Christmas Thoughts in July

What?!!!! Christmas thoughts in July?  

I am not in the mind set just yet to let go of my summer days and think about Christmas,  but I am thinking charity and giving thoughts of late.

A lot of you that follow my blog know I have an annual Christmas Girlfriend Charity Party.

The whole idea is that we bff's get together in December each year at my home to celebrate our friendship and love of gifting and giving.  

We wear our comfy pj's and fun slippers because everyone knows it is more fun to eat, drink and play fun games in your comfy jammies!

The bigger picture in the nights festivities is about gathering together in friendship and the gift exchange.  

We each bring a gift to exchange and the proceeds from the purchase of the gift must somehow benefit a charity or others in need.  

It is so amazing each year to see all the beautiful gifts selected and the story behind the purchase of the gift and the charity it benefits.  

Thinking about my party and the gift exchange is what brought me to sharing this blog post with all of you.

I am sure most of you have heard of or maybe even receive the quarterly Fit Fab box.
A fit fab box comes 4 times a year and is filled with fabulous things.  

I have purchased a subscription to fit fab for both of my daughters each year for a Christmas gift.

 They tell me how much they love when their box arrives.

Each box reflects the time of year.  This was the Winter Box from last year.  They fill these boxes with premium full size products.  It is always fun to see what is inside the new box when it arrives.

A wonderful thing about Fit Fab boxes are they give back in so many ways to many charities.  The subscriptions to these boxes help so many, UNICEF, the American Heart Association, Pencils of Promise, The Starlight Foundation, and Girl Rising. Show your support while treating yourself to FabFitFun‘s quarterly assortment of must-have beauty goodies, cute accessories, and fun wellness items!

This got me thinking about my gift for this years party.  One of the many subscription box's just might be the perfect gift to give at the party. 

 It would be fun and the products are fabulous and it would also benefit those in need.  

What you may not know is there are a number of subscription boxes out there that will bring great mail swag and then go on to support a good cause. 

I thought I would share some of these great boxes with you.  


Described as a "warm hug delivered monthly," MissionCute is a beautiful box filled with everything from cute stationery, stylish tote bags, beauty products, and more! For as little as $20 a month, you receive a surprise box filled with goodies, and MissionCute donates 50% of their monthly net proceeds to a different nonprofit organization. Giving back is très chic!

Anchor of Hope service is a subscription box filled with hand-made items made by refugees and survivors of human trafficking. Each box includes 2 to 4 handmade pieces of jewelry, accessories, ceramics and more, and includes information about the artisan that created the goods and whom the money will directly be going to. In addition, each Anchor of Hope box (from $34/month) includes gift tags so you can either keep the goodies for yourself, or give them as a present!

CAUSEBOX is a quarterly subscription service that sends a curated box of 5 to 7 products and brands that are doing amazing things for the world, such as empowering women, providing jobs, meals, education, clean water, and so much more. Their mission is to shape people's shopping habits in a positive way and magnify the impact that socially conscious companies are capable of. For $55 a quarter, you get a box of products that range from fashion items and accessories to beauty products and stationery. Aside from receiving awesome products, the CAUSEBOX will turn you on to wonderful brands with charitable missions. It's a win-win!

This adorable subscription service has a simple but impactful mission. Deemed "the collar with two lives" box, this service delivers a fun and seasonal collar for your pup each month in exchange for the previous month's gently used collar. Your pup's gently-used collar can be mailed back to Get Wagging with a prepaid return package, to make a difference and provide a basic need for a rescue dog. The designs are unique, the shipping is free, and for $15 a month, both you AND your dog can give back to a shelter pet. It's pawesome!

GlobeIn sends creative Artisan Boxes that include handcrafted products from global artists and is based around a theme each month. With each care package (from $35/month), not only do you get cultural products that will instantly make you feel well-traveled, but you will give these artisans a global audience and help them with their daily challenges. For example, their "Cozy"-themed box helped employ 85,000 farmers in Ghana, provided 840 hours of flexible employment for 12 artisans in Thailand, and provided the equivalent of a full year of employment for 6 workers. The numbers don't lie, and the products are too beautiful to resist.

 Little Loving Hands ($25/month) gets kids involved in giving back! Every month the company spotlights a new organization and craft and sends over all the materials and inspiration for kids to create, learn, and donate to a worthy cause. Your little one will receive all the craft supplies to create an item that will be donated using a pre-paid return shipping envelope. On top of that, there is educational material in each box explaining why, how, and who they are helping, as well as a thank-you button and certificate of achievement. You're never too young to get involved!

Love Goodly is a cruelty-free, eco, and vegan subscription box that will send a lovely mix of beauty, wellness and lifestyle products to your doorstep every other month. Not only will you be living a healthier, cruelty-free lifestyle by signing up for the Love Goodly box, but every purchase always supports a cause including Farm Sanctuary and Cure Cervical Cancer.

Avoid all future snack attacks with the Love with Food subscription box. For as little as $8 a month, the company will send you a box full of organic, all-natural or gluten-free snacks. After that, you can go on their site to purchase more of what you tried and (inevitably) loved. On top of that, Love with Food donates a portion of the proceeds to help fight childhood hunger in the US and around the world. They donate to organizations like Feeding Americaand The Global Food Banking Network. So not only can you snack, but you can feel great while doing it.
The Wordy Traveler is the perfect book service for Wanderlusts! Each quarter, the company sends a curated box (from $50) that will transport you to amazing destinations through books, ethically-sourced tea, and a limited-edition fine art print. A portion of the proceeds from every box will be given to help educate women and girls across the world. You can now reach peak-hygge while helping those in need.

How they give back: The Bookworm Box believes in “good deeds, great reads.” This romance novel subscription founded by Colleen Hoover donates 100% of its profits to charities around the world, including clean water groups, disaster relief organizations, and more. Apart from the good vibes, you’ll get at least one autographed book per month plus other bookish goodies! Check out all of our Bookworm Box reviews to learn more.
Ships to: Worldwide
How they give back: Part of the proceeds from each of this subscription’s boxes of decor, stationery, home goods, and other inspiring Christian gifts goes towards Union Rescue Mission, which helps combat homelessness in Los Angeles and beyond!

How they give back: With each box of high-quality treats and toys catered specifically to your dog’s size, RescueBox donates to shelters and organizations that provide vaccines and care for dogs in need across the country.

There are many choices in these subscription boxes out there.  Ya gotta love sharing a gift that keeps on giving.

Thank you to all of you that left your sweet and caring comments about saying prayers for Mary's family after her passing.
She will be missed in blogland.

Have a great rest of the week.
I will have the new island and some new chandeliers and a few other treasures to share soon.

Heavy Heart

Good Monday Morning.

My heart broke this morning finding out one of our blogging hearts passed on yesterday.

Mary from mydogsmygardenandmary blog passed away after battling major health issues. 

Mary worked for many years for corporation located out of the Merchandise Mart here in Chicago.  She enjoyed her career as a meeting planner for this company in hotel sales.  Mary retired and had been living in California.



These two sweet fur babies were Mary's loves.  She would do anything for these two.  They were her constant companions and made her heart full.  My heart breaks for how much these two will miss Mary.

This is a picture of Mary's pride and joy.  Her son Shawn along with his girlfriend Kim.  Oh how Mary loved her son and the sweets visits they had together.

Mary's son also had a beautiful daughter that he gifted Mary.  Mary was so in love with her sweet granddaughter Kelly.  I know they will all miss her deeply.  She was so proud of Kelly and loved all their visits. 

Mary loved her garden area.  Her favorites were her beautiful roses.  Mary had such a way with her beautiful varieties of roses.  The pictures of her garden and all the different varieties of roses looked like they came right out of a magazine.

Good bye sweet friend.  I will never forget our sweet and special time in blogland.  I regret that you will not make your trip to Chicago this fall to meet up but I will always have my memories of our sweet emails back and forth and our sharing of our heart in blogland.

May you rest in peace.  Heaven is now a more beautiful place with you there.

If you could say a prayer for Mary's son and sweet granddaughter and close friends as we all grieve this beautiful lady.

I will Miss you Mary.

Master Bedroom Update

Hi Everyone.

Here are some of the new decor items and the changes in our Master Bedroom.

We put up a new chandelier over the bed.  It is white with pretty crystals and a touch of gold in the chains.

Everything in my bedroom is soft, neutral and serene.  Since I chose white and this room has lots of light I have a hard time capturing the softness of the room.  Everything looks washed out in pics but trust me it is pretty with all the white.

I added old vintage picture frames around the cherub sconces.  These sconces lite up at night are very pretty.  I like not having lamps on the night stands anymore.

This is one of my sweet cherub sconces up close.  I added the crystals to them.  They are pretty with or without the crystals.  I just like the bling!

I love to have a soft and fresh scented candle lite at night at the bedside.  The soft scents like lavender help me to sleep.

Rita from Panoply awhile back gifted me with two of these cherub stands.  I painted them white and have them on each of our nightstands for a candle holder.  Thank you Rita.  Love them.

Terry's side the bed is similar to my side of the bed. 

Gotta love a man that is ok with sleeping in this serene room surrounded by angels.  He is ok as long as I do not touch his pillow lol! 

Keeping it real when the pictures are not staged,  there is usually things like his watch, badge, wallet, phone laying on his nightstand!

This is the new old door that Terry made into this slider for our closet.

This is my beautiful sleeping angel mounted on this old chippy window in my bedroom.

I still have my pretty headboard made out of three old cottage doors.  Terry framed them out and added crown molding to them.  I have loved this headboard for many years.

Thanks for coming by to see the newest decor items I added to this room.   

My bedroom is my sanctuary.  I find peace and serenity in this room at the end of the day.

I apologize for the washed out pics.  Even with using Picmonkey the pics are washed out. 

Maybe someday I will own a fancy camera with a great lens and filters for rooms like this.

Have a great weekend.
I am working on the kitchen island area.

I also gave my daughter my twin bed from my 3 purpose room.  The room that acts as my office, make up area and a guest room.

Now I have a big open space since the bed is gone.  We cannot have that right?!!!! So I am hoping to do up some changes in this room too.

  Lots of projects ahead for me and my handy man!!!  It is just hard to stay focused when summer is going on.  I am a summer girl and love to be outside during this short season we have here in the midwest.

Old Window Green House

Hi Everyone.

Remember I told you I got this great treasure pictured in the article below on my trip to Michigan.  The feature was about Vintage Goods Shop's grand opening and they had the green house in the picture for the article.

I have always wanted one of these green houses made from old windows and vintage pieces.  When I saw it in the Vintage Goods shop in Three Oaks Michigan I was smitten with it!

This is how it looked before Terry made a few adjustments to it after we got her home.  It was a beauty but I had some ideas to make it even more charming.

While I loved the old screens for the top it was a little too large for the space in front of the window.   I had a few vintage chippy pieces in my stash that I thought might give this top a little more character and downsize the top a wee bit.

 I had some old shutters.  So I asked Terry if he would try to make a top out of those that would be smaller to fit the green house.  I think I like the shutters just a little better than the screens.

Then I had some old frame pieces that gave the front a little more character.

So here she is all done up pretty for this space in front of my kitchen window looking out to the garden.  Love Terry and his tools to make this piece unique to my taste.

I love the old light gray and white windows she is made of.  Matches perfect in my kitchen.

I added this cute petite chandelier and a real plant of green ivy. 

Terry wired the chandelier so it can turn on at night. 

This is my first attempt at an indoor house plant.  I am good outside with the garden but inside not so much.  So I hope I can keep this ivy alive.  So far so good!

 Anita from Castles and Crowns had gifted me this cherub awhile back.  We added her to the front top of the green house.  She looks good in her new decor space.  Thank you sweet Anita.
Added some garden pieces to the bottom shelf.

I am having fun playing with different garden decor pieces to decorate inside this cute green house.  Thanks for coming by to see one of my treasures from my Michigan trip re loved into my tiny cottage home.

Have a great rest of the week.
We are working on the new kitchen island and hope to have that to show you soon.

Have a great week.

Parties this week:
Our Hopeful Home

Home Sweet Hope

Hi Everyone.
Happy Monday.

I am taking a minute to post about something heartwarming I read on a  fellow sweet blogger's Facebook page.

Susan Taggart had a blog called Must Love Junk. This is where I first met Susan.  If you remember Susan and I shared a joint feature on our blogs some time ago called Spotlight.  We would both feature a new blogger and give you a peek into the personal side of the blogger,  and also introduce you to their blog.  It was a fun adventure for both of us.  I know many of you got to know each other through this venture.

   I know many of you  follow Susan on her Facebook page Home Sweet Home Decor and also on Instagram.

Susan and her mom have been running a shop in North Canton Ohio for many years.  Now their giving hearts have started on a brand new journey.

Here is Susan's sweet words on their new adventure.

"As many of you know my mom and I have stepped back from running the shop (it's in the capable hands of Metal & Moss!) and we're on to new adventures! We are passionate about decorating and believe that everyone deserves a beautiful, comfortable, and safe place to call home. 

So combining our love of decorating and our desire to help others, we've recently partnered with the Domestic Violence Shelter to start 'HOME SWEET HOPE'! We are furnishing and decorating for those women and children who are transitioning into their new homes. As you can imagine, they are starting over with nothing and lack even the basic necessities.

That's where YOU come in! We're asking our wonderful friends and customers for donating household items or money, you will be making a huge difference in the lives of these special people! Please message us if you are interested in donating any of these immediately needed items:

Gently used or new: vacuum cleaners, toasters, microwaves, coffee pots, sheets (queen or twin), towels, blankets, dishes/silverware, neutral-colored rugs, dressers/chests
If you feel led, please share this and/or pass on this info...Thank you in advance for your support!!"

If you live in the North Canton Ohio area please help these two kind and caring angels help so many women and children in need.

If you do not live in the Ohio area you can also help by donating money to this worthy cause.

I wanted to share this on my FB page and also here on my blog. 

So please open up your hearts and help these two beautiful angels help so many others.

You can get in touch with Susan through her FB Page.

I hope to have a post up in a few days on the new island for my kitchen and also the re love of this piece shown in the article below.

Vintage Goods is one of the shops I stopped at on our trip to Michigan last weekend.  Diane the sweet owner of this shop I use to sell in one of my favorite shops called Vintage in Morris Illinois. 

I share her love of chippy whites and have bought beautiful treasures in the past from her.

 It was a fun pleasure to visit her shop on our trip to Michigan. 

Their was this beautiful article written on the grand opening of her shop in Three Oaks Michigan and guess what?!!!!! That sweet chippy Garden piece pictured in this article is now in my possession!!!
Yep!!  Loved it the minute I walked into the shop. 

I had a vision for this piece in my home.  Terry with his handy tools did some adjustments and added some chippy and fun pieces I already had.  They just added a little more charm to this new piece. 
 I will have the reveal on the re love of this beautiful piece in the next few days.

Stay tuned!

Thank you again if you can help Susan and her mom's beautiful cause.  I know they will truly appreciate any and all help.

Have a great start to the new week.

New Island

Hi Everyone.

Remember this cute kitchen island that Terry made for me.  

Remember this pretty French stencil for the front of the island.   I just love it.  So that was taken off for my new island that will go in this place.  I loved this one but it was almost too big for this space and I am adding a treasure from our trip to this room.  So I needed a little more space than this island allowed.

Stay tuned for that reveal.

Here is the new island with the tin ceiling tiles and crown front.  The old large vintage picture frame is still on this island too.

Kept the cute ball feet.

It has a nice butcher block top.

You can see the old pieces of door panels used to make this island.

We kept the back open so someone can put stools or chairs under this island for seating.
This island was made out of old pieces of oak doors and lots of fun trim pieces.  The top is butcher block and food prep ready.

You can see in this close up that the tin ceiling tiles are chippy to perfection.

So if any of you live in the Chicago land area and think you could use this island just leave me a comment along with an email and I will contact you.  The measurements are 29 deep and 48 long.
It will fit two adults comfortably to sit at this island.

I think it would be a great crafting table too.  Storage in the back of this along with a seat would be great for any of you crafters.

I am asking $200 for this great piece.  You will have to be able to pick it up.  It is not real heavy but solid.

I hope to have the new island ready soon to show you and also the new treasure I got for the kitchen area.

Stay tuned.
Have a great week.