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I am a traveling STORYTELLER photographer & humanitarian telling epic life stories around the globe. We are based out of Denver, Kansas City or wherever you're from.  proving you can be both a goofball & hopeless romantic, if not adventuring, you can find me cuddling with my fur babies on the couch with my laptop & a glass of milk or renovating an old vintage trailer of some sort with
my husband.

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Holly & Mistletoe Holiday Homes Tour

I was attempting to compile our house renovation and remodeling photos (the befores and afters) with our Holly & Mistletoe Holiday Homes tour images, but it was just becoming a “lot.” I’ll be posting our before and afters soon however, because those are SO fun and a little humorous at times. And really our main source of excitement on this holiday homes tour, was sharing the before and afters in each room. Sometimes a HUGE difference. I’m so glad my husband let our house be a part of this wonderful fundraiser. It’s a lot of work, but our goal was to A-give our selves a deadline to get our renovations completed by (we didn’t sleep for a few weeks, maybe even months) and B-to inspire people with a more modern, simple and clean holiday decorating style, a lot of it being affordable DIY and sentimental pieces from our family. I wanted to show that you can take things you already have in your home, and make them festive. We spent very little on decor (although we had to buy our main tree and ornaments, since we haven’t acquired much only being married a year and a half at this point).  It was a half a year of planning in our heads, for only a couple of weeks of decorating thanks to our “up to the last second” renovations: i.e. plumbing, tearing out walls, stripping wall paper, fixing plaster, mudding, painting just Thanksgiving week (when the homes tour was Dec 3, 2015). But we made it happen. And charming it was.

It was a blessing being a part of this event held by the Independence Young Matrons. We collaborated with a really kind hearted staff who was overly thankful of our home donated, we enjoyed creating and pinning and pulling sentimental pieces from both sides of our family, we enjoyed meals with the fundraising crew, private tours with friends and family as we decorated, and the BIGGEST reason I wanted to be a part of this was to help raise money for the IYM. They give so much back to the community and this was one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. It allowed us to really be up close in the fundraising process. With all of the homes being located here off the historic Independence, Mo square, it was only fitting for us to join in this season. It brought a lot of people back to the old homes with tons of character. Believe it or not, ours was the YOUNGEST of them all at age 108. I think because all of the homes were so close together and all of them with so many stories to them, also with the weather being nice, it brought in a TON of guests.  At 10am when the doors opened, I had a line out my door and down the sidewalk. Cars lined our streets for a few blocks. Sun shining and breakfast early, women and men rolled in with groups, in buses and big vehicles making it a “day out” together with friends and family. I knew almost everyone who walked in my door. I just couldn’t leave. (I really didn’t want to to be honest. It was fun reconnecting with my elementary teachers, high school teachers, friends and parents I grew up with, church members and more.) It was fun hearing everyone talk about their favorite “things” in our house too. I left for awhile, but came back before Philip got off work for us to head out on the tour ourselves, and I made a lot of friends in our home. I’ve never seen so many people in the foyer of our house before [smiles]. Before I left at 10:45am, there had already been a total of 150 people in our home. Whew, that is a bit overwhelming just hearing those words. Our house isn’t THAT big. But the holiday spirit and excitement was everywhere.

And people couldn’t stop talking about our overhung grapevine and evergreen lit art piece over the front door, our world wall map in the dining room and the circular mirrors hanging above our stairwell upstairs. Each with a story in themselves.

By the end of the day, the tickets were tallied. It was a record breaking year. Over 1200 had been through our home that day. It was only a one day event people. Can you believe it? That’s at $10-15 a ticket. They made more money this year for the homes tour than ever before. How exciting is that to be a part of!? Thank you to the Independence Young Matrons for putting on another great homes tour for friends and family to enjoy. We were so glad to partake with you!

Enjoy the images from the Dec 3, 2015 tour below. If you want to see the FULL gallery of images, click here.
Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non ProfitDo you like my DIY $10 entry mat? An abstract Christmas tree print so simply made with some painters tape and white paint. Voila. Just make triangles and paint inside the lines.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasWe filled our window planters with ornaments for a splash of sparkle and fun to match the indoor decor and front door wreath.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY Christmas2015Dec3-HollyMistletoeHomesTour005Also a favorite, our “photo family history” wall. Images from the early 1900s all the way up to mine and Philip’s childhood hung proudly as you went up the stairs. It’s been hilarious seeing people try to pick out who is who. My dads naked baby pictures are my favorite!Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipWe took some leftover dried greens from a previous wedding and hung them over our front door with some ornaments for a more green/earthy yet festive look.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipWe took mugs we already had and filled them with marshmallows.. one of our favorite things as a couple… snuggling up on the couch by the tree.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipMy mother made this stocking when she was young. It is by far my favorite stocking i’ve ever seen. We also took some of our “travel themed” wedding decor and used them on the bookshelves. Fitting as two of them were silver camels. And of course we just popped a Santa hat on the statue. I also loved the old vintage clown from my mom’s family. You take apart the big clown and there are smaller clowns inside each one, our old cameras Philip and I have collected and the wonderful snow globe with the tree atop the car after visiting the tree farm (from Target. I loved this piece.)Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipWe had LOTS of ornaments so I filled them and stuff them everywhere I could. I even used some of our house lights for a fun Christmas look.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasMy moms childhood Christmas book we sat out on our coffee table. And don’t mind the elves. They are adorable yet creepy, I understand. I still love them and the furry attire.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHow cute is my mom’s old “little” red wagon? It fit nicely with our vintage photo reel next to it. Lots of color in our living room that coordinated throughout the house.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasAh. This starts our dining room. One of my favorite rooms. That wall map was the talk of the day.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasPS. Pinecones are a FREE way to decorate and will last from fall all the way through the winter. A decorating tip: decorate for the “season” and not so much the Christmas holiday and your decor can stay up much longer. Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipThis is our TRAVEL THEMED room. With metal prints on the wall from our travels around the world, our pins on the map of all of our road trips, work trips and missions trips. And a fun color palette bringing in a unique pieces that still fit together with the browns nicely.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipI love our traveling Charlie Brown trees. We’ve stated collecting ornaments each year on our travels for our anniversary trip. When we make our huge road trips, its fun to remember the adventures that were happening when we bought these. A good tradition we’ve started together.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasAnd here we are… most everyones favorite place in the house. Our kitchen. We kept it simple and very clean and simplistic with a hint of silver and mirrored decor pieces throughout. The pinecone silver wreath that hung on the back was a great way to transition from the more rustic dining room as well. To see our kitchen before and after blog feature, click here.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasOn to the upstairs. Our latest renovation project. The entire hallway, tearing out the hall way closet, putting in a reclaimed lead window we dug out of the trash of our neighbors house, making the master bath bigger adding in that closet door as a now pocket door into the spare bedroom (which will eventually be the master bedroom). And those favorite circle mirrors everyone was talking about……. Oh, did I mention, Philip and I flocked our old green tree ourselves? It only cost about $50 and we had ourselves a beautiful snowy white tree. I’ve always wanted one. Thanks to Lindsay Letters for the holiday calligraphy canvas.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipThere she is.. our beautiful new renovated bathroom. If you only saw the befores, you would die. Soon to come, I promise.
Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip2015Dec3-HollyMistletoeHomesTour035Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasOne of my favorite shots and prints in our home. From our western trip, this was an image from atop the Trail Ridge Road in between Estes Park, Co and Grand Lake, Co. Mounted by WHCC.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasMy kitty is obsessed with the sink.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHollywood style bathroom.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipI made the macrame to hide that ugly old closet. It was a nice touch to the mid century look in our spare bedroom I thought.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipA nativity set purchased by Philip’s dad from Bethlehem. Another favorite from our visitors. My great gpa made the wooden drawer piece and my mom the Santa. We have a lot of creatives in the family.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipShe was part of the decor most of the day 🙂Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipPhilip showing off his favorite cigar collection from our wedding. Another great shot from our sunrise hike at Bear Lake in Estes Park, Co.2015Dec3-HollyMistletoeHomesTour047Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasOur master bedroom. Doesn’t it look so cozy?Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasOld Angel from my mom’s Aunt Judy that used to sit atop her Christmas tree every year. I like to think she prays over us while we sleep.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasThank you mom for the PERFECT floral display to celebrate our homes tour. What a great gift from a local florists AlyssasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House Flip, DIY ChristmasHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipWe had a music room that had acted as our storage room for about 3 years while renovating. Last second, we added in a Christmas tree we had and made some ornaments to go along with the theme. The most relaxing thing about our house was hearing the grammy award winning Kansas City Chorale my husband sings for, playing throughout the upstairs and music room for guests to enjoy.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipYes, I made a music wreath in about 10 minutes. I had no idea what I was doing, but it worked for an extra flare 🙂 We filled some clear ornaments with old music we’ve had that we cut into stripes. A great way to keep the music around that we don’t use any more.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipMy office/client meeting area. The white metal ceiling tile might be one of my proudest projects i’ve worked on. Doesn’t it look so amazing?Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipThis light is to die for. Another favorite piece in our house. With a mid century modern look, it hangs so elegantly above my clients coffee table.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipOur glamorous mirrored bathroom. That was a bear to put in let me tell you, haha. I’m still obsessing over our white yarn wreath also, purchased from Joann Fabric store.Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decor, Renovations, Remodel, House FlipThis pink bell is from the 40’s i’d imagine. It was my moms mothers. Very delicate and so interesting.
Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decorHolly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit, Christmas, Homes Tour, Holidays, Home decorAnd to end with a bang…. I only have some small outdoor images of our home. I’ll need to capture a few more professional images before we take our lights and decor down. I hope you enjoyed our tour and were inspired by simple decorating. Cheers to a happy 2016!Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour, Independence Young Matrons, Fundraiser, Non Profit

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  1. Cindy

    January 19th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    OH, my gosh, these pictures are SO pretty – -and I know what your home looks like! GREAT pictures – what a fun day. You are so good at what you do – – and are SO very creative! You and Philip enhance each others abilities SO much! thank you for sharing these, BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

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