Sunday, January 26, 2020

How I Decorate My Home For Valentines Day

Last week I shared my tiered tray decorated for Valentine's Day, today I want to show some of the other Valentine decor in my house.  I love Valentine's Day.  As soon as the Christmas decorations come down and the house is straightened up and put back to normal I bring the Valentine decor out.  I don't consider Valentine's Day a "commercialized holiday to get people to spend more money", rather, it's just a special day to show the loved ones in your life how much you mean to them.  Most of my Valentine decor is very old, and used year after year.  And often hubby and I don't even go anywhere for Valentine's Day.  It varies, but some years we will stay home and have a romantic dinner using our best china and other years it's dinner out and a movie.  Hubby usually buys me flowers, and I always make him a handmade card.  I show all my children and grandchildren (and some friends) extra love by hand making them all Valentine's Cards, and sending little treats in the mail.  I think Valentine's Day has gotten a bad rap because men probably felt they had to spend a lot of money and women were expecting some grand romantic gesture.  Just keep it simple, keep it loving, and you may grow to love this holiday as much as I do!

Now on to the tour!  My dining room, the central room in the house, is the one most decorated for Valentine's Day.  I have my tiered tray right in the center of the table, and a Valentine Vignette displayed on the piano.


On the piano Valentine Vignette I have a vase filled with crystallized branches and red berries, an old velvet heart box that used to be filled with candy, a "Love You More" sign from the Dollar General, and lots of pictures of my favorite Valentines of grand babies!


On the other end of my piano is a picture frame I change out seasonally.  These pictures were from a recent Valentine shoot (post coming next month!).  I love this frame.  I love that there is no glass, you just clip the photos in place.  I can change the photos out so easily this way!  I bought this frame from Walmart almost a year ago, and I did still see this frame last time I was shopping at my local store.

 Another room I decorate for Valentine's Day is the guest half bath.  I simply put out Valentine Day hand towels and faux red roses in a white vase.


To see more Valentine Decor, check out these old posts HERE and HERE!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Our Utah Adventure: Day Four and Five, Part 1: Sunrise and Sunset In Arches National Park

 This is a continuation of a travel series to Utah.  To start at the beginning, go  HERE.  The rest of the posts in chronological order are HERE,  HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE,HERE, and HERE!

After we left Bryce Canyon, we grabbed some lunch and headed to our final destination of our Utah Adventure:  Arches National Park.  It is a four and a half hour drive from Bryce to Arches.  Now, my husband and I had already been to Arches back in 2016, but we went again this time around so my son could see it and also so we could hit some trails we missed on our first visit.

We arrived in Moab late in the day and had very limited time before sunset.  We had told our son all about the Delicate Arch Trail (the best trail in the park in my opinion, but also one of the most difficult).  My husband and I hiked that trail the first time we visited (you can read about it HERE).  To this day, I put that trail in my top three of most difficult hiking trails (I did hike it during the heat of the day, which is NOT recommended) but oh, so worth it!  After days of hiking, my son wasn't interested in hiking another long, arduous trail, and frankly, hubby and I were pretty pooped out ourselves, so we decided to take the "Cheater's Trail" so our son could at least see the arch from the distance.  It in no way is as great an experience as hiking the trail and getting right up to the arch, but it was still a neat experience because you get to see it from another perspective.  You really realize how HUGE this arch is when you see it from a distance.  Look at the pictures below, can you see the people standing to the left of the arch?  Like I said, it's all about perspective!

This trail has two viewpoints:  a lower and an upper.  The lower viewpoint is wheelchair accessible as is a 100 yd easy walk.  The upper viewpoint is 0.5 miles and is moderately difficult, rocky uphill route.  

If you ever visit Utah and go to Arches National Park, this is the arch that is not to be missed!  So if you don't want to walk a strenuous three mile trail to see the arch, at least take in one of the other "Cheater trails".  This arch is the one featured on Utah billboards and license plates.  It's a must see!

After we saw the Delicate Arch, we took our son to another spot in the park we thought he'd find interesting for it was featured in the movie "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade".  It is called "Double Arch".  I also did a post on this arch back in 2016 HERE.

This is such a great arch.  It's so fun to climb right into it.  It may not look like it in the photos but this arch is huge and it is quite the climb to get up to the first window.  To get up to the base of the arch itself is very easy.  It's only a 0.5 mile hike (round trip) from the parking lot on a easy, hard-packed trail.

I climbed up this baby the first time I visited (although not as high as my hubby did), but this time I held back and let my husband and son have all the fun while I took pictures.

By the time my son was done exploring the double arch, the sun was setting fast, so we knew we had to get going.  I did get some spectacular sun set pictures though!

The next morning we woke up before dawn so we could watch the sunrise in the park.  I can't recommend enough visiting these parks early in the morning or late at night.  First of all, there are hardly any other people, so you can always find a parking spot.  Second, you will always get amazing pictures because there aren't a lot of tourists in your frame, and the lighting is spectacular!  And thirdly, the day time temperatures are harsh in Utah.  It is so much more comfortable hiking in the coolest part of the day.

The picture below shows the famous "Balanced Rock" as the sun rises and hits it.  If you want to read more about this easy trail, check out THIS POST from 2016.  You will also see a big difference in the photography as those pictures were taken during the heat of the day.

After viewing the Balanced Rock, we then headed to show our son "Windows Trail".  I also wrote about this trail in 2016 HERE,

"Windows Trail" is an easy 1 mile round trip trail to North Window, South Window, and the Turret Arch.  I believe the photo below is the Turret Arch.  It is opposite of the Window arches.  My son is standing with his arms outstretched in front of it.  Can you see him?

It was such an amazing experience to sit underneath this arch and watch the sun rise.  The beauty was unbelievable.

Hubby walked around both sides of the arch (no easy feat) to get these stunning photographs.  On one side he captured our shadows, and on the other side (next picture), he captured the arch and us all lit up by the sun.

This picture shows the North and South Windows together.

After showing our son all the highlights of our first visit to Arches in 2016 we were off to explore some of the arches we missed the first time!  And wow!  Were we glad we did, because we sure found some beauties, but more on that next week.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Tiered Tray Decorated For Valentines Day

As soon as I took the Christmas decorations down and cleaned up the house, I also decorated for Valentine's Day.  I love Valentine's Day!  It's one of my favorite holidays for I enjoy having a special day on the calendar to show all my loved ones how much I care for and appreciate them.  I don't decorate the entire house for Valentine's Day like I do for Christmas.  I only decorate the dining room, half bath, porch, and entry way.  On Sunday I will show you more of my Valentine's Day decorations, but for today I will only show my metal tiered tray.

I bought my metal tiered tray at Hobby Lobby last spring.  I absolutely love decorating this tray for all the seasons and holidays.  It normally sits right in the middle of my dining room table, although I also had it on my piano at Christmas.

For my Valentines Day tray, I already owned a lot of Valentine Day decorations but I did pick up a few new items.  I found all these cute Valentine decorations at the Dollar General.

I loved the "Love Never Fails" block because it is scriptural (1 Corinthians 13:8).  My tray is very deep, so I had my husband cut some wood blocks to prop things up.  I painted the blocks white so they aren't noticeable.  I propped my "Love Never Fails" block up on the white block and filled around it with red roses.

On the top tier on the same side, I hung my "Love" sign, added a heart jelly mode from my kitchen stash, and another red rose.

For the second side, I used an old Valentine coffee mug that says "Love is", and filled it with roses.  On the bottom I placed a heart paper mâché box that was a leftover guest gift from my daughter's wedding, with some crystal heart decorations from my stash.

On the third and final side I placed a Valentine Mail Box that I found at the Dollar Store, a white cupcake stand, and more crystal heart decor.

 I hope you enjoyed seeing my Valentine Tiered Tray.  Come back on Sunday to see the rest of my Valentine Decorations!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!