Santa Lucia 2021

Wednesday, December 15

If you've been following my blog for a time, you would know that I LOVE traditions and I LOVE my Swedish heritage. So any time I can find a new Swedish tradition to celebrate in my home, I'm all in!! (You can see the last 2 years of celebrating Santa Lucia here and here. As well as our Swedish midsummer parties here and here!) 

On December 12th, the kids and I baked up a storm. We baked the traditional pepparkakor and Lussekatter buns to celebrate Lucia day. All December I've been reading them a kids book called Lucia Morning in Sweden which is just adorable, and explains how a typical family in Swedish celebrates Lucia day. 

I love Celebrating Lucia day because it is a beautiful opportunity to talk with your children about the real St. Lucia and the way she gave of herself for others. It also illustrates the how Christ is truly the light that came in to the darkness. In the morning, when Avonlea puts on her Lucia crown, the light fills the darkness and demonstrates the power of light:) 

On the morning of the 13th, Avonlea and Everett and I woke up early and put on their costumes...Avonlea was Lucia in the white gown and crown of light, and Everett was Star Boy. (Ollie was a last minute star boy too hehe). I filled Avonlea's tray with pepparkakor and lussekator and then she ascended the stairs singing the traditional Lucia song (we learned it in English from a lady on YouTube here)

Kevin kindly pretended to be asleep (haha), and the kids "surprised" him with their tray of goodies. We hung out upstairs, and then went down to Yukino's room (our exchange student from Japan) to sing to her and bring treats. 

We then headed to my parents house to sing and bring treats. My dad is Swedish, so it's a lot of fun going over there! Then, the rest of the afternoon Avonlea and Everett and I went to different widows houses that we know. We had such a lovely time surprising them with Santa Lucia treats and a song:) 

Enjoy the pictures! xoxo 

Before & After of my dining room Buffett

Monday, October 18


A fun little "before" & "After" of some thrifted furniture! As we've been putting our dining room back together after the kitchen remodel, I've tried to keep it minimal (which for me is HARD! haha). However, I did want to find a long and narrow buffet to add a little more storage to our space for the kids crafts (easy access next to the dining room table!). I had seen an inspiration pic on Pinterest that I liked, and kept my eyes out on FB marketplace. 

One day, as I was looking...I saw this piece! It had great bones and fit the bill for the space! I did have to drive a little further to get it, and it was covered in these huge nasty big spiders (which deterred me for like two seconds, but I had already driven 30 minutes so wasn't turning back haha!) I carted it home and then decided to paint it white, so I picked up my favorite chalk paint from Home Depot and went to town! 

I love using chalk paint because I'm not a perfectionist and I hate prepping things (ie: sanding, etc). So chalk painting allows me to just do a quick dust and then start painting ASAP! (a quick dust and a few minutes to spray and kill all the spider, ewww!) 

I really loved how it turned out. It's a nice addition to the room, and now provides awesome storage for all our kids craft bins! Woo hoo!! 

Happy Fall Ya'll!!! A fun little snippet of Fall ideas, recipes, books & decor

Sunday, October 3

Last week, Avonlea looked at Kevin and passionately declared,,,

“Dad, it’s not fally enough. The leaves aren’t changing, they aren’t falling off the tree, nobody is decorating, we’re missing all the parties, we’re missing all the groups over. It’s just not fally!!!”

Swedish Midsummer Party

Thursday, August 26

 Our second Swedish Midsummer party is in the books! Being half Swedish, and having celebrated midsummer with my Swedish family IN Sweden, I felt it was high time to throw my own American Swedish midsummer party. So last summer I looked up what was needed for a proper midsummer and I patched together what we had to make it work haha! (You can see last year's party here). 

This year we seemed to have the odds against us in having this party. During late June, when Midsummer is actually celebrated, my kids had hand foot mouth, soooo we clearly had to push it back. Then, come August when we rescheduled,  our party got moved to indoors as the wildfires were raging here in Northern California (we ate inside, however snuck out for a bit to do the traditional dancing and take a few pictures...). Even though we had to eat inside, we still had so much fun dressing up and wearing the traditional Swedish flower crowns! And please check out how adorable my parents are in their Swedish clogs, hahah! 

I've memorized exactly one Swedish midsummer song (SmÃ¥ grodorna) about a little frog, complete with hand motions. I taught it to everyone last year, so we brushed up a bit on our Swedish and our hand motions, and danced around the pole a few times to the song haha! 

We at the traditional food of fish, potatoes, and the delicious strawberry cake! (If you need an amazing salmon recipe, this one is THE BEST, for reals!)  Kevin even made some elderflower mules for everyone which was a fun Swedish touch! I love my heritage and adore celebrating new traditions!! 

Do you have any traditions from your heritage? xoxo 

Charlie Joy Co. Baby Basket Give-Away

Friday, July 9


I LOVE watching friends go after their dreams!! My friend Anna has worked so hard to imagine and create and dream and come up with this incredible product of a sweet baby changing basket. You guys, it's so adorable and a perfect addition to any baby nursery. 

Changing Ollie in this basket is a joy.  The mat has a soft covering which unzips allowing you to take it off and wash it (it's also 100% organic cotton which is a total plus for me!). The outer part of the basket is a woven blend with white and black, and the cutest little fringe ever! I am a huge fan of texture, and this basket adds so much lovely texture to the room:) 

I'm giving away one of these baskets so you too can add a useful, sweet and non-toxic baby product to your home (or give one to a friend!!). Every nursery needs a changing table, so why not add a cute one to yours!! 

Here's what you need to do: 
1) If you're on IG, go and check out my post @hope_engaged for instructions
2) If you're not on IG, please leave a comment below with your favorite part about this basket, and make sure to start following the Charlie Joy Co Facebook page

That's it! The give-away will close Thursday July 15th at 11:59pm (PST). 
The winner will be drawn at random and announced Friday July 16th! 

Even if you don't win, please go and support my friend Anna and her dream of creating this basket! She's not part of any big company, she's just a regular gal who dreamed a dream and built a product!! For more info on Charlie Joy Co. check out here website here!