Merry Christmas

Christmas Eve Traditions

We’ll be spending Christmas day with our families this year, so “our” Christmas Eve came a few days early. :)

Christmas Eve Traditions

We had our tradition of toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate by the fire while Howie the Boston terrier got himself all toasty as well. That little stinker seriously loves it when we build a fire! He snuggles as close to the warmth as he possibly can.

Kev’s not a huge marshmallow fan, so he gives me all of his toasted marshmallows.

And that’s why I married him.

This year we made S’mores with Ritz crackers and Biscoff spread. A fabulous twist!

Christmas Eve Traditions

And I couldn’t resist snapping a few bokeh photos of the tree. :)

A couple of Christmases ago I posted this tutorial on how to create your own custom shaped bokeh with just some scissors and paper. Check it out for some tips on taking photos in front of the Christmas tree as well. This year I played around with some of the shapes from the Bokeh Masters Kit. Loved the little paw print!

(Note: To see the settings for the bokeh photos above just click on the collage, and then click Next Photo to scroll through the three photos in the collage to see their settings.)

Christmas Eve Traditions

I saw these super snuggly giant green pillows at Target this year, and knew they’d be the perfect touch to add a little merry to our red couch this year. I also replaced the normally white candles on the wall with sweet pine scented green ones from Walmart. And my super-talented friend Stephanie made me a Christmas bouquet for the vase! Isn’t it purty?

By the way, even though they’re not in this picture, I feel the need to apologize for my multi-colored lights on the Christmas tree, and the white lights on the mantle.

Kevin won that battle.

But he toasts my marshmallows, so we’re all good.

Christmas Eve Traditions

Hey Mom! Can ya guess which one is yours? ;)

Merry Christmas, sweet friends! I am so thankful for you guys, every day. Reading your kind comments makes my whole day. I feel so incredibly lucky to have such awesome folks to share with.

Have a beautiful, blessed Christmas!

Kevin, Amanda, Miley and Howie

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53 Responses
  1. Christina Sporer


  2. Annie

    Your home looks so cozy! I love all the pictures of the tree and the mantle. Wonderful photography as always! Hope you had a Merry Merry Christmas!

  3. Larissa

    Merry Boxing Day Amanda, Kevin, and pups!!! Hope your holiday was awesome. We had a great day here in Dallas and are looking forward to an exciting 2012. :)
    Best wishes to you all and can’t wait to see what exciting new posts will come in the new year! -Larissa, Mike, and Trapper John (best mutt around)

  4. Cortney Van Weerdhuizen

    LOVE your site!! I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate all the cool and creative things you post!! You’re the best!!!!

  5. becky

    Merry Christmas to you and yours and Happy New Year as well. I look forward to your photos of your house, you & your favorite fellows as well as the fabulous places you visit. They make my day brighten when I have a bad one then see your wonderful photographs. You have been blessed with the gift of photography. Your house is so pretty all decked out for Santa. What a smart pooch (no….I didn’t mean Kevin)(lol) laying by the fire place…that is where I like to be when ours is lit. Have fun during the holidays. See you in 2012. Blessings to you and yours, Becky

  6. Debbie in S. Florida

    Amanda –

    Your beautiful photos and lovely blog posts are my Christmas presents all year round, so thank you! I enjoy each and every one, and live completely vicariously through you! You live the life I wish I had! I like my life fine, but I do wish I was able to travel all over and take as gorgeous of photos as you do! Not to mention, your cute poochies! Happy holidays! I look forward to seeing what 2012 brings us, and I can’t wait to see what you get up to!


  7. Toni Legates

    I loved the photos Amanda and enjoyed the tutorial. I can’t wait to use it. I have to say the heart Bokeh was my favorite! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas…

  8. Suzanne Shepherd

    Merry Christmas to you, too, Amanda. And to Kevin and the puppies, as well. You add a lot of joy to a lot of lives with your photography and delicious recipes. Your happy attitude shines a precious light and I love to “visit” you for a bit of cheer every week. Have a wonderful visit with your families. And a Happy New Year, too!

  9. Sharie

    OMG, I don’t even know where to start. The fact you let us into your home is huge to me. Btw, is that a TV in that big box…tee hee?
    I am copying you on the blankets and pillow idea…my couch is green. (Hello Target the day after Christmas)
    The Bokeh pics are to die for. I do remember them from last year and I am kicking myself for not making one. I know there is still time.
    My bday is next month so that master kit will be the FIRST item on my list!
    The pic of your dog and hubs is priceless!! I picture Pandora radio on in the background too :)
    Thank you so much for sharing your talents & giveaways with us. I am so grateful I found your blog to follow. I swear we would make great friends!
    Merry Christmas to you too!!

  10. Sheila MacLeod

    Merry Christmas Amanda, Kevin, Miley and Howie!

    Your home looks so beautiful and warm!
    I enjoy getting your emails throughout the year (so many delicious recipes) and though I’ve never won any contests…thanks so much for posting them!

    Wishing you and your family a most Wonderful Holiday Season,

  11. Kathi Bates

    Merry Christmas. I love your “girlie’ suggestions, photos and helpful photography tips and your dogs. I have a frenchie with the same coloring as your dogs. Thanks

  12. Marilee Vickers


    I wish you and Kevin the Merriest of Christmas’s. Yourliving room looks loving and warm… Enjoy!

    Best to you this coming New Year!

  13. Misty

    Merry Christmas to you Amanda. I am always to inspired by your posts. Envious may be more the word! :) I am still wishing you would sell some copies of those prints that you have hanging in the kitchen. I do believe they would look beutiful in my new house!!

  14. Urban Wife

    I lost the lights battle this year with my husband. He won with the colored lights on the tree. Oh well. Next year will be my turn. ;)
    Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!!

  15. Barb

    Merry Christmas to you! Thanks for sharing your blog and ideas. I love reading it everyday. Can’t wait to see what Santa brought you….enjoy your family.

  16. Melanie @ Whimsical Creations

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

    Love your blog and look forward every morning to reading it. BTW, love your Christmas decorations and you have a beautiful home. :)

  17. Debi

    I LOVE this website. I remember the first time my friend told me about it…she said to check out your scrapbook room… YIKES… I thought it was just awesome….. and I’ve been a fan ever since. Love the recipes, fonts, pictures, stories……..all of it…
    Thanks for sharing…. and I hope you all have a WONDERFUL, HAPPY, MERRY CHRISTMAS…..

  18. dette

    I have been quietly reading your blog for awhile now. I wanted to say it is awesome….you rock! Thanks for all your sharing and especially the FAB photos. Merry Christmas

  19. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    *fanning my face* Ooh yeah, started crying seeing the little nugget all curled up by the fire. Definitely reminds me of our girl and how she loved curling up by the fireplace, would get all hot and panty, stand up, walk 2 steps and thud over on her side. HA!

    Your house looks so beautiful and festive, just as I knew it would! Have a Merry Christmas!

  20. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    What a beautiful set of pictures and they make me feel all warm and happy and Christmas-ey inside :)

    Glad that you guys got to celebrate…early! Fun!

  21. Southern Gal

    Merry Christmas to you and Kevin and the pups!

    Lovely Christmas decor. We compromised on the lights two years ago. Multi-colored on the tree for a 7-year-old who really wanted them. It only lasted that one year. He now has colored Christmas lights strung all over his room each Christmas. I thought it was a fabulous compromise!

    I LOVE the dog print bokeh! I made heart bokeh this year and loved the effect.

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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