream kitchen, I'd have tons of storage for dish sets fitting every occasion and season...whew!!  Our Celebrating Home line is outstanding quality and durability, as well as a beautiful addition to your own collection.  Keep in mind, especially for gifting, you can craft a handwritten message on our pottery pieces with a dry erase marker (washes off with soap and water!)

~ For lighting up our life, candles seem to be a girl's second, best friend.  During May, our new Penelope Ann line of candles are on sale for $7.50! These are 8 oz., palm candles which come in their own decorator box ready to gift! 
Try them all: Azalea, Sage & Citrus, Coconut & Pineapple, Mango Peach, Royal Cinnamon, Morning Forest

~ For so many of us, getting our hands in the dirt and nurturing something beautiful is the reward of spring and summer.  Be it garden or patio, these are my winners for the outdoor enthusiasts in your life:
Peace, Love, Prayer Plaques
Rejoice Yard Stake
Garden Frog Family
Quick-Craft-->  For adding that finishing touch or gift tag, look to paint chips at your local hardware store.  Cut into leaf, caterpillar, butterfly, or floral shapes and attach to natural elements from your garden...too cute!

~ Finally, for spoiling others or yourself, check out the Penelope Ann "FAB AND FREE" promotion going on right now!  Who doesn't love a GREAT SALE?!

Product images Celebrating Home™