Calm for Christmas

By Kate Riley December 23, 2015

It’s been said that this is the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ and that’s true if the season itself doesn’t become too hectic or overwhelming. As much as I love holiday decorating (like this walk down Christmas memory lane) I felt this year it was more important to exercise restraint and instead of decorating every corner of the house, to spend time with friends and family.

I know myself. If I don’t allow plenty of time to decorate in November then decorating in December becomes a chore. After traveling in November for three weeks to the other side of the globe on my return I wanted more than ever to have a very calm Christmas. So I didn’t string lights outdoors or hang garland up the stairs, and (gasp) I even decided not to host a Christmas party this year. I kept the decor simple. I moved the white tree to the family room to make room for a fresh tree in the living room, turned on the fireplace, and watched a few favorite movies instead.

   kate family room christmas

Layering with winter white makes decorating easy and adds to the calm mood I purposefully created in my home.

censational girl living room christmas

After adding the new mirror and sconces earlier this year I didn’t feel the need to add much more to the mantel other than a few white ceramic trees and gold bulbs. I moved the gemstone garland to the white tree and hung the same quilted stockings on the mantel I do year after year. Once I was done I was satisfied, so I tucked all the extra bins and boxes of Christmas decor back into storage and decided that this year’s decorations, although simple, were enough.

kate christmas mantel

Favorites Under $50: Calendars for 2016

By Kate Riley December 21, 2015

I’ve been on the hunt for a calendar this month, it’s a little ritual I go through each year. I keep a paper calendar in my kitchen and also in my office, I picked up a scenic one in Australia for the kitchen but went in search of another smaller one for my office.

I love beautiful stationery especially letterpress in modern prints, and with some calendars you can use them to create inexpensive unique framed art. I picked this Kate Spade one for my office but rounded up 15 others too, perhaps you’ll find one you love among the group.

2016 calendars


From top left: 1. floral illustration / 2. cavallini vintage maps / 3. homegrown goodness / 4. botanical by Modern Printed Matter / 5. be yourself inspirational calendar / 6. modern watercolor / 7. coffee & tea / 8. loose leaf mini cardstock / 9. abstract by Tina Carroll /10. watercolor flora / 11. floral appointment calendar / 12. vintage travel poster wall calendar / 13. that’s what she said inspirational calendar /14. darth vader and friends / 15. block desktop calendar


Hard to believe 2016 is less than two weeks away!