Okinawa Christmas 2016

Back porch swinging with daddy.

This may or may not be their last Santa picture.

Twinsies for church, wouldn’t pose for a pic.

Birthday dinner for Cole

Twenty-nine and holding!

Hiking on our last day of Christmas break.

Cute little local ladies serving up yummy carnival food!

Such a cutie!

Traditional Okinawan New Year’s Decor

Christmas shopping and this is how I find them.

Ava’s beautiful creation.

Squadron Christmas Party

School toy drive at the USO for a local orphanage.

Picnic at the park!

Cub Scout Christmas party with the Okinawan Troop.

Two hours of eating candy and making gingerbread houses.

This was a peek at our December through the pictures on my phone.  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family.  May 2017 bring you blessings of health and happiness.  Warm hugs to you from Okinawa.


Simple, Timeless Christmas Decor

Hello friends and family, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!  We’re less than two weeks away from the big day and I want to share with you a few of my favorite Christmas decor finds, all easy and affordable.  Let me know what you think or share some of your favorites with me.  Click the pictures for links.

Inspiring Holiday Tablescapes with Floral Designer Natalie Bowen

My favorite by far is this inspiring Holiday Tablescape by Floral Designer Natalie Bowen.  I love the black and white table linens mixed with the reds and greens.

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This is a timeless look that is easy to achieve.  Here they have used olive branches, but any greenery you have on hand would work.  Mix the greenery with various size candles and a simple table runner, makes for an elegant table setting.  Source apartment 3

Another beautiful option using candles, greenery, and red berries.  What really grabbed my attention are the napkins, so fun and a unique twist to this timeless look.

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Here’s a completely different look, it’s a look that would work for any time of the year.  Gold finishes are the current trend, mix it with the black and white table linens and greenery for a very formal, elegant dinner party.

christmas 9This is a creative way to use succulents for your centerpiece, it looks gorgeous mixed with the gold, black, and white.  This centerpiece is great for your table year round with very little maintenance.

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It doesn’t get any more simple than this timeless look.  This would look great on an entryway table, mantle,  or your dinning table.  Use varying size vases and tree trimmings to add more interest.  If you don’t have a live tree like us on the island any greenery will work.

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A fun twist is to also add ornaments, and this is also a great option for small living spaces where a tree may not be an option.

christmas 10If you have extra ornaments or special ones, this is a great way to display them out of reach of the little 8

Paper whites and red ribbons are a beautiful combo.  Source

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Cute door ideas, perfect way to greet your friends and family for the holiday season.

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures and are inspired to try one of the looks.

Thank-you all for checking out my blog and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your friends!





Our First Christmas in Japan

Our first Christmas in Japan was nice and quiet, we shared a wonderful dinner with new friends.  Thank-you family and friends for all the cards and packages sent our way, it helped ease the sadness of being away from my family.  It’s always exciting to go to the post office this time of year, you never know what Santa might bring.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years with loved ones.

This post I just wanted to share a little trip we made the day after Christmas to Itoman, for the 16th Annual Itoman Peaceful Illumination, to see their beautiful light display. Itoman is about an hour from our house, on the southern tip of Okinawa.  They had thousands of twinkling lights in various colors decorating the entire facility. There were many food and game vendors to enjoy, much like a fair back home.  The aroma of fried foods made it hard to resist, but Cole and went with a cabbage and vegetable omelet, it was quiet tasty.  They even had fresh made donuts and cotton candy to satisfy your sweet tooth.IMG_3949



My silly bunch, never a dull moment!



IMG_3865Fresh donuts with a variety of toppings, yum!


I didn’t get all of this in the picture, but it said “PEACEFULL”, I’m sure it made all the Americans smile.




IMG_3851The meltdown has begun, see the joy on Ava’s face, must have been all the sugar.







IMG_3943The people here are very polite and helpful, which makes it easier when ordering food or trying to get directions.  It’s a great learning experience for the kiddos, we’re soaking up as much of the culture as we can while we are here.  We enjoyed our trip to Itoman and hope to make it back again next year.

Happy New Year to you all!


Traditional Christmas Decor

Happy Holidays friends!  Just a little more than a week until Christmas. Cole gets home this week from Guam and the kiddos finish up school on Friday.  I hope you all have completed your shopping and are enjoying your holiday parties and time with family.

Last week my blog post was about using gold Christmas decor, this week I wanted to show you a few of my favorite traditional red and green decor picks.

via  This wreath is a lovely way to greet your guests for the holidays.

via  In keeping with the holly theme, this is a simple arrangement but when in an oversized container in a group of three it’s a show stopper!

via If you aren’t able to get your hands on any holly, cedar or pine trimmings are a beautiful festive option to add to your Christmas decor.

via Branches with ornaments for those of you who may not have the space or access to a Christmas tree.

via Cranberries and magnolia leaves, a beautiful combination.
via A cute alternative to displaying your Christmas cards.

via This trio is also a lovely welcome for guests, made of pinecones, blue spruce and a deep green velvet ribbon.



via  A beautiful entrance to this home using fruit, boxwood and blue spruce trimmings, accented with touches of red.

via www.laurengeiger.blogspot

via Click this picture for more details.  I love the vintage Christmas ornaments and crystal mixed with the silver trees.

via Another simple and affordable idea for your chandelier.

via  If you don’t have a chandelier, create your own focal point. This wreath hung with ribbon is a beautiful alternative.


via Nostalgic Christmas Tree

via This is my favorite tree mixed all types of ornaments, no specific theme.

via   Keep your holiday cards organized and on display.  Click the picture for step-by-step instructions.

via For all my friends who have these hanging in their living rooms, sure to put a smile on your guests face.

via Pomegranate and holly berries.


Hope you enjoyed taking a look at a few of my favorite Christmas decor ideas.  Click the pictures for sources and more information.  Enjoy your holiday and remember the reason for the season!

Take Care,


Golden Christmas

Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend.  We are doing well in Okinawa, we’ve had a few cooler evenings, it’s finally feeling like fall.  Just got our last package mailed off, my Christmas shopping is almost complete, now I’m ready to enjoy the season.

This post is about choosing your Christmas decor.  The options are endless, if you are looking to change it up a bit this year I have found a few options that are affordable DIY projects.  Other than traditional red and green, gold would be my choice for Christmas decor.  The gold tones will go well with any color home decor and has a bit more of a formal look.  With all the wonderful metallic paints available this look is easy to accomplish.  No worries if you’ve already got your Christmas decor up for the season, plan ahead for next year, hit the after Christmas sales and stock up on all things gold.  Check out a few of the lovely trees and DIY projects below for a little inspiration.

via  Love this tree topper.




via Branches sprayed with metallic paint, these could be used as a tree topper or as an arrangement.

via Check out this site for step-by-step instruction on how to make this beautiful garland.  Drape this from your mantel or around your tree.

via  Click the picture for step-by-step instructions on to create these lovely gilded pinecones.

via  Artificial greenery come to life with gold metallic spray paint,  add candles for a beautiful glow.  Live greenery also works great, I’ve used this to help the tree look fuller, it looks beautiful with the lights reflecting off the gold.

via Use artificial fruit from the dollar store and glitter to create a centerpiece or add to your tree.

via Another option for your artificial fruit.

via Bay leaves, magnolia leaves, or even a pine wreath completely covered or just adding a light coat of metallic paint. This would look great on your front door or above your mantel.

via www.yournestdesign.blogspot  This combination is beautiful.

via Simple magnolia leaf wreath with gold ribbon.

via Click the picture for more Christmas wreath ideas from  The wide satin ribbon tied in a loose knot make the wreath.

via  Gold magnolia leaf garland draped with wide satin ribbon.  Click the picture for how-to instructions.

via I have used Rustoleum for several of my projects and have read several reviews, this seems to be the top choice.

via  This spray comes in a rainbow of colors, much easier than the glue and glitter technique from back in the day.

via If you decide to go with the gold theme or another of your favorite metallic tones don’t forget the gift wrap.


All the pictures above have clickable links for more info.

Hope you have enjoyed this post, happy decorating!  Next post, traditional red and green decor.  Don’t forget to subscribe and please share with your friends.  Have a wonderful week and take time to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!




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