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Living with What You Love

by | Aug 2, 2010 | Authentic Living, Decorating Inspiration

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Living with What You Love

I love living in a home that makes me happy when I walk through it. Not just happy in the “wow, I am so happy I made this look pretty” sort of way, but the “I feel inspired by the blessings of life” sort of happiness. There is a difference.

I have no idea how people can live in a home that is “just pretty” but lacks real meaning. Pretty only on the surface can be so, well, shallow.

Creating a home with meaning requires surrounding yourself with layers of memories — not just random objects. When everything was bought to simply to serve a purpose or to fill a space, and nothing was collected through living life, a home feels flat and one dimensional. A surface “decorated home”  misses out on the stories and character that can only come through decor that is a reflection of life experience.

Living with What You Love

I just re-framed and hung the etching my husband and I bought in Hawaii
19 years ago on our one and only special trip away from the kids!
Every single time I see it good memories rush to my mind.
Cheap therapy, I tell ya!

I feel it is so important to connect emotionally to the things you are surrounded by at home.

Your home and what is in it should have soul, not just surface beauty.

Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean you can’t have things that are simply pretty, I have lots of things that are just there to be functional or pretty. But sprinkled throughout my home are gentle reminders of the good in life. I love having things in my home that have a story. If you look through your accessories at home and do not feel your heart strings being tugged in some way, it might be worth adding in some meaning!

Living with What You Love

Treasures from our family’s past give us a sense of history at home.
They tie our past and present together.
Objects like my old postcard can enrich our life
because they make us ask questions and tell stories about our ancestors.

As I look around my home, I see framed photos of my children, art collected to remind us of vacations, shells picked up while walking along the shore, maps of places I’ve been, books I’ve loved and read over and over again, treasures and hand written notes and recipes from grandparents and sweet reminders of my childhood.

When I am surrounded by these things, my home is beautiful to me.

Living with What You Love
Jars can hold all sorts of collections and memories: photos, shells, trinkets.
This jar always reminds me of my childhood craft, painting clothespins!
Even subtle reminders of happy memories can make me smile.

That is the kind of home I love to live in. I want my home to feel authentic, warm and inviting. I want to achieve that not just with my time or money invested in decorating, but through LIVING.

Remember my motto, “When Life Inspires Your Home, Your Home will Inspire Your Life”? When you’ve lived fully  (you’ve traveled, created memories, loved, cried, laughed and lived not just for yourself but for and with others), your home can be filled with beautiful reminders of what has mattered most to you. Living with What You Love

My grandma’s meatloaf recipe, written out with love for me.
She is no longer with us, so this is priceless!

Living with What You LoveMy husband gave me a giant tea cup for a gift —
I adore it more than any other “accessory”
I could buy at a discount store.

And when you decorate with heart and soul, your home will inspire you to continue to focus on all that is right and good in your life. You’ll remember the good of the past and be inspired to live in a more positive state of mind.

Living with What You LoveThe family wall. Image from: Living with What You Love

Living with What You Love

Tip: corral small frames on a tray. From: Living with What You Love

When I ran across this new book (in a post at my friend Holly’s blog), Living With What You Love by photographer Monica Rich Kosann, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. Monica so kindly sent me a copy of the book. It is filled with her beautiful pictures and inspiring ideas to create a home with family photos, heirlooms and collectibles. Love that! I know you will all be inspired by her ideas, photos and tips as well — Monica has offered us a generous giveaway today!

Living with What You Love



One copy of Living With What You Love


All you have to do to enter is leave a comment sharing about something you have in your home that evokes a happy memory for you!

I will pick five winners at random to receive a book!

Share this post on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog for extra entries! Giveaway will end on Friday 9PM PST.

Living with What You Love can be purchased through


  1. Abby

    We had to replace the cement steps at our first house, and that meant replacing the wrought iron hand rails, too. We managed to keep a part of the railing, though – the scrollwork looks like our last initial, S.

    It’s hanging in our new home – I really love it!

  2. Jennifer

    Looks like a great book! I have many of my mom’s items since she died a few years ago. Many are in my kitchen because she was a great cook and the best hostess!

  3. Emily

    I loved this post! One of my favorite things is a framed saying that my pastor from the church I attended during my college years always said. When we graduated, they gave each senior one. It sits on my dresser and each day reminds me of a sweet time that I grew richly in the Lord.

  4. Dorothy

    As I was reading your blog I began to look around to see what things were within my eye’s view. Memories flooded as I saw my collection of miniature horses on my bookcase. As a little girl and as an adult, horses stir my soul in a special way.

  5. Jamie

    Such great ideas! I’m not very good at decorating with photographs, but one of my favorite decorations is the burgundy shawl/wrap hand embroidered with white flowers that my husband bought for me on our honeymoon to Argentina. It’s hanging in our study where I can see it every day and smile!

  6. Kim

    I love our picture of the Brooklyn Bridge…reminds me of our special trips to NYC!

  7. sue

    I totally agree with your post! I love having items in my home that remind me of loved ones, gifts, travel and memories. I have always loved an eclectic look . One of the reason I love yard sales is old things speak to me…I would rather have something old with a history than something brand new.
    Thanks for the chance of winning such an interesting looking book. I would love to win it!

  8. sue

    My goodness…did I use the word, “love” enough? More coffee, though my brain must be in a happy, loving place…LOL

  9. Marcie

    I love my collection of sea shells from the Oregon Coast where I spent the happiest years of my life. Living with what you love is important, otherwise you may as well live in a hotel. The book looks very inspiring.
    Thank you for the game!

    • Kelly

      Love this post and would love the beautiful book too! Every single room and hallway in our home has black and white candid photos of our family and friends..the glass top coffee table in the den has photos under the glass… a collection of letters and wedding invitations from relatives sits in a pile on the sideboard by my front door…and on top of that collection you will find the keys (vintage 1940!) to our first home tied with a red ribbon. As Jamie said above, it all makes me smile!

  10. Sara

    Sometimes I wish I had space on my walls for the great DIY art I see on the blogosphere, but then I remember that my walls are filled with oil paintings by my dear departed mother. Some of them are even of places I’ve been and loved.

  11. Gilda Stigliano

    How could one live surrounded by things or memories that irritate, and cause stress? No way you could want to spend more time IN your home–you’d be out all the time! If the home is sterile, how would it be different from a furniture showroom? The home could be ones only canvas on which to craft the images eminating from the soul…

  12. Marcie

    I posted your giveaway on my blog!!! Good luck everyone!

  13. Shannon

    I too like to live with things I love! I have moved many times all across the country and have been given gifts by many different people. I like having them placed around my home and when I see them I remember those I miss and love….and sometimes it is even followed by a phone call to say “hello”!

  14. Kim

    Great post! The piece that comes to my mind, is a stand that was my grandfathers. I have it in our dining area and I keep a lot of games, coloring books and paper in it!

  15. Kristen

    One object that brings back wonderful memories every time I look at it is a hand painted platter that my best friend made for my husband and me when we got married eight and a half years ago. She had come with me to register for wedding gifts and had tried to convince me to register for some rather serious china featuring fish (Spode “Woodland”, I think). I didn’t go for the china, so she painted her own version with a big fish in the center with a hook in its mouth. Around that she put our names and “Reeled in, hook, line, & sinker” Best wedding gift we got!

  16. michele Fry

    Could not agree with you more, and after almost six years of marriage I am finally finding my own “voice” in our house and trusting that I can decorate with things that make me happy and bring memories back. Pictures of my children,trips, celebrations are what I love to have around most. Need to find a place for my old toile tray that I found on our honeymoon that I love but haven’t found a place for yet…..

  17. michele Fry

    p.s. forgt to mention that I just framed our wedding invitation, and love looking at it every morning on my dresser :]

  18. Nicole from Ontario

    I have a big purple chair (it’s not as bad as it sounds) and it’s in a room that is all mine. It envelopes me and brings me back down to earth on those crazy days. :)

  19. Terri

    Maybe it’s the picture wall or the jar full of seashells from the best vacation EVER!!! Or it could be the hordes of toys ALWAYS lying all over the place…ya’ know the ones…army men, legos, american doll clothes…I love my kids so I love dealing with their stuff EVEN if it means painfully picking up an army man with my foot after I step on it.

  20. Susan

    I love the little tin milkcan my father-in-law used to carry milk in.

  21. Gina Blank

    I would love to win this beautiful book. My favorite things in my home are the things from my mom; recipes in her handwriting, old pictures of her and my dad and many other things she gave me.

  22. Lorraine

    This looks like a great book! One of my favorite items that I have in my home is an old canning jar filled with bottlecaps. As a child, I used to build things with the bottlecaps – and can still remember sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace with my daddy building structures and then tearing them down.

  23. Arielle

    The typewriter I inherited from my grandmother – she used it to type letters to her father while he fought in the Second World War. I loved typing on it as a child when I came to visit, and even though I made many mistakes and constantly had to start over, I persevered and finished every letter!

  24. Jess

    That looks like a great book – I really think you are right. It is great to get things that are pretty but it is so much better to have things that mean something to you! I have a lot of things that have been passed down – that is special!

  25. Cathy

    I make photo books from our vacation pictures and use them as coffee table books. It helps us remember the special, fun times we had together.

  26. Kathy

    I have tea towels from our time in England. They were each purchased as a reminder of a day spent somewhere during our tour there. They are beautiful and evoke memories of a special time in our lives.

  27. KT

    My husband and I are in the process of framing several cards we purchased on our college’s campus at our last visit. We both graduated from the same place, but not together. During a recent visit we crammed in as many of the stereotypical experiences we would have had together. One of those was visiting a local campus museum where we purchased postcards representing some favorite authors. We are matting them ourselves to hang and can’t wait to have up these memorable works!

  28. Alison

    What a lovely post, thank you. So true. Our home is surrounded with memories: a painting we bought on our honeymoon, hand blown glass ornaments hanging in the window that we made as a family, plants from friends that have since moved away, my great grandmother’s quilt. They are all items that make me happy every day.

  29. Kenna

    I have a huge photo book of our first trip to Disney World on my coffee table. My kids sit and look at it on almost a daily basis. It is so fun to see them relive it over and over. Thanks for a great reminder to decorate with things from our lives.

  30. Mari Larkin

    I have many things that bring a smile to me because of a past memory.
    Like my red cardinal that was given to me by my pastor back home at my high school graduation.
    A jar of buttons that belonged to my grandma.
    A green lemonade pitcher that my mom used as a little girl.
    Quilts that I’ve made.
    Tea cups and pots from when we used to have tea parties with the kids.

    Ahh, it’s nice to put those sweet treasures throughout your home.

  31. cathy

    I was just thinking about this as I was cleaning my desk last night. I use a little silver bowl ( a old golf trophy of my dads) a small floral plate (broken and glued together) and a pottery coffee mug missing its handle (both my grandmothers) to organize the little stuff on my desk. Makes me smile everyday.

  32. Christina

    There are some rooms in my home designated as “pretty room” In these rooms there is functionality as well as all the pretty details. Let me actually take that back…there is only one room in my home designated to be pretty. For the rest of the space it is filled with love, memories and a ton of stories. Whether it is a jar of sea glass from our honeymoon or the wall of photos from when my grandparents and parents were young ranging all the way to my wedding this past Spring it all brings back that warm and fuzzy feeling of the past. I love sitting around with generations of family, telling stories that I have heard numerous times but love hearing them the same as I did the first time.

  33. Slipcover Girl

    I love this way of living. I have a bowl of sea glass that I collected when I lived in California. It reminds me of the many early mornings I spent on the beach. I love how quiet the beach is first thing in the morning.

  34. hannal

    we have 3 jars filled one filled w/ sand, one w/ star fish and one w/ sea shells my 3 yo found on the beach. All are from trips to the beach that we have taken together as a family.

  35. Kathy

    I’d definitely like to be entered! I had been thinking before you mentioned giveaway that I was going to have to add this book to my Amazon wish list! The pictures are great ~ I love that family picture wall going up the staircase. I did that in our house in a long hallway, but wound up having to take it down to put the house on the market. It is mostly pictures that I keep around the house that evoke my happy memories ~ whether the first cruise we ever took and went on as a family, to just pictures of the kids hanging around the pool in the summer when they were younger. I have been remembering those times more recently and how I used to hate August because that meant it was that much closer that they’d have to go back to school. {I was a nut I guess that really enjoyed having my children home}!

  36. Renee Walsh

    All of the artwork in my home has either been painted by a family member or is representative of a vacation or location that we cherish. I have pix of homes of my life above my family room sofa. I often look around and think that my house does not look like a model home, but it is filled with family memories. I was encouraged by your post today.

  37. Sharon

    Oh, I so agree! Your home should be a true reflection of you, not just objects that look pretty. Right now my favorites are bowls of shells and rocks collected on vacations. We know the subtle differences from one shell or to another, depending on where it was found. We love looking through them, holding them and remembering special moments shared. … Great post, nice giveaway!

  38. laney

    …my granddaaddy was a chaplin in world war 2…on our family wall going up the stairs i have a large newspapaper page concerning the last push into germany by the united states forces…he sent this to my grandmother…across it he writes of the emotion of “holding services” under fire…we have his diary of the war…telling of his being in london on VE day …and being interviewed by edward r murrow (which his sister and aunt heard on the radio as they listened in south ga)…many many other things that he kept in a trunk…there is a favorite on mine however…a framed newspaper announcing the arrival of the queen elizabeth ocean liner in new york city… bringing hoime united states troops …across the top he has written “the sweetest queen of all…she brought me home”…

  39. Diana D

    I have several framed cross stitched pictures my grandmother made.

  40. Diana

    My husband and I just heard a podcast on npr the other night about how decorating to be current with style can be so sterile and not reflect anything about you individually or as a family. I think you are right on the money so to speak. That’s what makes a house a home rather than a designer showcase. It’s fine to have style, but it should reflect your style and tastes and your life experience as you’ve pointed out.

    I’ve just posted to Facebook.


  41. peg karrasch

    I’d love to read that book because I have always felt that personal things that evoke memories add zest to the home decorating. My favorite thing is a tray where I added momentos from my trip to Provence under the glass. Everytime I see the leaf I picked up at the park or the menu from the B&B where we stayed I can bring back that time when I vacationed and had such a wonderful time in France.

  42. Leah Peck

    I love our DIY artwork that is comprised of the numbers of our wedding date, our son’s birthday and the date my husband asked me out. It’s so personal and makes me smile every time I see it. To someone else, it’s just pretty numbers but to me it’s very special.

  43. keely

    My husband recently got permission to take a brick from the first house that we lived in when we got married. It has been torn down, but the bricks remain on the lot. It is extremely special to us, especially since the house itself is no longer there for us to drive by and see!

  44. Kristi

    I would have to say that one of my favorites things in my home is a set of prints that my parents bought when we went to Europe when I was 13. It is a set of 6 prints from a village in Germany. My mom never did anything with them so I finally took them and framed them. The are now hanging on my dining room wall.

  45. Kimberlee J.

    I loved this post…and I need to win this book. Or, at the very least buy it. I know what I love (not my problem) it’s trying to figure out how to display it that trips me up.

  46. kathie

    what a great post, its true I have a few things in my home that just make me happy and smile when I pass them
    I have a pillow thats about 4″ x 4″ from maine filled with pine needles the smell every time I pick it up just makes me smile and remember my childhood summer vacations we spent in Maine.
    I have it sitting in a basket in our living room that was given to me by a special friend.
    two great memories in one!

  47. cindy

    First let me tell you how much I enjoy your blog…It is more than words that I read, it’s a feeling that you express so well, you write from the heart. I often ask the question of my family and friends to name five things, excluding pictures, that they would take from their homes if they knew it was to be destroyed, it amazes me the answers I get, some can’t come up with any because they want it all… husband and I have collected many things together for years, they all have importance and memories but the one thing that means the most is the topper to our wedding cake… displayed in it’s special dome, it is a reminder of the day when joined together to start our lives and family. Thanks again for your wonderful words!

  48. Heather

    I have a candle that a family member made for my husband and I that has our wedding invitation on it – I love looking at it!

  49. Kristi

    I have pictures that I love of my family, but my favorite by far is one I had rescued and restored. It is of my grandmother when she was little and her family and it makes me feel that connection to history and generations when I see it. I don’t have many of those kinds of pictures, so that is why this one makes my heart especially happy.

  50. heather

    Love the ideas in this post. What comes to mind in my home is my great grandmothers silver collection.,

  51. Cindy

    I’m a quilter and I have my quilts in almost every room of the house. They make me happy to look at or to grab for an afternoon nap!

  52. Sallie

    As I look around my house, nearly everything has a memory attached to it. Heirlooms from my woodworking dad and grandpa, dried flowers from my precious mom’s memorial service last year, her Bible and prayer shawl, trinkets picked up on journeys I’ve taken with my husband over the years–evoking memories even of very simple times, like trips to Goodwill! But there are so many more things tucked away that I’d like to display in creative ways…. Thank you for your blog!

  53. Betsy

    This is my philosophy too! The first thing I see as I look around is a framed scrap of wall paper from our old kitchen. My SIL sneaked it out during the demo phase of our remodel and framed it for me. It reminds me of the fun my whole family had working on this huge project together.

  54. Christy

    This looks like a great book! I really enjoyed reading this post because it’s inspired me to continue decorating with those things that have soul and not just necessarily surface beauty. One of my most treasured pieces are pictures of my children that I have displayed on old window frames that were in my parents’ home. I also have several pieces of furniture that belonged to my grandparents as well as linen tablecloths and napkins. Thanks for the opportunity to win!!!

  55. Leslie

    The very first photo I hung on our wall was our wedding photo. It makes me smile every time I see it.

  56. Kathleen

    I love the idea of this book. I have photos of family in black and white film with silver frames in a room that should be our dining room, but is more like a parlor. I like to use that rooom to light a scented candle and be by myself in. I will use that quiet time to say my prayers, or enjoy a good book and feel surrounded by our ancestors.

  57. Rachel

    I have many photos, new and old, that I love. I also have a corner cabinet filled with old dishes and crocks from both sets of my grandparents. So many other things but those are two of my favorite.

  58. melissa

    this is hard. I am in the middle of trying to sell my house and we had a stager come in and advice us on removing all “personal” belonging and give our house a generic feel. Hard to live in this space because I removed all my photograph of my kids. So I guess I will put down the one thing I adore and its my electronic frame that sprinkles my kitchen with glimpses of my family throughout the years.

  59. Spring

    The book looks LOVELY! I have a tea pot that was my great-grandmothers. It’s not in display currently, because I worry about my 3 kids accidentally breaking it. But this post has me wondering if I’ve missed a safe spot I could put it where I can enjoy it…. hmm…..

  60. Amy

    It would definitely be family photographs . I especially treasure photos of grandparents who are no longer with us and photos of my family who lives far away. They just make me smile every time i see them!

  61. Justine

    My mom and I were just talking about this very topic! For me, my dishes full of seashells bring back the happiest memories for me because they remind me of so many amazing family trips.

  62. kelsey

    My great-grandmother’s jewelry box where I keep her strand of pearls just like she did. Everytime I look at it I think of what a true lady she was and it “inspires” me to be a better woman everyday. Thanks for the post – nice way to start the day!

  63. Camille

    I have a gallery of some of my son’s best paintings starting at the age of 4 (he’s 6 now). They are masterpieces to me and they remind me everyday to be creative. I’m interior-design challenged and love how your blog really helps me. Thanks!

  64. sangeetha

    I have these beautiful braonze statues from one very fab trip to India.

    This was when my family got to meet my husband (we eloped)!

  65. Tara

    sea shells collected in my apothecary jars from our trips together, sepia portraits of each of my children when they were two, bronzed hand and foot prints of each of my kids when they were babies, our wall of black and white photos, the framed prints from China that represent the culture that our daughter comes from, the sign in our dining room that reads “there is no place like home.”

    All of these things that fill our home bring us Joy…it is good to be surrounded by all the things you love.

    great post, Melissa!

  66. krys72599

    My friend’s parents attended my wedding 11 years ago, and what they did was set up an easel in the vestibule of the church. On it was a large sheet of cardstock, about 2’x3′, decorated with wallpaper borders, and our vows written out in caligraphy. At the bottom was space for all of our guests to sign, as witnesses to our wedding. My husband framed it and it’s in our hallway, on its own wall, and everytime I look at it, I remember my wedding day and it helps keep that happiness alive today, 11 years later! It’s at the bottom of my staircase so it’s the first thing I see when I walk downstairs every morning!!!

  67. jen

    One of my most treasured items is a shell I found on my honeymoon. It reminds me of our beginning together as a family. Thank you for this post.

  68. kara

    I was given my grandmothers green vaseline glass candle sticks and bowl when she passed away. I love seem them and have even used them as inspiration for the rest of my home.

  69. Anita

    I would have to say all the photographs that my son has taken. He lives far away so they make me feel closer to him. Also, my 3 boys put together a photobook of our trip to Italy which I absolutely love. It has great memories in it and I love that they did it together for me!

  70. Laurel

    Looks like a fantastic book – my favorite item is a lamp my husband picked out and bought because he thought it was pretty!


    We have a bowl filled with antique marbles that look very old and rustic. We had a vase filled with these same marbles in my house growing up and when I look at them, they just remind me of home.

    I have never seen any marbles just like these, so I feel so blessed to have these in our home and hope to pass them down to my girls!!

    Thanks for sharing,

  72. Sallie Baker

    thanks, I needed this post as a reminder!
    My father just recently died, and my mother has Alzheimer’s and I just brought the grandfather clock from my childhood home into
    my home. Nothing more comforting than hearing the chimes you grew up with ringing through your own home.

  73. Lyndsey

    I am new to your blog, but I just wanted to say that I absolutely love it. I am an interior design student with two little girls. Your design aesthetic is exactly what I aim for myself and hope to bring to the homes of others.

    I have so many things in my home that evoke special memories. I spent my childhood in Europe and a lot of my favorite items recall that time. One in particular is an architectural draft of the Leaning Tower of Pisa that I have hanging on my wall. I was able to go and climb to the top within months of them shutting it down for safety reasons. I’m blessed to have been able to experience that place in history.

  74. Sara Dodson

    I have an old cedar chest that was my grandmother’s growing up. She is no longer with us so it is very special to me.

  75. Margot

    Such an inspration! I love our giant framed picture of Catalina Island -we bought it on the east coast, unexpectedly moved to the west coast, and were able to take a family picture on the island in the same spot as the painting.

  76. Sharon

    What do I love?
    Antiques – some from dear family members, others found during
    one of my
    favorite pasttimes – antiquing!

  77. Janell Beals

    fabulous post and giveaway!! I love my kid’s artwork in the home, seeing it make both them and me happy! Janell

  78. Erin

    I would love this book!! I’ve been working on a piece for my blog on just such a topic!!

    I, like you, have little things here and there throughout my home that bring back memories. There’s a Monet poster in my office with the description words written in Italian. It was my first adult purchase after I joined the Navy, when I arrived in Italy, which was my first duty station. I bought it to hang in my barracks room so it wouldn’t be so bland and ugly…it’s hung in every barracks room or home ever since.

    I have a watercolor in my living room I bought on vacation on the island of Capri (also in Italy). A stein from Germany, a teapot from London, pictures tucked into every room somewhere. You may not even notice these things at first glance…but I know they are there. :)

  79. Julie

    We have keepsakes all over our home, chairs, quilts, furniture, pictures… Some of my favorite are those that we’ve collected as a family–baskets from Savannah on vacation. Rocks that washed up on Tybee Island. Pieces of rocks from old Crosley Field. Things that can never just be replaced or updated.

  80. Sarah

    My dad died at age 56 (4 years ago). His dream all his life was to go the Albuquerque Balloon Festival one time. Would you believe that we were transferred to Albuquerque (from FL) for a 1 1/2 yr project? Guess who got to go to the balloon festival that year? Yep — Dad. He died a couple of years later. So, I have a framed picture of my dad with the balloons behind him in the background sitting on a shelf above my desk. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that picture and look at it every day!

  81. Robin

    I love my grandmother’s china and glassware.

  82. Joanna

    I love a beautiful blown glass vase that my husband and I bought when we were very newly married with NO money. We were on vacation in Northern California, and both just loved this vase more than anything. At the time, the price was quite high for us, but it is one of my most treasured possessions and always has a special place in our home.

  83. Sharon

    What do I love?
    Antiques! Some from dear family members, others collected
    during one of my favorite getaway escapes – antiquing!
    Flowers! A few beautiful arrangements I’ve put together bring
    joy and satisfaction from creative spurts of energy. And of
    course, a few fresh flowers placed here and there are the best!
    Pillows…throws…books…candles…clocks…lamps…silver…. The
    layers that bring interest and make a house a home.
    And most importantly? Surrounding myself with pictures of those
    who remind me of what life is all about!!

    Thanks for a great post. The book intrigues me….

  84. Anna

    Wonderful post – I couldn’t agree more! I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment in TJMaxx a few years ago – cart full of “decor” that was all pretty but held no meaning- I walked away & just left it there. Now I try to only set out to buy specific items (the oblong tray for the side table) instead of filling the space with stuff. My grandmother was very smart as most grandmas are and for each big event in my adult life (wedding shower, first house, baby shower etc etc) she gave me something from her home – her silver tea service, her cut glass knife rest etc – those are the things I treasure most in my home today.

  85. jeana

    Ha, I saw that book on you shelf, and thought I should look into it. I have a small painting hanging up of a house on a hill with lots of yellow roses. It was painted by my grandma, who is down in health right now, but has rediscovered her love for painting. Thank you!

  86. Carla Mayfield

    I have quite a few beautiful family antiques, but my favorite decorative piece is a little wooden jewelry box my middle son painted and gave to me for Mother’s Day when he was about 10. It’s pink and has floral trim glued around the edges of the top, around the middle of the box, and he even added an embroidered flower medallion to the center top. The best part about it, though, is the haiku he wrote and glued inside the top:

    My mother is sweet,
    She is my guardian,
    Helpful, very kind

    An eternal friend,
    Pink her favorite color
    Bright and friendly, fun

    She loves her people
    Caring and loving to all
    With sunny colors

  87. Elizabeth Smith

    a large wooden picture frame with wedding vows on it & our engagement picture in it :)

  88. Julia Fortenberry

    pictures of my babies, just a few weeks old :)

  89. Deb

    Two sweet Steiff lions that I found on my honeymoon. I was so excited to add them to my collection and named them Honey and Moon, of course :)

  90. Jane

    We were missionaries in Irian Jaya, Indonesia for 18 years. I have a few baskets and string bags (called Nokins) that still carry the scent of the fires that burned near where these were made. I’m instantly transported back to our life there.

  91. teresa

    In my bedroom is a small man and women figurine music box that was my grandmothers, when she passed away…{it plays the anniversary song.} became my Mother’s and when she passed away it became mine….on the bottom of the music figurine written in my Mother’s hand writing is my grandmothers name, my mothers name, my name and then my daughters name….and ending with my granddaughter’s name Anna. {My Mother wrote this on the bottom of the figurine so we would know who it went to when she passed away.} it is a priceless treasure to me.
    thanks for this post it helped to remind me what is really important in decorating my Home.

  92. Ashley S

    Items that my husband and I bought while antiquing together on our anniversary. Happy memories that day!

  93. Julia

    That staircase with all of the framed family photos is gorgeous! If my stairs looked that good, I think I’d be hanging out on them all the time. :-)

    I had two of my former homes painted and the portraits of them are framed and hanging in my current place. There’s something about seeing them every day that makes me smile and brings back happy memories.

    What a fun giveaway. That book looks wonderful!

  94. Gail Moore

    I, too, love to decorate with family photos. I have a large round skirted table in my living room. The top is covered with photos of my children and grandchildren. When I receive or take new photos, I add them to the frames and the pictures that are already there. Each time it is like going back in time to look at the previous photos and seeing how the individuals have changed and grown. It is a lovely reminder of passing time.


  95. kathy

    I collect rocks with rings around them (for good luck) whenever we go to our favorite Cape Cod beaches. I scatter them around the house and they are a reminder of our family time – no watches, staying up late, going out every night to do something different by the beach — great reminders in the middle of winter! Would love a copy of this book as I am planning on redecorating/reorganizing this fall and winter and this looks like a great inspiration.

  96. Carrie

    What a great post. You pretty much summed up why I don’t buy things for my home from catalogs and box stores. I like everything to be personal to me and my husband – not the same thing a thousand other people have. One of the things in my home that has a lot of meaning in a pair of vintage cameras that my grandmother gave me. They were hers and my grandfathers. I have a collection of vintage cameras but those are the only two I would never sell. Thanks for a great giveaway.

  97. Roberta

    My home is full of items and memories and my favorite tends to change with the weather and activities and right now it is a collage picture that I gave my DH for our anniversary one year with a personal letter telling him how much I cherish him and our times together. I love it when I catch him reading it at random and we just look at each other and smile.

  98. Jennifer

    We have all sorts of things in our home that have memories and a past. From antique furniture passed through families to the china and collectibles that fill them. I also use artwork that were favorites of my Grandmothers that make me think of her every time I pass them. And of course pictures are always a favorite.
    This book looks great!

  99. Jill

    I whole-heartedly agree with you! This is what I think is missing from many design shows. They create a beautiful space that has no connection to the people who will live there. I have many reminders of my family, friends and good times. It is in the furniture I got from my grandmother, the art we collect when we travel, the art that was created by my mother and mother-in-law, the furniture in my kids’ rooms (from my own childhood home) and gifts from friends. Thes things give my home a soul. When someone enters my home they immediately get an impression of who we are and where we’ve been.

  100. Mona Kay at Home

    I loved this post!! I have a small statue of a sea bird perched on the back of a turtle – the turtle is looking up, and the bird is looking down. I got it at a shop in Florida when I was visiting my parents, and the owner opened the shop back up for me so that I could get it. It always reminds me of a perfect end to a perfect day during a perfect trip!

  101. hill upon hill

    I love having our children’s artwork displayed. I also love books and flowers. Flowers really make me feel happy, especially if from somebody else.

  102. Kristi

    I have several things in my home that make our house a home. I love old recipes that my grandmothers and my husband’s grandmother wrote out for us. Also, I love pieces of china that have been handed down. Especially things I can remember being used when I was a child. I would love this book, and thank you for such a beautiful blog that continues to enspire me to beautify our home and lives.

  103. Lynne

    Five years ago I discovered an amazing watercolor artist (Frances Velling) at the annual art benefit for the homeless in our community. I bought one of her paintings for my husband. It’s a painting of a lean and lanky Chocolate Lab, very much like our lab “Chocolate Gousse”. This past year I was treated for early stage breast cancer. I was laying on a Cat Scan table prepping for radiation. When I looked up…there was a painting by Fran on the ceiling tiles above…She painted a garden on the hospital ceiling! Fran has touched my home and my community! It gave me comfort during a difficult time. I love your blog…I visit everyday…Thanks for your inspiration!

  104. Courtney

    man I think my kitchen island is my memory glad I can take it with me if need be!

  105. JN

    What a nice giveaway. Always good ideas on your blog!

    Most of our smiles in our home are brought to me by the two cats who “adopted” us when we lived overseas and moved back with us. A house is not a home without a cat, is one of our favorite sayings.

    But for ” items” that aren’t alive, my great aunt’s tea cups from the 1930s-1940s add a special touch to our home, and remind me of her every time I catch them in my line of view. They’re in a cabinet …in case the aforementioned cats get too rambunctious!

  106. Pam

    I have an apothecary jar on one of our nightstands in the bedroom filledd with a twig, feather, stones, moss… that I gathered from our favorite vacation spot that we visit every year. Whenever I look at it, it brings back wonderful memories and warm, fuzzy feelings.

  107. paige whitley

    I have blue ball jars filled with fossils and coral from a fossil dig the boys and I did a few years ago. I have jars with shells the boys gathered at the beach. I have a little ceramic frog that came from the inside of my godfathers coffee cup, it was the cup he’d let me use when I visited him. I have a vintage poetry book that I read from every year, to my boys, in hopes they will one day have a little bit of romance in their lives.

  108. Cheri

    I’d love this book! I have various artwork from Madagascar, where I grew up, scattered around our house, and I hope to add more from various trips we take. Memories are priceless!

  109. Jenny

    I absolutely love that family wall… that staircase is amazing too! We are about to do a family gallery in our very tiny hallway. It has been that already, but I’m about to take it up a notch.

    Our most recent acquisition that I love is an antique Steinway upright (from the late 1800’s) that we just brought to our home from my husband’s grandmother. It is gorgeous and I’m looking forward to many happy family memories around that piano.

    I would love to have this book!

  110. Carrie

    This sounds like a fabulous book. Framed pictures of my parents in black and white from when they were kids are one of my favoritie things in my home.

  111. Paula

    It may sound strange, but my favorite item is my mom’s paper towel holder. Takes me back. :)

  112. Jennifer

    Happy memories in our home are evoked by many of the paintings that hang on our wall. For the most part, each painting evokes a story relating to wonderful trips and fascinating people.

  113. Kori

    I have many trinkets in my home that bring to mind fond, priceless memories from the past. This morning as I sit here in my quiet living room, my eyes and memory are drawn to the little tea set and hutch which belonged to my mom as a child. I remember playing store and kitchen with the child sized cabinet when I was a little girl. Now, this treasured piece of furniture sits in my home and is lovingly played with by my 6 year old daughter Annie.

  114. Angie

    Gosh I love this post. This is how I try to live. I have all sorts of things around my home that came from important people in my life. Things from my childhood, from my husbands childhood. I think that is what makes our house our home!

  115. Sindy

    Awesome giveaway! I have a framed black & white photo in my family room. It’s a portrait of an old and gentle, yet noble and beloved Percheron work horse named “Old Jerry” whose work is finished. I love this photo. My grandfather raised champion Percherons in Iowa in the 1920s. Even though my grandfather died shortly after I was born, the picture of Old Jerry somehow sparks a connection–can you inherit a love for these grand animals–don’t know, but I surely do love them!
    Sindy :)

  116. Monika

    I have one shelf devoted to our first beloved pet. A framed photo, his old collar and tags, his ball, a few dog books. Makes me smile and think of him everytime I walk past.

  117. Mendy

    i just love your blog….i have coastal items all around my house to remind me of the beach. i was a surfer on the gulf coast when i was in high school and the beach is my favorite place to be.

  118. Violet

    I found 3 little elegant frames and in the first is an old black and white photo of my grandma holding me as a baby. In the other two I created black and white photos of me holding each grandbaby. A new baby is arriving next month, and I should have bought another frame! And I really should do one with me holding my daughter as a baby…. to add to the collection. I just love the one of my grandma.

    This book looks really good! What a wonderful give-away.
    ~ Violet

  119. Ann, Hill Country House

    I agree with you wholeheartedly . I can’t even imagine living in a home without the things I love or that evoke memories for me. I am constantly talking about a home needing soul and personality.

    I recently picked up this great book and think it is wonderful. Good for you for passing it along!! Thanks for spreading the word.

  120. Gwen

    Great Giveaway! Book sounds wonderful.
    One of my most treasured pieces in my home is a little mosaic vase that my mom made when she was about 14 years old. My mom went to be with the Lord back in 1995, but the things that came from her have very special meaning, especially this little vase that she made herself. Love your blog. Thanks for inspiring.

  121. Jennifer Butler

    In the 1950s, my husband’s grandmother turned a few spare rooms in her house into a tourist home. They had postcards made as an advertisement for the “Butler Tourist home.” One of those postcards hangs on the wall in our house and I smile evertime I walk by it.

  122. ashley

    we have a piece of stained glass that hangs in my kitchen window above the sink that i got from hubby’s grandparents. i love it. it reminds me of the wonderful family i was blessed enough to marry into :-)

  123. Aimee

    What a beautiful post! I love being surrounded by things that bring me joy too. My favorite thing is probably a memo board in my office that I made where I hold all the little notes and cards that I receive. Thanks Melissa!

  124. Lara

    I love decorating with photos in my home… currently, I’m working on hanging a collage of photos above my bed with my wedding and engagement photos.

  125. Kara Fleck

    oh, what a wonderful giveaway! Something that I love in our home that brings good memories is my great-aunt Ida Belle’s piano. My dad and uncles all learned to play on it, my siblings and I all learned on it, and I hope to teach my children to play piano on it, too.

  126. Dani Sticka

    I have a clock in my home that is over 100 years old, it was my grandmother’s and before that my great grandmother’s. It was made by a clock maker in France and I just love it. It reminds me of my grandfather actually because he would always let me wind it at night before bedtime. So when I wind each night I always have warm memories of being small and staying with them.

  127. Stacey

    One of my favorite things is a tiny little set of blocks handpainted by a family friend. They are so itty bitty that all 26 fit in a teacup. These were a gift when my 21 year old son was a baby. Love them!

    We have china pieces from both sides of the family that my husband and I both treasure. Of course, there are many pictures which are hidden away. I think this book might provide the right inspiration to get them out and enjoy them!

  128. amy-kins

    My husband and I do a lot of international travel. Every time we pick up a small thing – a trinket, a hanging, a painting – to commemorate the trip. I am struggling with a good way to display these items in my home. This book would really help!!

  129. Ronnell

    Amazing! I never thought of it this way. . . but I do live with what I love. From the “jelly cabinet” in my kitchen that was on my grandma’s porch. . . the one with no door and the missing knob (that my husband so kindly pointed out and I told it him it has been missing for at least 50 year!) to our beach family portraits from a great trip to the baseball “skins” in my sons bathrooms. . . I love the things I live with. The book looks great I I would treasure it!

  130. Maurine

    I have little “treasures” that I have found on hikes scattered around my house, an interesting rock or piece of wood. The beauty I find when I am in creation is always amazing to me.

  131. Holli

    I have a painting that my grandfather painted before I was born that always hung in my grandma’s kitchen. I loved that painting and would always stare at it and ask him questions about it…. when he died she gave it to me. It’s now hanging in my breakfast nook where I can still stare at it every day and think of him.

  132. Jessi

    I actually posted a few months back about some of things in my home that may not be the ‘latest trendy’ stuff in decorating, but I love because they have meaning to me. My dad’s bronzed baby shoes (who passed away a few years ago at only 57 years of age); my husband’s grandfather’s books – titles like “Separated Unto God” and “Confessions of Faith” – he was a minister and church planter, same and my husband and I; pictures of my family and a sugar/creamer set that has crocuses on and says “To God be the Glory” and “Great Things He Has Done” given to me by my hubby (which reminds me of how he saved our marriage many years ago).

    I would love to read this book and be inspired to use more of my everyday treasures to make my house more homey!!

  133. Jen

    Among other things, I have three little trinkets that my mother gave me on a cake stand with a domed glass lid. The most precious is a little CareBear “Tenderheart Bear” which I actually thought I had lost a few houses ago (oh how I cried) but joy! Adam found it for me in the bottom of our utensils cannister (don’t ask, I don’t know*grin*) and “gifted” it to me one day as a surprise.

  134. Jennifer

    My FAVORITE piece in my house is a antique frame that houses eight different leaves that my kids and I found while taking a nature hike almost nine years ago. It’s traveled with us to each new house but always ends up on the fireplace mantle as a place of honor. It’s so simple and sweet and reminds me how God provides the best accessories.

  135. Jo in New Prague, MN

    I looked around my home, trying to decide what I loved most. I decided it’s my cross-stitch. I only do replicas of vintage samplers – those done by a 12 year old in 1873 for example. They are beautiful, and very special when you know that each one literally takes a few hundred hours to do, using hand-dyed floss and linen. Yep, I’m pretty proud and definitely love them! Your blog is terrific, BTW.

  136. Lisa writes...

    Too many things to list! From quilts to books to family photographs to dishes to my husband’s grandmother’s dining room set! Thanks for the giveaway!

  137. Karen

    I have an antique sideboard that I received from my Opa when he moved out of his house and into a condo. It’s a reminder of him and my Oma, and was kept in the basement room where us grandkids would always play when we went over for a visit. I lived with Opa for a few months after Oma passed away, and he let me choose one thing from his house as a thank you for spending that time with him. I will always treasure it.

  138. Linda Schoenfeld

    I love my holiday collections – collected over 40 years now – it brings back memories when I put them out of past holidays and sweet memories of our children growing up. I really look forward to setting up old photos of children (and now grandchildren) in their Halloween costumes, visits with Santa, etc.

  139. Missy June

    I love the silverware handed down from my grandparents and the sketched images from a trip my mother and I went on to Singapore.

  140. Jennifer

    It’s so fun to read about what other have in their homes that have meaning. In ours the special items would be our framed marriage certificate and a small collection of dolphin (for me) and white tigers (for my husband) that my mother-in-law has given us over the years. It’s small but she has carefully picked each one out for us over time.

  141. Mary Joy

    Oh wow!!! That looks like a wonderful book! One of the things I love in our home is the pictures of my husband when he was a boy…they always make me smile in my heart and on my face! LOL

    I love decorating with pictures of our family…pictures that share special memories. Crossing my fingers that I win one of these wonderful books! Thanks for the opportunity!!!

  142. Raquel

    Things I have bought on vacation, items from favorite shops/store owners and photographs.

  143. Lindy

    I have some of my grandmother’s recipes mounted in floating glass frames on a wall in my kitchen. She passed away two years ago and I look at those recipes every day and it makes me smile.

  144. jodi

    pictures of our children – such special memories!

  145. Kim

    My favorite things in my house are my scrapbooks filled to the brim with family photos, past vacations, and time spent with friends. Would love to have this book!

  146. Rebekah Ray

    I have a large family photo hanging over our sofa – I love it!!!! So beautiful!!!
    [email protected]

  147. homesteader

    My son’s art. It goes with nothing, but means everything.

  148. marcia

    Hi Melissa, please include me in this wonderful give away! I would love a chance to win! thank you, Marcia

  149. Christy

    We have a picture frame that we bought on our honeymoon in Hawaii. I holds a picture of us from the trip. Everytime I look at it I smile because we paid a ridiculously large amount of money for that frame.. we keep the price tag on the back. Now that we are a one income family, I cannot imagine spending that much on something, but the fact that we did and have that memory makes it one of my prized possessions.

  150. marcia

    I have posted about this on my Facebook page as well, Marcia

  151. Amanda Eck-TheEckLife

    I love that book- it looks amazing. I have many things I love in my home. My teacups and teapots are very special, my husbands grandmother gave us some of her china and her antique hutch to display them.

  152. Gina

    The book looks very interesting. Right up my alley.;) I aspire to have only things I love in my home. It is really hard to narrow it down because most of my accessories are tied to a trip or memory, but I have my son’s baseball glove with a baseball a major league player threw to my daughter during batting practice sitting in the glove. They are in my bookshelves. I love them! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  153. marcia

    OK, One more, I have also posted about this give away on my blog, Thanks again! Marcia

  154. Laura Zarrin

    A picture of my son with chocolate all over his face. He was 2. Love that memory.

  155. Heather

    I can’t seem to have enough framed photos of my darling baby boy around the house. Each one is a moment in time, and he’s growing so fast!

  156. Kathryn

    My husband and I have a wood and glass box in our bedroom full of our love letters to each other from our long distance romance. To us, it’s the most beautiful thing in the house.

  157. Tiffany

    Oh my gosh I adore this post. And I would so love to win this book! In my home our little family collects blankets and throws. We love to drag them out and use them not only for decor but to snuggle with. We can’t stop buying blankets and throws! LOL!

  158. Joan

    Thank you for another inspiring post. Loved it.
    We downsized last year but two things I could not part with were the cedar chest that was my mothers….and the secretary desk that was my mother-in-laws. My daughter found room for both of them in her sitting room/office. The cedar chest is happily brimming over with wool and yarn and the desk holds knitting books and special ornaments.

  159. Deb

    I have a piece of wood my Dad inscribed the words, “taste and see that the Lord is good,” on my dining room wall. We recently moved away from OH (and all our family) and he made it for us as a going away gift. It is amazing and makes our home beautiful!

  160. corie

    I love my Keep Calm and Carry On sign. It’s a mommy’s mantra, a nice greeting for anyone who enters the house, and a birthday present from my hubby!

  161. Colleen

    Gosh, what a wonderful post. So important to remember to surround yourself with the important things.
    I collect seashells on all of our travels and have them all around the house. The beach is my favorite place to be and I love bringing home bits and pieces from places I’ve traveled to with the man I love.

  162. Debbie Johnson

    I have a quilt displayed in my living room that my mother in law hand quilted for me that I love. The only blankets we have in our home are quilts that my mother & mother in law have made. Our children have always gone to bed with these quilts and even took them to college with them.

  163. Cheryl

    Like Joan, above, we also downsized last year and rather than keep a lot of our stuff, I gave several treasured items and furniture to our daughter, and even parted with the Kennedy Rocker we bought our first year of marriage (we’ll celebrate #43 in three weeks)–a furniture-maker bought it on Craig’s List and planned to use it as a model and pattern for chairs he plans to make. But we did keep all our photos, dishes from my grandma, my grandpa’s gardening hoe and fork, and handwork from my grandma. One of my winter projects to make a photo wall of family pics, including a beloved trip to Greece, just the two of us, three years ago.

  164. Linda Cates

    I love my scrapbooks. Would love to win this book.

  165. Katie

    I have a hand turned wooden bowl often displayed with horse apples or big shiny ornaments during Christmas. The bowl was made from the wood of a big tree that used to live in my grandmother’s yard. The tree had to be cut down soon after her death, and my father had the bowls made for all of her children and grandchildren.

  166. Robin

    I have a note, written by my dad (who passed away 5 years ago) that lists the things he is thankful for.

  167. Margaret

    I have a big brown, ceramic mixing bowl that belonged to my Great Aunt. She taught me how to make pie crust in that bowl. Every time I see it I remember being in her big country kitchen baking berry cobblers.

  168. Shannon Strong

    I love my items from Ethiopia – reminds me of being there and bringing home three beautiful children to join our family!!

  169. Laurie

    I have a beautiful picture/photograph of my grandmother as a child. She is wearing a beautiful dress with a big bow in her hair that was taken around 1905 or so. It is in a larger and very pretty antique frame. I love reminding myself they she was once so young. I only knew her as a white haired granny that I loved but who could be quite difficult in her later years. Every time I see that picture I smile and it brings me joy to remember her how she once was. The picture sits on a bookcase in our family room.

  170. Lindsey

    Such a wonderful post! I think my most favorite items in my home (which is hard to pin down!!) are two reproduction paintings in my dining room. One is called Grace and one is called Gratitude, they are popular paintings with a man and a woman praying over the meager meal. What’s unqiue is that the woman (gratitude) hung in my parents house and growing up I had always heard how my mother wanted the “praying man” to go with it. I grew up and met a man who would one day become my husband. The first time I went to his apartment I was floored when in his kitchen he had the “praying man” painting (grace) haning on a wall. When we got married, my mother gave me her painting as a gift. :)

    I love the paintings!

  171. Kaye Haun

    I have small antique jars full of sharks teeth that we have found over many summer vacations at the beach. They bring back lots of happy memories every time I see them! Love your post!! I got sidetracked for a while and had a very “pretty” house with not near enough soul! You have encouraged me to go back to what really made me happy all along! My family is grateful!! Thank you!

  172. Emily

    I have a matted and framed historical map that I love for a couple reasons: It was given to me by someone special who knows I love history. And it reminds me of the happy memories I have from that place.

  173. Kamee

    I have a family wall on the way up my stairs. It is all silver frames and those pictures make me so happy whenever I catch a glimpse of them on my way to bed. There is a picture with my grandpa, who just passed away, and he looks so happy. It always cheers me up to see that glimmer in his eyes… and you can just tell he had a great one-liner waiting to escape those lips as soon as the picture was taken ;)

  174. nell ann

    I discovered the same thing about a flat house right after we married. Our house looked lovely — but lacked the sweetness of a house really lived in. Immediately I hung pictures from our wedding and dragged out mementos of our honeymoon and silly things we’d done with friends. Suddenly, we had a home. : )

  175. Meredith

    I have a “caricature” sketch of me and my husband that was done while we were still dating…it hangs above his night stand in our room and I smile everytime I see that silly thing. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  176. Heather

    I have pictures of our family and artwork made by family in our home. Such a neat book!

  177. Juliann

    I have 2 things that I bring me joy and fond memories when I look at them. The first is an antique buffet from my Grandparents farmhouse. I just open the top drawer and the smell takes me back with wonderful childhood memories. The other thing is a small side table from my Grandmother. On top of it sits a picture of my dad sitting on the same table for his 6 month portraits.

  178. Angie

    There are so many things in our home that make me think of happy memories. One thing is a straw hat, hanging on the mirror on my dresser. It’s a “vintage-y” looking hat, with soft colored flowers on it. My husband bought it for me in Nevada City, CA one year when we were camping up in the area. We went into this gorgeous clothing store, where absolutely NOTHING was in our price range, but this sweet little hat, which was on clearance. I love that even early on in our marriage, he recognized that this was my “style”, and that it was something I would love.

  179. Talysa

    I have quilts that were made by my grandmother and by her mother as well….one was even made by my mother when she was 13…she made it with her grandmother….I use one as a throw on my couch and love the fact that it was made with whatever fabric they could find…which means it does not match at all and is full of so many colors. I also love the fact that I can look at it and know that her hands were in the smallest of details on it.

    And I use two of them as covers on my boys beds. They are twin size and patchwork on one side and cowboys and indians/civil war pattern on the other side.

    My main memories of my grandma were of sitting with her on the couch while she sewed pieces to a quilt pattern together. She even gave me a special shoebox full of my very own pieces and taught me how to sew them together.

    My quilts mean more than anything to me. They speak generations.

  180. Barbara (WA)

    I know I just won the fabulous pillow but I’d like to share anyway :o) My husband grew up on a farm in MN, homesteaded by his ancestors from Norway. The barn burned down when he was a boy and the only photos of it were in the background of tiny pictures from the 50’s. So I had a few of those photos enlarged and sent them to an artist who crafted a watercolor painting of the barn. I could finally “see” it and my husband was thrilled. Many family members purchased copies of the painting for their homes. The painting hangs in our living room.

  181. Karen

    I have several books that I inherited from my father’s side of the family. They are cloth bound classics like Huckleberry Finn and an old set of 4 Sherlock Holmes books…I smile when I see them stacked on a couple of different tables in our home.

    Your post, as always, reminds me of what truly matters where my home is concerned. Thank you!

  182. Jennifer

    I have an antique purple glass plate that says, “A Good Mother Makes a Happy Home”. My gramma gave it to me after my youngest was born. I had major complications and had to have an emergency hysterectomy to keep my from bleeding to death. I was grateful to be alive but sad that I would have no more children. My gramma had been saving this, but wasn’t sure who to give it to, but she knew it was meant for me. It reminds me to be thankful that I am blessed with two sweet boys and I am here to raise them.

  183. Laurie D

    Photos on my walls make me happy and are daily reminders of what’s best in my life! Would love to read this book!

  184. texasaggiemom

    This was such a timely post for me! I had a huge garage sale this weekend, emptying my house of craft store decor and paring down to items that are “real”. I would love to win this book!!! Thank you for the giveaway!

  185. RRF

    I’ve been creating photo walls in our house and I just love them. We have many very old photos of grandparents and great grandparents as well as those of more recent family members gracing our walls. When we remodeled our kitchen I had some glass put in some of the upper cabinet doors so that I could use old family china and heirlooms as part of the decor without the need to constantly dust them. This looks like a wonderful book~

  186. texasaggiemom

    I also shared it on my facebook page—love this blog!!

  187. Jenny

    My husband gave me a figurine of a husband, wife and baby after our son was born. It’s not something I would have ever picked for our home but it’s the one decor item I love more than any other because of what it means.

  188. Laura M.

    I have a few paintings from my dad that I just love hanging around my house.

  189. Angie

    I shared about this post on my Facebook. I don’t want to put my whole name on here, but I can let you know in a private email. Will that work?

  190. Leanne

    I love to walk around my house and see things that are reminders of great days. I love the idea of jars filled with things collected on trips and am currently working on something like this for my own home.

  191. Nan

    My mother passed away 10 months ago. While cleaning her home, I found this little tiny ivory, mosaic box that rattled when I moved it. I didn’t open it and showed it to my husband. I said I think there are tiny dominos in this box. I have a faint memory from my childhood (50 years ago). We opened it together and sure enough, tiny dominos no bigger than a 1/2″ by a 1/4″. It is now on my dresser where I see it every day. For a childhood that wasn’t often “happy”, it makes me smile.

  192. Debby Messner

    I love your post. I feel the same way. Some houses that are set up just for show aren’t very cozy.
    The things I can’t live without are my pictures, esp. those of my grandchildren. I also love furniture that has been given to my from my grandmother.

  193. Katie

    I’d have to say one of my many, many, many things that I love living with is Amelia’s blessing gown that is hanging on display in her room. It’s an antique 1800s gown, and I love that there is history in the piece aside from the history I have given it by dressing my own baby in it on one of her special days.

  194. April in CT

    I have two photo ledges that we change the pictures on from time to time. I love being able to look at those full of family and friends especially since we live far from most of them since my hubby is in the military. It brings a smile to my face when I walk by them, which is many times a day!

  195. cailan

    Old books are very prominent in our home and most of them have memories of being discovered on trips to antique shops in downtown Denver as well as to little book shops in Bath. The memories are sweet and I love having a living room that is more like a library.

  196. Angela

    Sand….we collected sand from the very spot in which my husband proposed to me three years ago. It sits in a vase with seashells that were laying around. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of a very special moment in our lives.

  197. Debbie

    Melissa, I always enjoy reading your posts. I love that you design your home with heart and soul. Yes there are pretty things but much of it has special meaning.

    As you know, I had a home that was my dream home. I loved to decorate it beautifully with artwork and special glass blown pieces. Everything was coordinated perfectly. But I always had my wall of memories that included family photos.

    Right now we are staying in an interim home. Even though it’s not permanent, I am trying to bring a few things out to make it special for whatever time we are here. So I brought out my special photos. They line the $15 Walmart shelves. I’ve also been using the embroidered tablecloths my mother made for me. The inexpensive kitchen table I purchased at a resale shop looks so pretty with the memory of my mother’s labor of love.

    No matter where you live, I am learning to make it home with special memories of love.

    Blessings and love,

  198. Ginny

    I have a cane my college gave us at graduation…it is such a cool piece, people always ask about it, and it reminds me of my four wonderful years at the school. I would love to have this book!

  199. o~girl

    Growing up, my mom had a little tile trivet hanging above the kitchen sink. It’s set in a decorative wooden handle, with a woman on it wearing a bandanna on her head, Aunt Jemima-style, with the words “No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best”. I loved it as a kid and now grown, when my mom passed away, that’s the one thing I wanted. Now it has a place in my own kitchen.

  200. Elizabeth

    Thanks for the chance to enter! I have an old coffee mug that I (permanently) borrowed from my grandparents’ house as we were preparing for the house to be sold. The mug reads “Boston College Grandpa.” My brother must have given it to my grandfather while we were in school there; it reminds me not only of my wonderful grandfather, but also of how proud of his grandchildren he was. The boxy 90’s font is pretty great, too. :)

  201. annie

    What a captivating post. I loved every word. I am sure I would LOVE this book as well. It has already inspired me to try some of the advice given.
    I’ve surrounded myself with great memories. My piano and above my piano has a farm theme. My dad painted a beautiful covered bridge, and I got the painting. He also made a chicken, rooster and chicks to look like Danish modern. I have them off to one side of the painting on the piano. There is a windmill made by my sister’s grandfather in law. A photograph of an old barn taken by my sister and made into a greeting card and on the wall next to the painting are two pen and ink sketching I did long ago that I matted with burlap.
    Thank you for your post.

  202. Shilo

    My Grandma’s blue glass collection was beautifully displayed as long as I can remember. I inherited three beautiful pieces and have since bought another. It makes me so happy to have something that she spent hours searching for and enjoyed immensely! Besides, it’s turquoise! :)

  203. maggie

    We have a small chair that belonged to my husband’s grandfather (who passed away in 1975) when he was a child. This chair was made for him by his father.

  204. Melissa

    A teapot handed down from my Mamaw, who is no longer here. I keep it on top of my kitchen cabinet so I see it daily.

  205. cassandralouise

    I have an old grain scoop displayed in my living room, it belong to my Grandmother who passed away almost one year ago. I also have a hand stitched children’s scene, that she made many years ago, it now hangs in my sons room:)

  206. Stacie

    I have a beautiful stone statue of Mary, the mother of God, in my kitchen. I have 2 toddler boys, and she brings me peace and serenity in the face of chaos.

  207. Elizabeth

    My mother had a mixing bowl the color of sunshine that was used for cookie and Christmas baking. My grandmother had one, too, and I was lucky enough to get it when she died. Makes me smile every time I see it.

  208. Pamela

    Hi Melissa,
    I especially appreciated this post. It made me think about what I was doing with my home and the decor. I think I need to make some more thoughtful changes. I would like to do a post on my little blog sometime in the future and was wondering if you would mind if I quoted one line from you, “Your home and what is in it should have soul, not just surface beauty.” I would be very careful to give full credit with a link to your post. Please let me know if this is OK with you. Thanks for your consideration.

  209. Charla

    We are currently trying to downsize our lives now that we are retired. This has really made me look at the “things” in my life. One item I have put back several times over the years is my mother’s red metal lunch box from the 1920’s. It is rectangular with a handle and metal top. It is very precious to me in so many ways. Thanks for the opportunity to share and to win a great giveaway.

  210. julie

    I have an old-fashion wooden school desk and chair. My aunt gave them to me from her closing school when I was a child.

  211. Carolyn

    I, too, have a family memory wall filled with pictures around my bending staircase. Every time I walk it I marvel at how fast my children have grown up and I think it helps me to love them better, knowing that clock is always ticking!

  212. Amber

    So true…HGTV shows (i.e. Get It Sold, etc) are all about mass appeal to buyers and want sellers to put away their photos and personal objects. In real life, it’s nice to be able to display the things that have special meaning to us. I love my photographs that I have taken on vacations or just in the yard, shells my son collected at the beach, and a buffet that my mother gave me.

  213. Jenny

    My grandma taught me to sew when I was a little girl. When she died a few years ago, she left a package of fabrics she had picked out for a quilt, along with the pattern. I am making the quilt now and when I am done with it, it will go on my bed as a reminder of a wonderful lady and the many projects we worked on together.

  214. Kathy M.

    I love your post! It made me think of my grandmother’s kitchen and her jadite green salt & pepper shakers. I recently started collecting Jadeite myself since it reminds me of grandma’s kitchen, her homeade donuts that we’d eat before they even cooled, and her houska bread. It’s so important to have those wonderful memories surrounding you every day in your home.

  215. Connie

    I have my grandmother’s old crock and my mom’s churn – complete with dasher. I love having them – they always make me smile. I remember Mom milking the cow, pouring it in the churn, letting it sit for a while, and then churning it (moving the dasher up and down) until butter was made. Yummy! with homemade biscuits…

  216. Lisa

    my vanity – i’ve wanted one since i was a little girl and my mother-in-law bought me the one i had my eye on (in the antique store) a couple of years ago. it makes me happy. :-)

  217. k. hanson

    I have a lantern from my Grandma that is on our fireplace. I so adored my grandma and always remember seeing this in her house, which was so full of love. When she passed, there weren’t too many things left from her (unfortunately my other relatives went in like vultures) and this was one of the things left.

  218. Holly

    Oh, I love this post. I agree wholeheartedly with this philosophy of home.

    My favorite pieces of art in our home are two framed pieces of construction paper – one with my daughter’s handprints, one with her footprints. They are from Mother’s Day and Father’s Day when she was two years old. They are priceless.

  219. Marla

    Ahhh, so much to love…so little space….

    Photos, a canning jar that came over the Oregon trail with great great etc. grandparents, one of our engagement photos, a juice can ‘pencil holder’ wrapped in Christmas paper my son made last year in Bible study class, a card written by a friend who now lives far away, my mother’s ‘favorite’ recipe book w/notes in her handwriting, etc., etc., etc.

    All with memorable sentiments too precious for words…

    Thank you for offering such a giveaway Monica & Melissa (Holly too)!

  220. Elsina

    I live far away from my native country, so everything in the house from the old country I treasure as it reminds me of home.

  221. Rachel N

    I have so many things… it’s hard to choose just one. My favorite are probably two pieces of antique furniture from my great Aunt Julia who was like a grandmother to me: a rocking chair and a magazine stand with intricate detail on it. I remember both pieces of furniture in her house and I think of her every time I look at them. This month, we went to Ethiopia to pick up our two adopted children. While there, we bought two small pieces of art. These we will frame as a reminder of our children’s birth country. Thank you for this post. It’s a reminder to continue to decorate with meaningful pieces. It’s what makes a house a home.

  222. Rick S

    I love the idea of the effect our home has on us and what makes a house a home. If we just move in beautiful furniture and pretty acsessories we have a furniture store type house, not a home.

    One thing I have that I love are the egg baskets from my grandma. I can see her, my mom and aunts and uncles in the hen house to this day. My gramma was a farm wife with 10 kids and no “outside” emplioyment. Taking care of her family was her “career”. Picking eggs to sell was the only part of all she did for us that she got paid for. I know what a remarkable lady she was.


  223. punkinmama

    I have a wall at the top of the stairs with pictures of family all framed in black frames. But that picture of the stairwell in this post is INSPIRING! Would love to win this book!

  224. Nancy

    My Rec Room holds memories from many, many vacations that we’ve enjoyed as a family. A map of Nantucket, posters from our favorite rides at Walt Disney World, framed textiles from South Africa, photos from California, a basket from Morocco…. all add layers of personality and interest to a room where we spend a great amount of time.

  225. Mrs.B

    Oh, I completely agree & love this post! I have many things in my home that remind me of the people,places, and memories that are important to me. Of course, I have many pictures~old & new. I have a large,old dictionary & a few other books that belonged to my Daddy. They aren’t in a drawer or box~I see them daily. I have a picture my grandparents had hanging in their kitchen & a framed poem my grandfather wrote about that picture. They both hang on the wall in MY kitchen now. I also have an antique bookcase given to me by my Granny. It is filled with “treasures” like my children’s silver sippy cups, engraved baby spoons, hand-written recipes,milk glass…all sorts of things that you just can’t buy in a store! That’s just a few of the things that I live with & love!
    I almost forgot~I have a bell engraved with “50th Anniversary” that was a gift to my grandparents when they celebrated that occasion. It sits on my desk to remind me of them and of the fact that marriages CAN last~especially those that God is the center of…like He was my Grandparents’.

  226. Lari

    My favorite things are family pictures….nothing else can quite match up to them.

  227. judy

    I have jars of sea glass that I have collected on my favorite beaches near and far. I also have done some mosaics and use it as fillers in my hurricanes. It always takes me back when I look at it. I totally agree that your home should be a reflection of the good things you have enjoyed in life!

  228. Cindy Marie

    having just moved out of my childhood home and into my first apartment with my loving boyfriend, it was very important to me to bring things into our tiny cavern of a Brooklyn 1-bedroom that reminded me of all those family members I love who aren’t around to talk with anymore.

    I packed up a few of my most prized possessions and headed into my adult life with a man who I love for many reasons; one of which being that he has shown me endless kindness, patience, and love- which reminds me of my grandpa in particular!

    So in case bringing my love with me doesn’t count, I carefully packed my grandmas recipe book.

    I keep it out at all times and find myself running my fingers over the pages regularly. I have tried to cook my boyfriend some of my favorites of her’s, and he has always eaten my undercooked, overdone, burnt, or just plain bad attempts at making things with a smile and a kind word.

    … it’s what my grandpa would have done for my grandmother; the result of which are these recipes. That’s how I know my guy is the one for me.

    (Thank you so much for this post. Even if I don’t win, I appreciate being given the chance to stop what I was doing and look around my apartment and think about all my peoples. All those who have been lost but thought of today because of your post are probably looking down and thanking you too!)

  229. Cathy Chapman

    I love your blog! I have to confess that I use Joni Webb’s, Cote de Texas as a “portal” to all things great in the deco blogging world!

    Your post on Living With What You Love is so relevant in “todays economy”, one of our favorite memory makers is collecting sand from the beaches that we go to. I display the sand in little bottles with a tag and twine, naming the beach and year of the visit. It’s inexpensive and we love comparing the varying colors and textures from beach to beach.

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter and win!

  230. Marilyn H

    Hi Melissa, Great post! That book would be perfect in my library. I have several things in my home which give me happy memories: a framed photo of my kids in front of a row of windmills in The Netherlands; a hat rack we got in Switzerland (and was part of our carry-on when we came home!); a small oil lamp that was my mothers; as well as the “God Bless Our Home” stitchery that I made for her home, which now hangs in mine; a pair of salt and pepper shakers from the World’s Fair in Chicago that my parents when to; and photos–LOTS of old family photos, some of grandparents I never knew; and many old books, some of which were loved by my parents, and some of which I read and passed on to my family. Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane! (We DO have things from my husband’s side, too!)

  231. Megan W

    We used white pencil starfish in our wedding, and now we have them scattered throughout the house as decor. Every time I see one, I think about that amazing day.

  232. halfpintaggie

    I am in the fourth generation of my family to attend Texas A&M University, so I have my Grandfather’s diploma framed in our game room. He has been in Heaven for 6 years now, so having that physical reminder of the legacy he left for us warms my heart and fills me with so many memories of my wonderful Papa.

  233. Lori R.

    I love some of the clay and drawn art projects my children did while they were in school and they are framed and hung or have special placments for their clay projects. The kids think it’s dumb but I get all sappy when I remember their school years. I love the things that they made!

  234. sara

    When I was little, I had an old typewriter that I published our neighborhood newspaper with. The typewriter disappeared over the years, but my dad recently bought me an old typewriter at a garage sale. Now my kids bang on it all day long. Can’t wait until one of them is old enough to publish something on it.

  235. Tanya B

    What an inspiring post reminding us to decorate not just for beauty, but for a beautiful life. One of my favorite things to decorate is with the tea cups I have collected on my various travels or that have been handed down to me by my grandmother. Each one evokes special memories and brings a smile.

  236. Jocelyn Stott

    A painting my Grandma did for me a few years before she died. It is really simple and beautiful and I treasure it.

  237. Elizabeth

    I love the cross that hangs above our front door. It was given to us as a wedding gift 6 years ago and has since made the move to our second home. It’s a reminder in more than one way of all I have to be thankful for each and every day!

  238. Winnie

    I am in-love with this trunk/coffee table I got from crate and barrel. It’s a symbol that we finally own a house, we can now buy something sturdier, pricey in a bit, but with character. It holds a lot of items and every time I look at it, it just reminds me of that winter day we finally decided this is the house for us, let’s furnish it with something not handed down or used.

  239. Fiona Sanders

    Melissa I am so with you! This is my heart! I don’t want just pretty, or trendy, or the newest thing. I want our place to reflect our family. I think it’s nice to walk into someone’s house, and at a glimpse you get to know them just a little bit better.

    Hugs!!! Posting this to my facebook and my blog!

  240. cynthia

    it would definitely be family photos…i find myself taking a peek as i walk by ALL THE TIME!

  241. Sharon

    In kindergarten my son made a small clay bowl that has a cream glaze on the outside and rose on the inside. It’s just the right size for my favorite earrings and I keep it on my dresser. This post also made me stop and think of all the stuff I have that I don’t love and can freely get rid of! Thanks!

  242. Tammy S

    My husband and I stayed at the Sooke Harbourhouse in beautiful British Columbia. It truly is a “magical” place that sits right on the coast and out your window you can view the whales jumping about and hear the beautiful sounds of the ocean while cozied up to the fireplace. It was the one time that we could totally just “be” and have no worries, no kids, no drama…just us. I have pictures from that time all over the house. I have shells that we picked from that trip. I have little notes that were left on our pillows on our bath mirror too so that no matter where we step in our little home, we are reminded of that time. I also frame artwork that the kids have made, bowls and “pottery” they worked on for me and display them on bookshelves or even in the bathroom. I have books from all over – really old books – and they all remind me of another moment in time. I could go on and on on this comment because I love to surround my home with memories and love to make it feel more “real”. Melissa – I loved the blog post and the pics but then again – I always do! You rock:) Tammy Stonebrook

  243. Pat Rohm

    We fondly call it the “Greek Mafia” picture. In black and white, fifty somber faces seek our eyes and hearts. It is the wedding picture of my third oldest aunt. Her name was Annetta.I called her “The elegant Lady”. She was married to a 35 year old man and she was only 15. Arranged marriage, in those days. Had she lived, she would be 102. She laughed a lot and called me “kiddo”. Near to her stand her siblings, one being my mother, another sibling still in a buggy. There isn’t one smile in that entire group of fifty, men, women and children. No, wait. I just glanced at that picture….yes, there it is. Just a hint, but still, a small gentle turning up of the ends of her sweet mouth. My aunt Annetta, on her wedding day. This picture has been hanging in our living room for almost 30 year…. near where I am typing. My heritage. My Greek heritage. I smile every time I glance at it. No one enters this room without leaving a comment about this picture of history. My history. These people may be gone today, but they live on in these prints. I can’t imagine a life without pictures to remind us, transport us, soften us.

  244. RuthAnn

    This book could help me tell the difference between decorating for decorating sake, and decorating to tell the story of my family!! I want to do the latter!

    for me, it’s family pictures and my grandma’s china!!

  245. Linda R.

    I inherited my grandma’s antique “dry sink” when she passed away about 9 nine years ago. Now that I have two little girls, I use it to store their craft items. But it wasn’t until my mom came for a visit a couple of years ago that I found out that my grandma had always used it for that exact purpose, too. It will always be a special piece of furniture for me because of that.

  246. erica

    my mother-in-law enlarged an old postcard addressed to her grandfather and had it framed for us. it’s a special gift and a little family heritage! plus it looks wonderful in the corner above a picture of said grandparents!

  247. Sharon

    Books! I love that we have a place for them. Not only are they great treasures but they are beautiful, too.

  248. Amanda G

    I have my Grandmother’s mismatched teacup collection. Right now they are displayed in glass-fronted cabinets in my kitchen. They aren’t traditional by any means (or frou-frou as she would say). They’re definitely funky! Everytime I look at them, I remember sipping tea with my Grandmother.

  249. Amanda G

    Shared on Facebook!

  250. Victory

    I love this! Living with what you love is totally my philosophy on decorating. Thanks for the giveaway!

  251. Leah Rixmann

    I have an image of my son printed on canvas. It was before his 2nd birthday on a family trip to Maui. He took his bucket from the water to up on the beach a hundred times, bringing the water up and dumping it on the sand, walking back down to the water, bringing it up… The picture has the water behind, the sloshing bucket in hand and the biggest smile across his dimpled face. I love it!

  252. lauren

    I have an oil painting that my grandparents had hanging above their couch when I was growing up. Now I have it hanging above my couch.

  253. Jennifer

    When I was younger, my grandmother gave me a cross-stitch kit that she had originally bought for herself, but had not gotten around to sewing. I did the cross-stitching and then gave it back to her as a gift. Now that Granner is in a nursing home, the cross-stitch has come back to me again. It has a picture of a tree, with the words “Families are Forever.” I love that she chose those words.

  254. Theresa

    I have a pictures of my sons walking hand in hand on the beach in the Outerbanks.

  255. Denise

    I LOVE my pictures…hands down the best! BUT I also have a collection of postcards that my grandfather sent my grandmother in the 30’s when he was in the navy. I LOVE reading them…and just seeing them sitting there.

  256. nannykim/spindlecottage

    This sounds like a great book. There are so many things that inspire memories in my home. One is an old drop leaf table probably over 100 years old, now. My hubby and I were newly married and living in a tiny place and we needed a table. We went to an antique shop in an old barn in my home town and found this cool little table. We purchased it back in the 70’s and have since then used it for all kinds of things including a cage to hold one of our puppies in (a collie).

  257. Jeni C

    I framed the lace wedding handkerchief that my grandmother, mother, sis-in-law and I all carried on our wedding day. It reminds me often of how thankful I am that all of these marriages have remained strong through good times and bad.

  258. Kristen

    There are many things in my house that evoke memories. I think one that really stands out to me is a wine glass that first belonged to my grandparents. It used to be a set of 6 and then when I was a girl, there were 2 left and my mom was sharing their story with me. In setting them on the counter, she set one too close to the edge and it fell off and shattered. She looked at it for a moment and then burst out laughing and said that now there was one left for me to have when I grew up. Makes me smile in fond memories of my mom every time I see it.

  259. Heather

    I love the Mother’s day letter my 6 year old son at the time wrote me. It said over and over how much he loved me in pencil on the paper teachers use to help kids learn to write. I loved it so much I framed it. I also love a picture taken of my son hugging my 8 month pregnant belly.

  260. allison

    family faces

  261. ryane

    Love this post! One of my favorite things is a little tiny tile from Iran, painted with a bright tree and colorful leaves. It makes me so happy every time I see it, and it’s only about 5″x1″ but is my favorite thing I own!

  262. Amber

    This post/book is exactly what I’ve been looking for!

    Just 3 months ago, my beautiful mom lost her brave fight with breast cancer. Photos and notes are my most precious possessions right now. I’ve been working on a photo wall with some of my favorite childhood photos, but I’d love more ideas on special ways to preserve my mom’s memory! I love being able to look around my home and feel her presence all around.

  263. Pinky

    Oh my goodness, I have SO many things that make me happy and bring back memories! I, too, have hand written recipes, I have a set of elephants that my FIL bought in Africa and I had admired for YEARS!!!! We have an priental screen that was my in-laws and I LOVE….I could go on and ON!!! When I sit in my living room I always think, “I love this room”. I have one bookshelf that I have filled with OLD photos of family too and it is here in my “office”!!! XO, Pinky

  264. Kristen

    I shared on Twitter as well. :)

  265. marty

    My grandfather loved cinnamon toast with his breakfast. An etched glass cinnamon and sugar shaker with a sterling silver top sat near his place every morning. Now it sits on our breakfast table and our oldest grandson loves to mix the cinnamon and sugar and fill that shaker for me every time he visits. Passing the memories and those things we love along the generations. Doesn’t get much sweeter than that!

  266. meg

    I gave my grandma a card full of pictures when I was little, and for my high school graduation she gave the card back to me along with a letter. I love to look through the pictures and read the letter.

  267. Cheryl

    family photos do it for me. Whether they are current photos from a recent vacation or photos of family that have gone on or are far away.

  268. Shannon

    My home has a gallery wall in the dinning room with old sepia and black and white photos of our ancestors. They go back to the 1800’s and I just love the sense of belonging I get from looking at my relatives everyday.

  269. tammy

    I LOVE the idea of the clothespins in the jar! I like the cluster of smaller frames on the table as well.

  270. Jacque

    My Aunt is an artist. So when I was going away to college, she gave me a watercolor print that she’d done of a house that I passed by every day walking to my best friend’s home. While I no longer live in my homestate (and haven’t for half of my life now), I see that picture every day and it reminds me of my beloved New Hampshire.

    While I don’t have many pieces of art or accesories on my walls, I’m rather simple that way, all the pieces that I do have hold a special meaning. It’s nice that way.

  271. Ruthie

    I have the pedals from my engagement roses in a couple vases on my dresser next to our unity candle. They make me swoony.

  272. Judy

    I have a 1970’s metal dollhouse sitting on a table in my entry hall. Every time I walk by it I think about all of the house spent playing with it and how I am so glad I still have it in good shape. People who visit just love it and remember the dollhouses they had as a child.

  273. Jenny Bifano

    My mom gave me the crystal cakestand from her wedding. I love how even after 40 years it still is holding up delicious baked goods in our home.

  274. Karen

    I have a hope chest that my father made for me for my 18th birthday. My mother painted it, Pennsylvania Dutch style, which I love. It holds all of my memories — the family baptismal gown, my babies’ shoes, a quilt, and many other items that I cherish.

  275. kathy

    My Grandma Olga cooked for so many years on her wood stove. Her little 4-room house built by Grandpa, heated quickly, and was the perfect place to let her special rolls rise. I am lucky to have her old steel matchbox container that held the matches that started so many the fires that were the beginnings to so many delicious and love-filled meals. It sits above my oven (which I turn on with a click of the dial) and remember her each time I open the warm oven door.

  276. debbie

    I have an old spinning wheel that has been passed down through the years. It is too big for my house, but I love it. I think about everyone that used it and what they were thinking as they spun. I would love a copy of the book.

  277. Annelise

    my big bowl of sea glass, rocks and sticks that I have been collecting since 97, makes me happy everyday as I pass it to exit the door. My kids add to the bowl. Each piece tells a story of where I have been and who I was at that time.

  278. Patricia

    Oh My Gosh – this is so easy for me…….My photographs. The photos of my now all grown up children, as babies. The photos of my beloved, greatly missed mother and father, now together in heaven…These things are the objects that make my house , my home.

  279. April

    I have a wall of family photos, mixed with some shelves that hold momentos. One of my favorite photos is one of my Granny & Grampa kissing at the beach. My Grampa (with whom I share my birthday) has been gone for over 10 years, but I feel connected to him & my childhood family gatherings at the beach whenever I look at that photo.

  280. Andrea Cseh

    Black & white photographs are IT for me; truly, if we had a fire, I think after making sure my family was safe I would start grabbing family photos ;) I have photos from the turn of the 20th century of my grandparents & great-grandparents, great-great uncles and black & white photos of my Mother as a child… my siblings & I growing up all the way up to my own children. Black & white evokes something in me – it’s like time is standing still and I feel transported and swim in memories of those times or people

  281. Jen

    My stackable washer/dryer is covered in my children’s school masterpieces. We hang them with magnets and it makes my laundry room full of light even though there is no natural light in that room! We’ve also framed some and hung them around that room.

    Another thing we did is let the kids take pictures of each other. Then we blew the pictures up in black and white, framed them, and hung them in the playroom.

    I would LOVE this book.

  282. emily

    Ohh, I love this post. And that book looks great {how did I miss Holly’s post on it?!!}. Almost everything I have feels either inspiring or beautiful or full of good memories. Much of our furniture is passed down from Ryan’s mom and that makes me smile.

  283. Monique

    My best friend gave me a beautiful bowl that her mother brought over from Sweden. Every time I look at it I think about my friend and her mom and the laughter we shared among the three of us.

  284. Irene

    This is an interesting post. I guess because I am not someone who collects things, I find this hard to do. I don’t like a lot of “stuff” in my space. To me, too many things = clutter. Makes me uncomfortable.
    The only thing I’ve collected are family photos (they are all over the house) and a couple of snow globes.

  285. Sara M.

    I have the cookie jar that my “Auntie” (great aunt who was like a grandma) used to fill with chocolate chip cookies for me. The cookie jar is not attractive, but filled with loving memories! Thanks for an opportunity to win a book!

  286. Holly

    My grandpa’s old aluminum coffee pot is priceless to me. Also my grandmother’s old book of condensed versions of the classics from 1954 that she used a lot for book club.

  287. roryjean

    I love all of the pictures of my kids at various stages in life. I also have a painting that my husband, his sister, his old college friend and I all painted together- it reminds me of the fun we had making it and it is beautiful.

  288. Heathahlee

    Melissa, this was the sweetest post! This the way I decorate! I learned from Flylady that if you don’t love something in your home, it doesn’t need to be there! I have memories of my grandparents sprinkled throughout my home from my bedroom to the kitchen, and they make my heart smile, even if I don’t consciously smile myself. They give me a sense of who I am…from where I came. Things I’ve picked up while on vacations with my husband…pictures my sweet little boy has drawn for me…oooh, thank you for reminding me how precious these things are to me! : )

    I’d love to win a copy of the book! Not sure if we’re supposed to leave multiple comments for every entry, but that’s what I’m planning on doing. Hope I don’t get on your nerves! : )

  289. Heathahlee

    I just posted the link on Facebook. Let me know if you need to find it. : )

  290. Lady Dorothy

    I so agree with this whole premise! I have a display of marriage licenses from three generations — two pairs of grandparents, my parents, and ours. I just love the statement it makes about how high we esteem marriage!

  291. Sherry

    Such a great post! I have a cake plate that was given to my grandmother as a wedding gift approx. 80 years ago. I can remember her baking cakes when we came to visit and she always used her special cake plate. My mom inherited the plate and used it frequently when I was growing up. I inherited the cake plate a few years ago and now it is a family tradition to serve all our desserts off this plate.
    Hugs, Sherry

  292. Gina S.

    I have several beautiful handkerchiefs that my grandmother embroidered. I have been meaning to frame them, and this post is a good reminder to do that!

  293. Heathahlee

    Aaaaand…I just tweeted about it! : )

  294. Tiffany

    I have a chalkboard where I write quotes, thoughts and Scripture that I love. I pass by it everyday and smile!

  295. Carrie Turner

    I have a crazy quilt my grandmother made me that hangs behind my couch. It’s made out of her old house dresses and I can look at them and remember seeing her in some of the pieces…so pretty! And then some I look at and think WOW that was a whole dress once? LOL

  296. Kate

    I have 2 large wooden yellow ducks and 1 baby yellow chick that sit atop our bookshelf next to a used “Make Way for Ducklings” book that I just picked up at a used book exchange. The book is in good but not perfect condition, which adds a nice nostalgic feel to the display. The story of how Mr. and Mrs. Mallard spend so much time looking for the perfect place to call home so they can start a family reminds me of how my husband and I searched and searched for our current place, which now houses our family of 3. These items remind me how special it is for every one (even ducks) need to have a safe and friendly place to call home.

  297. Donna

    I love this post! I agree that it is so important to surround yourself with things that have meaning! Please enter me in the book giveaway and thank you for the chance to win!


  298. AmyL

    The quilt I had on my bed in college. Love seeing it folded up in the guest room. Reminds me of a happy, simple time in my life.

  299. Lisa

    I have a very small picture of my grandparents, my sister, my brother and myself, taken back in the sixties. I love this picture so much.

  300. Kacey

    I love the idea to corral small frames on a tray – I’m going to try that!

    Not really something I use for decorating, but I have a set of my grandmother’s old Pyrex bowls. They’re colorful and always make me smile when I use them, thinking of all the use they saw in my grandmother’s kitchen.

  301. Debbie

    The older I get the more sentimental I get and want to decorate my home with things I love or mean something special to me. We just moved from Fla. to Texas 3 weeks ago so it’s even more important to me to have special things out that I can reflect on and think of home or special people. My home now has lots of things I dearly love and look at each day. To name a few are a scrapbook my mom made for me 2 christmases ago of me and my childhood and special memories of me as a child. My husband and I each have a special quilt our grandmothers made for us. I have a special letter my cousin wrote about mortality when he was young after he was in an accident that almost killed him and he eventually was killed years later in a scuba accident so that letter holds special meaning to me to live each day but remember that life is fragile. I’m collecting now old photos from my mil,mom,and my grandmother of relatives to display in the future. I have alot of my mom and dad when they were little and I treasure those. I would love this book. Great giveaway.

  302. kathy from ct

    I have a wall of framed Playbills and every time I look at that wall I remember how much fun we had in nyc together.
    Some are autographed, some are not, some were from hits, some were from real turkeys, but all evoke the good times.

  303. Karen Miles

    My hubby and I have a large ficus plant that we started from seed when we took a plant propagation class together in college 34 years ago. It’s always a prominent and loved item in our living rooms!

  304. Megan bentley

    This post allowed me to reflect on the things that I have around me. One of my favorite things in my life our maps my grandfather brought home from Hawaii in the 1930’s. I love Hawaii so my parents have passed them down to me I have them hung around my house and they always remind me of my grandfather and our shared love of Hawaii. My home is also filled with postcards written to me from my grandparents while they were in Hawaii. I love them all!

  305. Jennifer

    I love this decorating philosophy. There are so many things but since I’m looking at them…our bedroom furniture. What’s amazing is that my grandparents gave me a set and my husband’s father gave him his before we met. They are the same exact set bought in totally different regions of the country…what are the chances?!?!

  306. Mary Jean

    I have 2 antique pieces that my mom bought in antique stores over 30 years ago. I remember watching her lovingly strip down the old oak. I can smell the stuff she rubbed all over it and loved watching it bubble and then watching her scrape it all off.

  307. Twila

    I love the little blue handmade dress of my mom’s as a baby. She passed away too young this past year and I love seeing it hang on a tiny hangar on my wall. Such innocence.

  308. Ashley

    I love our photos. The framed staircase made my heart swoon in this post. I love seeing our life portrayed as art…and it is simple, inexpensive, and the best art I have ever seen. :)

  309. Cabogirl

    A black and white picture of my mom and grandma sitting on a bench on the boardwalk, taken when my mom was about 6 years old.

  310. Betty Roark

    I have lots of memories I look at everyday, but 2 of my favorite are…when our son was in second grade (he is 30 now), he planted impatien flower seeds and brought home a flower for mother’s day. I have that flower in my kitchen window and when it will get leggy looking I just pinch off the longer pieces and put them in water and start a new pot of this special flower. When we replaced our wooden windoes in our house, my husband saved several of them knowing I would find use for them. He also saved the wooden picture window, which had 6 panes wide x 5 panes high. He refinished it and put gingerbread trim for molding on it. I took old pictures to current pictures and did our family history in the panes with scrapbook pages. I started with our grandparents, parents, my husband and I in high school, wedding, our siblings, our children and our grandchildren. We hung it on a large wall in our den. It is the most special piece I have in my home. If I must say so myself, it is beautiful.

  311. J. Millson

    An old oak desk that my father and I refinished when I was a teenager. It makes me smile whenever I walk by it in the hallway.

  312. Caroline K.

    I’m just beginning my collection of inspired pieces, such as a set of mercury glass canisters, so my pictures and cookbooks are my most prized treasures. I like to collect cookbooks from our travels to remember the trip and local cuisine.

  313. Kim J.

    I have my old violin hanging on my wall in the living room. I played it for 10 years when I was in young and then in high school. I would sure like to win this book!

  314. Teri G

    I love this!

    My little brother passed suddenly away two years ago, 3 weeks before my wedding. My fiance had sent off a wonderful picture of my brother and I at my birthday party several months before. As my wedding gift, he had this photo oil painted and framed. That beautiful picture and memory is a centerpiece of our living room. This brings me wonderful memories every day when I see it and lets me know that I truly live with a wonderful man that I love:)

  315. Janna C.

    Our home is decorated with many things that evoke memories. The newest item is a coat tree that my mother adored and found a special place for in every home we lived. Now that she’s gone I enjoy seeing her coat tree in our home and watching my children hang their hats and coats on it.

  316. Margie

    I have a panoramic picture of the farm I grew up on that my youngest daughter made by taking individual pictures and somehow blending them together to make one 72 inch picture in a frame she made and painted. Beautiful. Underneath the picture is a clock from my husband’s dad, a picture of me with my 11 siblings and a kerosene lantern from my grandma.

  317. Cindy

    I love the picture of the staircase with all those pictures on the walls! What memories! In my home, I have our wedding pictures framed and on our bedroom wall to remind us of our covenant and love for one another. They also make me smile as I remember that day and how young we were! We are grandparents now. :) We’ve been married 28 years.

  318. Julie

    I want that book! I will definitely be getting that one! Something I love is my memory wall with all B&W family photos in silver frames. I have several pictures of grandparents and great grandparents who have passed on. It’s always a nice reminder of them when I glance over at the photos.

  319. Julie

    I tweeted about the giveaway @Organizement. :D

  320. sheri

    I have these 2 watercolors that Vance and I bought together when we first started dating, on a trip to NYC – from a sidewalk exhibition at the Met Museum of Art. One is of central park, in a blaze of autumn color (and we were there in October ) and the other is of these brownstones on the upper east side in spring. I think I would let everything else burn down in my house except those. Everytime I look at them, I remember how I felt in that moment, and how grateful i felt for being given this second chance at love.

  321. Aileen W

    My husband recently put up small white shelves for me in our dining room, and one of the pretty things I have on there is a pair of handpainted wine glasses that we got for our wedding (6 years ago). Whenever I see them, I’m reminded of 1) our wedding and 2) my good friend who gave them to us!

  322. Sara

    My father is deceased and I have a letter I wrote to him when I was 7 years old framed and hanging on the wall. It’s a great reminder of what I thought about him growing up…he could fix anything. :)

  323. christy

    I have my great grandmother’s sewing machine that my grandmother taught me to sew on. I love to sew with it. It is a singer from 1904. They just don’t make them like that anymore.

  324. Cynthia Smith

    I have some family antiques that have moved with me eight times. Each time I have moved, I feel right at home when I look at the familar antiques abiding in their new found space. I believe the most beautifully decorated places are the ones that have a personal connection with their owners. Ironically I was glancing through the book (you are giving away) this weekend and I was especially taken with the stairway picture you posted. In fact just this morning I asked my daughter if she remembered where we saw that picture and she said it was from Living With What You Love. I really didn’t think that was where the picture was located, but you have validated my daughters answer. I would love to be one of the winners, so I can try to copy the stairway presentation.

  325. Michelle

    I have a jar of sea shells that my kids and I collected at the beach, I placed it on my mantel and it makes me smile each time I look at it.

  326. Kelly

    This post is so timely for me. I’ve been adding some furniture and tweaking some spaces in my condo, getting rid of some “make-do” stuff and replacing it with some things I really like and feel good about.

    It’s good to be reminded to personalize my space as well.

    One of my favorite things is my gallery wall of framed Playbills. It is in my (one and only) hallway. Every time I walk by them, I see reminders of shows I’ve seen in Houston and NYC and the people I was with when I saw them. I love Broadway, and it makes me smile to remember the opportunities I’ve had to see performances there.

    Thanks for this post, Melissa!


  327. Sarah

    I love to decorate with pictures of my loved ones. I have well wishes from my wedding framed that I look at each day. And I also use my families antique furniture throughout my house to remind me of them.

  328. Fifth Street Mama

    I love a Christmas ornament that my sister painted. I painted one too and we traded that year. She passed away the following February so that ornament reminds me of our shared craftiness and creativity :)

  329. Erica

    My grandmother died with I was in college. She never had a chance to finish the crazy quilt she had started so I took it to a quilt shop and with a few other seasoned quilters we finished it by hand. Just as Grandma would have done. That quilt has special memories for me since it includes scraps of my cousins’ clothing as well as mine. It also has bits of my parent’s wedding quilt.

  330. Julianna

    We have a deer lease b/c in Texas, unless you’re a real rancher, you have to lease land to hunt on. I’ve hunted on this land with my father, and now my husband and sons, for 26 years. I have a little glass box with various arrow heads, rocks, and rattle snake rattles that we’ve accrued through time. I love thinking of our time outdoors in God’s creation thinking about who was there before us and thankful that we have the rattles and the snakes are fewer ; )

  331. Lisa

    Melissa, thank you for the opportunity to win this book! Framed photos of my family are amongst my favorite things. I am *that*person that has too many pictures of her kids all over her house, but the thing is it makes me happy to see photos through the years, and makes my family feel cherished as they are indeed. I have definitely started decorating with what I love instead of trying to be in vogue, and it’s so freeing!

  332. Kathy

    We have a painting done by our granddaughter in our living room that makes me so happy every time I look at it. She’s in college majoring in art and has such a bright future. We’re so proud of her and it means so much that she painted it for me for Christmas a few years ago. Would love to win the book – sounds like a good one!

  333. Diana

    A picture of my grandparents and all nine children out in front of their house- everyone is mostly gone now but tugs at my heart every time I look at it.

  334. dale

    The old window that hangs in our bathroom from my grandmother’s farm house over 100 years old!!!!!

  335. Angie

    My favorite item in my home is a handwritten note from my grandma. She has passed on now and I still look at this note from time to time. There is nothing special in the note but it still touches me every time I see it.

  336. Alicia

    I love the picture of our family from my son’s 2nd birthday. Grandparents from both sides of the family are all included!

  337. Jean

    The one thing that I love more than anything else is a crocheted collar that belonged to my mother. I had it framed after her death and it hangs on my wall.

  338. Diane Costanza

    I have a craftsmen rocker in my bedroom that is from my nana that brings back sweet childhood memories of summer nights sitting on her screened-in porch. The family would all sit just talking after supper, no lights were ever lit. We sat in the light of the moon only, the crickets in the background, the occasional speed boat going by on the lake. That rocker was my nana’s place on that porch as we gathered around her.

  339. pendy

    I SO agree! I have a number of things in my home that evoke memories. If I had to pick just one, it might be the desk my great-grandfather made. He sold it because he needed the money but years later his daughter (my grandmother) tracked it down and bought it back. It now graces my dining room and I treasure it so.

  340. tamara

    I have 8 little peices of sea glass that I found while on vacation in Spain..they are my little treasures.

  341. Hopeful Homemaker

    I love the wall of old family photos in my dining room. Some of them are faces of people I never knew, but whose lives motivate and inspire me. My favorite one is of my grandmother standing in a dark doorway in a simple dress.

  342. Sarah

    My decorating philosophy has always been to live with things that I love. Our home is an expression of ourselves and I enjoy having things that remind me of the different places that we have lived and the adventures that we have had together. Add in some family antiques and a comfy leather sofa = home!

  343. Carol

    I’ve been collecting little bottles of sand from beaches we’ve visited.

  344. Dawnelle

    I have a quilt from my great-grandma on the mantle, gently piled into a large wire basket. I LOVE it.

  345. Apey

    I love the oil pastel triptic my then six year old daughter drew in first grade. It features three 4×4 inch pictures. Two of them are bright flowers and the middle is a rather Picasso-ish girl’s face. It’s a bit tattered and worn after two years, but I still have it up on the hallway wall.

  346. Wendy

    I have a wall of photos in our family room of all of our loved ones when they were children. I also have a wall in our dining room of framed maps from places we have lived and/or visited.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the book – it looks wonderful!

  347. Shana

    I have a lot of things I love in my home, but something that is extra special to me are some old school books my grandmother gave me, which were her mother’s school books! I love books and and have a huge collection, but these are by far my favorites!

  348. Tia

    I love this!

    I have moved around so much and continue to lose things as I go. I don’t think my current home is pretty at all, nor does it have anything of great sentimental value. I have simply grown unattached to things – with the exception of books and photographs.

    I would say that a book I picked up at The Ad Center in Virginia, which is an advertising school, evokes a very happy memory of a time in my life when everything and anything was possible. It was a very good time.

    Cheers, Tia

  349. Bev

    I treasure a tea-cup and saucer given to me by my husbands grandmother who is no longer with us!

  350. Joy

    Oh that would be a framed snapshot of my hubby and I grinning from ear to ear on on 25th wedding surprise party. What a great time everyone had.

  351. Orianne

    I love this post; it resonates almost word for word with my own sentiments regarding how I go about creating the corners of my home. It is so true what you say, that besides having a good eye for aesthetics, decorating with “heart and soul” is what makes a home so coveted and enjoyed by those who dwell in it. Cherishing memories and having them displayed in those spaces daily occupied by me and and my family, does make me feel inspired, does make me feel happy and connected, and above all, it does make me feel “focused about what is good and positive in your life.”

    I was lucky to have a great start with my 104 year old home and its ‘layers of memories’ because I already felt its ‘soul’ from the very first visit and it was a happy one. To it I added some of our own soulful layers including framed artwork from my children when they were small and an old 5″ iron key that opened up the front door of my grandfather’s family home in Europe (which is now about 150 yrs old). Those paintings and drawings always remind me of their cherub smiles as toddlers, and that old key evokes a connected sense of family and stories.

    I apologize for this long comment, but I guess anything done with the soul is bound to be a little passionate. ;-D

  352. Laura

    I would have to say the books that are in our built-in bookshelves. There are adult ones of course, but mostly there are children’s books that I have read over & over & over again! Some are favorites of mine when I was little, some have become favorites reading them with my own 3 children. Each one was read with love!

  353. Jess

    My favorite art in my house is a painting of Forsyth Park in Savannah that my husband & I bought on our honeymoon.

  354. Jamie

    I have 2 jars of seashells my grandmother had collected. Growing up on the beach in Maine is something I treasure and having such a great keepsake from my grandmother is priceless. Now I live in the South, far from the ocean I like to keep the jars on my mantel to remind me of my roots.

  355. Lisa

    I love the shells from our first family vacation. They are sitting on our mantle in one of our jam jars. It speaks “our family” which is perfect & reminds each of us of a wonderful summer.

  356. Lana

    I have lots of things in my home that evoke memories, but one of my favorites is old, chipped crock that belonged to my great-great uncle. He was a wealthy man but having grown up during the Great Depression, he was quite frugal with his money. This crock was old and cracked but he saw that it could still serve for holding dry goods such as flour. Inside the crock is an old, cracked coffee cup that he used to scoop out the contents. Precious and priceless.

  357. DawnJoy

    I have a photo that I took of the sunset over the Mississippi River near my hometown of Stoddard, Wis. I used an old manual Nikon camera I bought from my Grandfather and hand held a smoky filter over the lens. Once the photos were developed, I couldn’t believe that I had taken such an awesome picture. I enlarged and framed it. I love seeing it there when I do my most dreaded chore, dishes. It reminds me of the river that I so miss and the great conversation I had with my Grandpa one summer night, so long ago. – Dawn, NW Arkansas

  358. Sally

    I just recently downsized and had to pick what I wanted to keep…My mother passed away just a couple of days after Christmas and she had a suite in our home and I had to get rid of her things, but I kept a few that had memories attached…So in my new home I have little reminders of her all over the place, her african statues on my music stand, some of her egyptian figurines on my bookcase, her cat decoration in my living room, her handwritten book of recipes and other small momentos throughout the house…What I wanted to keep but wasnt able to because they didnt fit in or just were too old I took pictures of and have a special file for them…Like you said surround yourself with happy memories! :)

  359. Laurie

    My home is full of things that evoke happy memories for me. From the ceramic strawberry on my kitchen table that has held the family toothpicks for over a half century to the pastel McCoy pots that used to hold my grandmother’s flowers and now hold my pens and crochet hooks.

  360. Gay B

    A painting that my husband and I bought together. We have wildly different tastes so it’s not often that we find something we both like. When we do, we have to get it.

  361. Fiona Sanders

    I have some really wonderful things that inspire me, but I think one of my favorites is my kitchen table. We bought it during a time that D was injured and couldn’t work temporarily (great deal on it, and we had NO table!). But the thing I loved about it is that it’s from 1910, and it had been through a fire so there is a very slight charred part on one of the legs. You would never notice it if I didn’t point it out. But to me it really exemplified where we were at, at the time.

    We were really going through the fire, but we both felt like we would come out of it pretty good just like the table. So we bought it. I love that little charred part….and what it represents to us.

    I also have a beautiful secretary from my grandmother that I love, where I sit and work, and think of her.

  362. Bronwyn

    So many of our things are hand-me-downs…but I guess that is just a cheap word for “heirloom”. I love a set of two old golden suitcases with leather trim that were my grandmother’s. They aren’t just “current decorator pieces” but something that reminds me of a special person.

    Bronwyn’s last blog: Repurposed Decorations: Not-So-Fine Art

  363. Tera

    I love this post. I am a firm believer in sprinkling my home with meaningful things. I framed a small piece of a sticker that was placed on my luggage…the sticker was placed there when I flew to Guatemala to pick up our adopted child…it has the destination name, my name, the flight dates, etc…it’s a wonderful reminder! I also love black and white photography. To me, sometimes black and white photography can have slightly more meaning than color because it helps me to focus on the faces in the photos and not on busy backgrounds. I use a silver sugar bowl and creamer set from my grandmother on a small tray as a jewelry catch all in our bedroom. I could go on and on…

  364. Debbie

    This book looks right up my alley and I would love to win it. I have lots of pictures of my ancestors up on my walls in one room and I love it. I would like to be able to incorporate it through the rest of my house and it seems that this book would help me do it.

    So, one thing that invokes a happy memory… The picture collages of my kids (and other stuff) in the hallway to my room. I got the idea from a Pottery Barn book and they are done by color. There are 5 – blue, red, green, orange and yellow. I smile every time I walk down the hall.

  365. Tasha

    I have an old razor, shaving brush and bowl that my grandpa actually used. When I think of my grandpa I always remember his whisker rubs. A hug from him was special in a way no one else can replicate. I keep those ‘instant smiles’ on a bookshelf in my home. I’d love to learn better ways to display the important memories I have!

  366. Melissa

    I try not to have things in our home that do not have meaning (unless they are just useful). A favorite is a set of 4 antique trays from an old beehive that my Mama bought me years ago when we were out shopping. They are worn and unique and make me think of her.

  367. Marianne

    My mom passed away last january. My home is now filled with things that remind me of her. One of my favourites is a Royal Albert trinketbox (lid already glued several times) filled with, her rosary, some medallions and three lightbulbs from an old Christmastree light.
    The book sounds very nice. I have to check it out on Amazon!
    Thank you for the give away.

  368. Meredith

    It’s tough to pick one thing! Most of what’s in my house has a memory attached to it. I’m not a person to pick a decorating theme and shop around it. I just try to make what I’ve got and what’s been given to me work together. So, one thing that has a happy memory is my wedding wall. I’ve got framed black and white pictures of family weddings in a collage on one wall. Happy days!

  369. Elizabeth

    We have a photo wall in the living room of our home – pitcures from my husband’s and my childhoods through marriage and our life since. So fun to see the roots from whence we came and where we are now. It always sparks conversation among our guests and I love that as we share the stories behind each photo our friends and family share theirs as well…

  370. Richella

    What a great subject for a book! Here I am, yet another kindred spirit. One of my favorite such items is three of my grandmother’s angel food cake pans. I have the hanging on the wall in my breakfast room. They remind me of her and her indomitable spirit (she was famous for her angel food and she mixed every one BY HAND!).

  371. Vanessa

    We just bought our first home and have a little collection of family heirlooms, and photos, that I’d love to have around me all the time :)

  372. Angie Weldy

    Seeing anything from our trips to Korea to get our kids makes me happy – the silver chopsticks we bought, the mugs we were given, the hanboks our children came home with, and a myriad of other things.
    You put into words what I have been thinking for a long time – I don’t want just a pretty house of stuff – I want a home that is fun and comforting and US!

  373. Karen

    Wow! I just realized I have been surface decorating. I do have a lot of photos out, but that’s about it. I do have prints that were bought on vacation, but after bringing them home I did nothing with them. I do have a antique sleeping cat that was in my Grandmother’s bfast nook. After she passed, that was the only thing that I wanted. I have the best memories of learning how to bake with her in that kitchen. I would love the book. I need a little push to change my mindset on decorating. I love what you have done.

  374. Kim

    My mother is an avid and very talented crafter. Our whole house, but especially my son’s room, is full of teddy bears, quilts and other beautiful things she has made with love for us. Seeing each of them everyday reminds me how lucky I am to have her in my life.

  375. Mary

    My most treasured decorations are photos of my family. I don’t display them so that others can see them, I do it so that I can look at them. I also love photography so I can attempt to catch the family in meaningful situations and its a shame when they are just kept in albums or the computer.

  376. Sheila

    what an exciting give away! Things in my home that inspire me? Mementos from my husband’s mission trips to Haiti, small gifts from my friends, and WORDS…I decorate with words…signs, most of them gifts from dear friends, are all around my home.

  377. Rachel

    An old empty kerosene lantern that was my grandmother’s…it’s a perfect shade of blue with a darling little bird on it. It reminds me of her every time I see it.

  378. Becky E.

    My grandmother’s piano. Just seeing it in my home makes me smile! Whenever I sit down to play, I can almost see her gentle hands gliding across the keys.

  379. Lynne

    Our children’s “handprint tiles” are displayed with family photos of our vacations in the San Juan Islands. We collected them for several years when we visited a potter on Orcas Island. She taught them to throw pots and the magic of Raku! The Raku collection is displayed on the wall of our patio.

  380. sandy

    I have little things here and there but I have some wooden toys from when I was young, reminds me of a time when things were peaceful and less stress

  381. Amy A.

    I love this post! I have a bench that my Grandpa made me out of old barn wood (it has the saw swirl marks on top). I have a quilt my Grandma made me. I have a cast iron cookpot that belonged to my Granny’s mother. Those are a just a few of my treasures!

  382. Colleen Wheeler

    This book looks fabulous – inspiring as well as fun to look at – I sure hope I win! I love to surround myself with family photos and am always looking for unique ways to display them!!

  383. Monique P

    We have just moved to a new city, and are trying to fit all our furniture and decoritve things into smaller home, so I have definitely made the promise to decorate with things that I love. One of my favourite things in my dining room table. My husband built it for me when I was pregnant with our first boy, so that we would have a table big enough for the whole family to sit at and eat, do homework and everything else in between. For a while it sat unused in a formal dining room, but now we have only the dining room to eat in (no eat-in kitchen), so we get to use the big table again as our main gathering place.

  384. Kathy

    What do I love in my home? For starters, I do not have an artistic touch, so when I walk into my kids’ rooms or the kitchen which I painted, all by myself, I feel proud. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE an antique table I found at a garage sale for $25. It has original casters on the feet and a leather inlay on the top. What a find!!

  385. Tiffany

    It is hard to pick just one item because there are so many with beautiful memories attached. There is the antique armoire we bought on our first anniversary, in the town where we honeymooned. The stack of old American heritage books which I read as a child, or the Cinderella book my grandpa read to me all crazy, saying “Rindercella and her three sisty uglers”. There are pictures of my older kids when they were little, or a 4 generation picture where my grandma is the youngest! There are so many sweet things to remember about a life well lived. I agree they are the BEST things to have around.

  386. Liz White

    I love my collection of pitchers- all with images of lotus on them. I love lotus and have been successful in some years growing them in my above ground water ponds. Sadly, this year is not a good year for them. But I have collected everything from a silver pitcher with lotus in relief, two Limoges pitchers, and lots of little odds and ends………I even found a large one which was the same design as a small one I had for years. I love your blog. It inspires me daily.

  387. Jenni

    I just eat up this post, and the scrumptious photos! How I wish I had a staircase like that! I also love a small art clock I found at our Uptown Art Fair (Minneapolis) a decade ago. It has followed me from home to home, and recently I discovered I love it even more hanging on the wall instead of sitting on a tabletop. It is utterly unique: it depicts a horse leaping over a tiny house…pure whimsy! It was actually stashed in a drawer for a few years when I was at a loss of where to put it. Then I decided to stop being so “by the book” and just to have fun with it! I love it and it makes me smile every day!

    -Jenni in MN

  388. Margo

    Beautiful! My desire for my home and my life is to create a place of beauty and peace for my husband, family and friends… and I receive such inspiration from your blog! My husband and I have framed two special drawings that mean so much to us: his is a small drawing of a rose in black that he made for me when we started dating, and mine is a rose in water colors that I painted for him when we got engaged! They hang together on the wall in our new home and remind us to always pursue each other and keep love foremost in our day to day lives.

  389. Kimberly

    Thanks for posting about this book.

  390. Kiersten Johnson

    In my bedroom I have a photo of my grandparents. My grandfather just recently passed away from years of suffering. So that photo reminds me that he had a happy and full life with the woman he loved!

  391. Jan

    I have a “contract” I typed and made my husband sign in 1984 stating that he would take me to the World Series if Tx Rangers or Houston Astros ever made it there. In 2005 he fulfilled his obligation. I am trying to find a way to display the letter and memorabelia from that event.

  392. Jenn

    I LOVE a watercolor my husband bought me on our one big trip away from the children – to Italy. I’ve recently framed it and hung it in our living room beside my favorite spot to sit. It’s bliss.

  393. Ashley

    My grandmothers teacup collection!

  394. Karen

    I have an old creamware serving platter filled with black and white pictures from my youth. I don’t sit down and look through them often, but when I pass by and glance at the platter it just simply makes me feel good.

  395. Karen

    I love a quilt that my grandfather won at a church bazaar that I found in a blanket chest while visiting my parents. Mom gave it to me and a few years later she passed. I have it hanging in our family room to remind me of both of them.

  396. Patty Barone

    What a great book. After reading your post, I realize I need to get some treasures out of drawers to display and photos framed and up.

  397. Leigh Anne

    I have a tray that was my great-grandmothers. It is not only beautiful but also such a treasure ;) Thanks for the great post! I hope I win!

  398. Carol H.

    Something that evokes happy memory – a Carl Larsson print “Frukost under stora björken” or “Breakfast under the big birch” – because it reminds me of breakfasts (and lunches and dinners) under the trees in Sweden many years ago.

  399. Heidi Waud

    My family and I sold most everything to make a crazy move from WA to PA and are just getting settled in a temporary apartment. I was loathe to say goodbye to many of those things in our home that gave me the “warm fuzzies” and wonderful “rememberies.” However, I can hardly wait to make new and beautiful memories in this chapter of our story together!

  400. Iris

    I am reminded of our wonderful beach vacation each time I see the colorful serving dishes from the Costa Del Sol. I leave them out on a shelf in our living room and use them for dinner as much as possible!

  401. Carli

    My husband and I were high school sweet hearts and 19 when we got married. Our cheap, pine hallway table is the first piece of furniture we bought together when we were just engaged. We celebrated tenth wedding anniversary last December, the day after our little girl was born. The hall table is the only piece of furniture that has stayed with us over the years (although it has morphed from being wood, to painted black, to painted shabby white). When I look at it, I think about how far we’ve come together, how things change but how the essence stays the same and I look forward to the future. The best is yet to be. (I wonder what colour my hall table will be then?)

  402. Barbara

    I’ve got the stuff (husband’s family’s antique silhouettes, my mom’s needlework, the kerosene lamp that my dad studies by) but I need to display it better. I’d love that book for inspiration.

  403. Heather

    I love my old globe that I found at a thrift store. My son and I spend hours huddled around it finding different places, and talking about our planet. Every time I look at it I’m happy. :)

  404. Ellen

    Since I was a child, I’ve prized the little glass jar of beads that belonged to my mother, probably given to her by her grandmother, who was a seamstress. The beads are mostly blue, the jar has a glass stopper (like a perfume bottle), and the same gold ribbon has been tied around the neck of the bottle for as long as I can remember.

  405. Christie

    I have my mother’s and grandmother’s aprons hanging in my kitchen. I am reminded of who I am and the legacy that has been left to me each time I look at them!

  406. Tiffany

    I love my wall of photographs of family and friends.

  407. Liston

    I have a beautiful bowl that was my great-grandmothers, and she always used it for cherry pudding. My mom and I both have bowls from her, and my mom’s bowl was only used for banana pudding. Needless to say, when I make banana pudding, I have to borrow my mom’s bowl (and vice versa!). I love that it is a family heirloom, but it is even more important that the bowls carry on a family tradition.

  408. kelly

    I have my mama’s dining room table. I love it!!!! Fond memories of my family growing up now added to fun and lively memories of my children around the same table….

  409. dru

    I love my turn of the century enamel stove that I use as a bar, it is art nouveau, and a deep cocoa brown. I got it from a schoolteacher in Germany, and love it every day.

  410. Redheaded Grace

    Picture a row of handcrafted sock monkeys leaning against each other in one of those old glass doored lawyers book shelves. It sits right at the top of my stairs and makes me smile when they catch my eye. I have to keep them behind glass so they don’t escape but they seem very content. I love the contrast of this simple craft in the stately, ornately carved book shelve. This is something in my home that I definitely love and would to receive a copy of the book for new fun ideas.

  411. Vicki

    I have an antique desk that was my grandfathers. He sat at it almost all of his working life. I love to think of him every time I dig through a drawer to find something.

  412. Teresa Wilson

    I love my family photos.

  413. Paula

    I have a jewelry box that sits on a bookshelf in my bedroom. It’s not “a fancy model” nor does it hold expensive jewels. But, it was the gift my sweet husband selected for my wedding day gift. Everytime I see it, I remember that very special day!

  414. Sara

    I am the very proud owner of a very ornate inlay folding wooden screen that was my Grandma’s. It stands along one wall of our dining room now. When I was younger, my family would fly to visit my grandparents once a year. I was often relegated to sleeping on an air bed in the den which is where the screen lived back then and I remember staring at it and all it’s colorful details as I drifted off to sleep.

  415. corey

    I love the furniture that has been handed down from friends/family that I love.

  416. Linda

    My mom loved collecting angel figurines. In particular, she had a musical snowglobe, which sat on her dresser. Inside was a tiny little blonde-haired angel that looked just like my mom and played “I’ll be home for Christmas.” After I was married, we moved away and I rarely got to go home except at Christmas time. However, my mom always kept the snowglobe on display all year, reminding her of the time we would soon be home. My precious mom passed away a year ago. Now, it sits on my dresser and every time I see this snowglobe, I think of her and all the many wonderful times we spent together.

  417. leslie

    I have a star shaped wreath that reminds me of a trip to fort Ligioneer Days with my family. love it!!

  418. Pearl Maple

    An old stuffed goose decoy, has travelled the world with me, it is the first thing that gets unpacked, where ever I go it can be home with this reminder to connect to who I am

    Added to face book as well

  419. FawnDear

    Beautiful post. I’ve realized recently that I’ve surrounded myself with items that I thought others would love, couches like the neighbors, paint colors like my friends, ect. Piles and piles of books because someone I had admired loved the library of his youth. Point was I didn’t purchase or display Items I loved. So I’m surrounded with a hollow shell that I’m now finally coming to terms with and finally changing.
    So that you for the beautiful reminder to live an authentic life.


  420. Rachel Floyd

    I have this large ceramic mixing bowl that looks just like the one my mom always used to make bread. Everytime I look at it I immediately remember seeing her pound the bread dough down to get the air out. Great memories and I love having this bowl…I should get it out of the closet and display it somehow…but it is VERY large and my kitchen is VERY small. sniff


  1. Inspired By! - [...] was inspired by Living With What You Love (WOW, a lot of us resonate with that idea…today is the…

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