white candles glowing in an assortment of clear glass jar and vases


What I Can’t Let Go Of:

I can’t let go of how much visual warmth impacts our perception of real warmth — like the actual thermostat.

Our L-shaped downstairs which is mainly the kitchen, dining room and family room wrap two sides of a large brick courtyard. The courtyard walls are large sliding glass doors. So when it’s dark, they just are like giant black mirrors. We keep some sheers closed on the family room doors during the winter to mitigate that.

Even with layers of warm lighting it still seems cold down there. Soooo, in full transparency, I admit to still having our Christmas trees up. No judging allowed! They transformed into “Winter trees”. The rustic one at the base of the stairs sits in an antique wooden tub filled with pine cones. The one between the family room and dining room is covered in the most gorgeous flocking and a super fluffy lambskin faux hide is wrapped around the stand.

No ornaments, just lights that I don’t want to give up. They give such a cozy vibe!!!

Last night we sat down to watch a show and I was shivering. I realized I had not turned on the trees. As soon as I did, the room felt instantly warmer and I could curl up and enjoy the show.

No wonder candles have such an immediate impact in any room!

Three vintage gold battery operated taper candles are lit and standing in a glass bowl filled with sand

Have you thought about using three tapers together? I love doing this! Read about this tip to get more impact with less money.

On the Blog This Week

Closeup of large clay conversation hearts that say, BESTIE, BE YOU and CUTIE PIE nestled in greenery of a centerpiece

What’s your Valentine style?

Mine’s a bit more subtle, and bit more fun, but still traditional. So, you’re right, my usual traditional with a twist!

Is there anything more traditional and fun for Valentines than Conversation Hearts?

So I just had to super-size them! And this was such a fun and easy craft with air-dry clay.

You even tint the clay before making them, so no painting after they dry!!!

You can check out how-to, suggestions for text, and suggestions for how to use them, all in this blog post. And all the supplies are linked in this LTK post.

And this is one of my most popular posts for sharing a bit of love.

If you can doodle, you can make these!!!

Show your sisterhood, your sweetie, your daughters, your mom, a wonderful neighbor that they are special with a sweet shell trinket dish.

Three shell trinket dishes on linen napkin

Sharing From Around the Web

Collage of six women's faces with their names below under the title: Shopping With Friends --So Much Better than Alone

Yes! Did you notice? Some new friends have joined in and Shopping With Friends has moved to the first Saturday each month. We hope you enjoy these gals and all the hand-picked favorites we have to share with you!!

Last month, I refreshed our home, now I’m desperate for some closet refresh — Let’s start with the hardest part of our wardrobes. Yes, how about a collective groan for pants shopping!!!

Pants — nothing worse to find, right? Until now — I’m excited to share my “Feminist Pants” (okay that’s what I call them). Finally there is a US firm that is designing and selling beautifully constructed pants (and I’m super picky) (made in China) in 5 lengths in every size and great pockets!!! Yes, we finally can order pants made for women but with all the features men have been enjoying for eons!!! FIVE lengths!!!! It’s like custom-tailored at ready-made prices.

light grey joggers on a woman

I love these joggers – perfect in between tight yoga pants and baggy sweat pants.

Great fabric, zippered pockets in front, one patch pocket in back.

Yes, 5 lengths to choose from!!! In six great colors.

I had to return mine for a shorter length forgetting that a jogger should end short of your shoes. Easy peasy return! And six great colors.

I started with the charcoal, but this light grey may need to find a home in my closet too!

And this same company offers bootcut yoga pants that think they’re dress pants — comfortable enough for the gym, made for the office! 4 Colors, and again 5 Lengths!!!

And at such a great price. you can have one pair to wear with cute flats and one to wear with sleek heals!

woman wearing a pair of black boot cut yoga dress pants

pink waffle knit "Henley" with v-neck and XL buttons

And for tops, I’m loving this lightweight V-neck “Henley” — the buttons, the cuffs!

The edge of the v-neck is unfinished for a fun casual vibe to go with the oversized buttons that I’m loving.

It is a thin waffle knit that I’m really enjoying. I’m very cold-blooded so I layer this over a thin T and it’s perfect for now. But I know I’ll be able to wear it through Spring without layering.

With 18 colors, it’s hard to decide the next one (or two) I’ll order.

I also ordered one of the wide stripes. And the color blocking is actually pieced together, not just printed. Yea! And the seams on the one I received matched up perfectly — one of the hallmarks of quality construction.

I am over the moon about this sweater! It is the softest coziest texture.

I love that it is a more than a basic crew neck or v-neck with that sweet pleating! And the buttons let you button up or open up as much as you want.

And in 27 different colors, you have even more options!

woman weaaring a sky blue sweater with button up v neck and sweet pleating around the neck and cuffs

one pink and one blue tall rain boots

And this is the year I need want new Spring rain boots.

For all the puddle jumping

a bit of lake wading

and yes, gardening!

17 options to choose from!

Now Let’s See What the Other Gals Found For Us

Cindy – Reinvented Delaware

  • My kids bought me some new jammies for Christmas and I had to share them with you! The fabric is unreal! Soft, not heavy and so warm & cozy! The company is called Little Sleepies and they make matching jammies for families. I have one pajama top and one pajama bottom in the Blue Rainbows. The best part is the tops and bottoms come separately which is perfect if you wear two different sizes like me!
  • On Wednesday this week, I went thrift shopping with one of my sisters and she was telling me about these cool silicone freezing molds. One of my other sisters had told her about them so she got them in several sizes. The 1 cup size is in my Walmart cart now and I can’t wait to get it for the next time I want to freeze homemade chicken stock! It’s the little things that make me smile!
  • My dentist recently told me the best way to keep plaque off of your teeth is to use a powered toothbrush twice a day. So that’s a goal of mine this year. I’ve used a battery-powered toothbrush for years but admittedly, I’ve only used it in the mornings. I use a regular toothbrush at night. The powered toothbrush has a timer and will remind you to brush for 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth. It’s super helpful for clean teeth and so cheap at $25!
  • Are you dreaming of gardening yet? I’ve been browsing the seed catalogs lately and I’m excited to start planting! Zinnias are on my radar so I will be needing some new flower snips. While I am at it, I think I will replace my herb snips too. I’ll keep those in the kitchen since my herb garden is just outside of the kitchen window.

Lynn – Living Large in a Small House

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner. If you are hosting or heading to someone’s home for the game, here are a few things you might need.

  • I’m planning on making chili and I love my slow cooker and it will keep the chili warm throughout the whole day.
  • Serving all the toppings in a chili bar style is my favorite way to enjoy this meal. I love these little white bowls for all the fixings.
  • A charcuterie board is a must for us for any event. I love this board from Target.
  • It wouldn’t be a Super Bowl Party without wings. I will load up this white tray with a few dozen.

Lora Lora Bloomquist Create and Ponder

  • My friend Stacy from Bricks n’ Blooms just published her first gardening book and it is amazing! Her photography is gorgeous and she has the best tips for turning your yard into a flower bouquet-filled dream! I got a preview copy and have been soaking it up. You can find “A Beautiful and Easy Care Flower Garden” HERE.
  • We have had no winter here in MN and now the grass is getting green! The birds think it’s Spring, so I’m ready to pull out all the bird decor! I picked up this cute Blue Jay paint-by-number last weekend at an antique store. Find vintage bird PBN’s HERE. Or get your own kit to paint HERE.
  • I’m in the project mood and I’ve always wanted to learn how to reupholster. This little stool is getting a cottage makeover. This basic set of upholstery staple remover tools is going to make the job so much easier. You can find the set HERE.
  • Springtime weather gets me in the mood for botanical art. I picked up these framed prints and this fern poster last weekend. Think it’s time to decorate the mantel with a botanical vibe. You can find botanical art HERE and HERE.

Anna – Sky Lark House

  • With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this Mango Wood Heart Tray with a gold leaf interior is perfect. I love the natural wood and the subtle nod to Valentine’s Day.
  • This Natural Handled Farmhouse Cheese Board is gorgeous and can be used as a charcuterie board. Hello Valentine’s Day!
  • My MIL gave me that hand lotion and I love it. Winter can leave your skin really dry. Udderly smooth hand cream absorbs fast without a greasy residue.
  • If you do have a charcuterie board, I highly recommend this Divina Fig Spread Jam. Normally, I am not a fan of fig jam but this one I love. Plus it’s nice to use for a special occasion.
  • Finally, I love using candles- especially those made by Antique Candle Company. This bundle of 4 large 12 oz candles is perfect as we transition to spring. Shipping is also free!

Cindy – County Road 407

  • I’m trying to talk the Mister into painting our blue kitchen walls. I agree, it wasn’t the best decision but in my defense, that was way back when I was working with dog puke gold walls in the rest of the house. Anyway, with those newly painted walls comes a whole new look for the breakfast area as well.  I thought these Cafe Curtains would be super cute because they’ll let in a lot of light and hide the grill sitting outside on the patio.
  • I know a tension rod isn’t the normal go-to for hanging curtains.  But I have 3 reasons why this Brass Tension Rod is the way to go.  First, if I used a regular rod, the poles would be the height of my stomach (hips for most people) and the area around the table is a little tight so stabbing myself on a daily basis with the end of the rod isn’t ideal.  Second, these will make the Mister happier because we aren’t drilling more holes in the walls which means less heavy sighing.  And third, I like how close the edge of the rod will sit inside the window allowing the curtain to cover the entire window.
  • We’ve lived in this particular house since 2009 and have used a rug only 3 times during the winter to help with the cold tile.  It was always a cowhide I’ve had for years and it never really helped.  This time, I’d like to try a real rug.  Our table is oval shaped and because I’d like to keep things neutral and durable, this Oval Jute Rug fits the bill.  And look how inexpensive it is!  Definitely worth trying.
  • Anyone else have a bar area where the wall underneath looks like poop with scuff marks and dirt?  I’ve practically scrubbed the paint off trying to clean it.  I’ve decided to try Peel-N-Stick Wallpaper instead of repainting.  It’s a small area so the cost will be minimal.  It’s easy to install and because of the neutral color, it will make an exciting but subtle statement.  And I’m not worried about rips or tears since nothing has been that damaging in 15 years.

But I am so glad you joined us. I hope we were able to help with snippets of shopping inspiration – and maybe even helped stretch your budget a bit with some good finds.

Let me know if you found something special this week,

Send my the link and I just might share it with everyone next week!

I hope you enjoy your weekend!!! Thanks for hanging out with me a bit,

As I said before, I would greatly appreciate your feedback, any special requests, or questions you have.

round image of Diane smiling next to a Signature that reads: With Joy, Diane


  1. Cindy Rust

    Those joggers look amazing! I love that they come in other sizes – I have trouble getting pants long enough because my inseam is a little longer than average. I have to get these! Great shopping with you my friend!

  2. Lynn

    I love your suggestions! So good to know that pants are available in different length’s. The blue wellies are already in my cart.

  3. Cindy@CountyRoad407

    Great finds! Love the rubber boots. Those are a must-have around the farmhouse. Hope you have a great weekend. And thanks for having me!

  4. Lora Bloomquist

    Those tops are so cute! I love details on clothes and the ruffles and the buttons are so perfect. And yes…this is the year I need to get “puddle boots” as I used to call them when my kiddos were little;) Thanks for the recommendations!


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