Let the Christmas season begin! Or at least let it begin here on Rhapsody in Rooms since clearly Christmas has begun everywhere else come November 1st (I would especially like to thank Hallmark Channel for starting your Christmas movies that early).

I am so excited to start the Christmas festivities here with a very special blogger Secret Santa tour. A group of my blogger friends and I all got together and decided to do a DIY Christmas Secret Santa. That means I made a fun Christmas craft for my friend Jeanette at Country Design Style and my friend Nancy from Artsy Chicks Rule made one for me!

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Let’s begin with showing you the Christmas craft I made Jeanette: a lighted Christmas canvas. [Thank you to Bubbly Nature Creations for the inspiration!] It is so easy to make but adds such a nice sparkle to Christmas decor!

Bloggers Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.comLighted-Christmas-Canvas-11

 

 Supplies

  • 16 x 20 white canvas
  • 100 mini-lights
  • Silver Sharpie
  • Stencil or sticker with message you want (mine was a multi-pack of stickers that wasn’t necessarily Christmas but I made it work for the holidays)
  • Something sharp for making holes (like scissors, skewer or the like)
  • Optional: hot glue gun (I ended up not needing one)

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Directions

1. Pick your message (using either stencil or stickers) and decide placement on your canvas. I went classically centered.

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

2. Using your silver Sharpie draw snowflakes of various sizes all over your canvas. I started by drawing the dots for placement first and then finished up with the full snowflake. Really fill up the canvas to make it seem oh so snowy and sparkly! I tried to make one hundred snow flakes to fit my one hundred mini lights. However, I wasn’t able to use all my snowflakes with lights because they were too close to the wooden frame so add more snowflakes if you want to use all the lights.

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

3. Use your sharp object (I used scissors) to make a small hole in the center of the snow flake.

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

4. Push your lights through the holes. If you made any holes too big you can use a dab of hot glue to secure the light in place.

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

5. Plug it in and you’re done!

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.comLighted-Christmas-Canvas-11Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Bloggers  Secret Santa: DIY Lighting Christmas Canvas | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Now, to show you Nancy’s craft she sent me! I LOVE it so much! It is a naughty/nice stocking with jingle bells. Plus, she stuffed it with chocolate goodies and you know that it is the key to my heart!

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For even more fun DIY Christmas crafts and to see what all my blogger friends sent each other visit all their sites for beautiful Christmas decor and inspiration!


  • Cute idea for a canvas! This is such a fun blog hop that you guys are doing. Off to see what everyone else made and received.ReplyCancel

    • Thanks so much Marie! I’ve had so much fun with this blog hop!ReplyCancel

  • Love your Believe lighted canvas!! Very clever!!! It’s so pretty…and I’m glad you like your stocking!! :)

    NancyReplyCancel

    • Nancy – I LOVE my stocking!! I really needed one too so it came at a perfect time! Thank you so much!!ReplyCancel

  • What a beautiful and creative way to celebrate, Megan. VERY impressive.I love this idea! Pinning.
    What a great blog tour!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much, Meegan! I love anything that adds more sparkle any time of year but especially at Christmas. I love this tour too!ReplyCancel

  • This is a great project Megan! I am going to give this a try. Thanks so much.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you, Vanessa! It’s so easy too! I did it while watching a Christmas movie which made it extra fun!ReplyCancel

  • I love love love this, Megan!! It might just be my favorite. ;)ReplyCancel

  • What a great idea for a craft. I love the lights and bet that it looks so pretty at night lit up.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you, Paula! I love Christmas lights at night. They are so cozy! I am seriously thinking of making one for myself!ReplyCancel

  • Megan, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I L~O~V~E the believe sign! We have family visiting and had a blast adding it to the mantel. We were trying to figure out how you did the snowflakes. Some guessed stenciled and some hand drawn. It’s such a treasured piece for our home for many years to come. Thank you so very much. Wishing you a wonderful holiday. Your friend Jeanette.ReplyCancel

    • Oh Jeanette you just made me weepy over here! Thank you so much for your kind words! It makes me so happy to hear how you were able to make it part of your mantel. And the snowflakes were all hand drawn. All it took was one Christmas movie to draw them! It was fun! Yay! Sending you lots of Christmas love!ReplyCancel

  • Love it! It’s so clever and too cute for words! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
    LeslieReplyCancel

  • This is gorgeous Megan! I bet it so pretty to light up esp at night! You did an amazing job :)ReplyCancel

  • Jill

    I LOVE this!! You know how I love snowflakes, I might have to make one of these.ReplyCancel

    • Yay! You should Jill! It’s so easy and a fun craft to make in front of a Christmas movie!!ReplyCancel

When going through a difficult time or a big change in your life (ahem separation) it can make you reevaluate everything in your life. Case in point: me.

After Eric told me that he wanted a separation my world crumbled. Everything in the past, present, and future seemed to have question marks surrounding it. Everything I had been living and thinking and understanding in the past seemed like it could be a lie, a dream, unreality. Everything in the present was all pain and fuzziness. My future had disintegrated before my eyes.

That’s enough to make a person question everything they thought they knew about themselves. I began to question everything in my life, even firmly rooted beliefs I had. Because when your life is completely uprooted you get to decide what you plant again. You get to reorganize, choose again, throw stuff out, think more critically before replanting.

So that’s what I did. Here’s where I get honest.

I don’t drink. Never have (except that egg nog Dad – I won’t forget that).;)

I have very conservative morals.

I am very quirky with an oddball sense of humor.

I don’t do surface level things. I like to dive deep.

These are all things I identified strongly with. I loved these things about myself. They made me me, and I was proud of that.

Then I wasn’t. I thought, “Maybe I can just try being normal. Make mistakes. Have a drink. Have looser morals. Make decisions that will make me fit in easier. Maybe even try to be someone I’m not a little bit to make men like me more.”

Learning to value your you-ness | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Yes, it may sound dumb to you. You may not understand where I’m coming from. But when you are thrown into a pit of self-doubt and the person who you thought loved you unconditionally, because and for your quirks, says that he can’t do that anymore, it makes you doubt who you really are. If you’re good enough. If you’re attractive enough. If people even like you. If you even like you. It makes you think, “Maybe I can change to be more likable. Because apparently I wasn’t enough before. Then I will feel better about myself.”

It’s so darn tempting at this stage.

I want to be liked. But even further than that, I want to be loved.

 

Learning to value your you-ness | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Yes, friends and family, you are rocking my world in a million and one ways. But everyone wants to have someone special. No one wants to feel lonely. Everyone wants to be loved (and that’s important to remember).

But then that comes full circle. Because to be loved, truly loved in the way that is most beneficial, rewarding, and healthy is to first love yourself. To love yourself so hard that you don’t need someone else to validate your being. That you are 100% you, for you and only you. To remember to embrace all those things that make you you. To love your quirks, yours morals, what makes you different.

Learning to value your you-ness | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Because face it, those are the best parts of you. Trying to be someone who everyone likes or who you think everyone likes is living a lie. It’s being fake. It’s being dishonest. People see through it. It’s also not fun, rewarding, or helpful to the world at large.

I think we’ve all heard it before, but there is only one you. What makes you special is YOU.

Learning to value your you-ness | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

So this is my little moment of clarity. My lightbulb and a-ha moment. A late twenties reminder that I believe I realized in my early twenties and probably at times in my teens as well (funny how we have to keep relearning the same lessons sometimes, huh?).

Don’t shy away from what makes you special, unique, and you.

Learning to value your you-ness | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Yes, everyone may not appreciate you just like you are, but the important ones will. It’s so much more rewarding and fulfilling. Plus, learning this now will save lots of pain, digression, and cleaning up your mistakes in the future.

Learning to value your you-ness | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

It’s also okay, and kind of awesome, to have such a drastic life change that makes you examine your life down to every last detail. It’s okay to change. It’s actually good to change and reevaluate. But what I’ve learned is that change because you want to change. Change because it is what’s best for you. Change for you and for no one else. Embrace yourself more, not less. Because it’s these big, crazy, hard life circumstances that make us even better, stronger people. Ready to embrace this world with a bigger heart. Ready to turn outward into the world and take it on. Because no one is better to take on this world than you are. Just the way you are.

Learning to value your you-ness | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

  • You are special and awesome as you are. He is the one who losing out on a gem!ReplyCancel

  • Candy Walsh

    Megan~that was a very brave and important step you just took in your journey of moving on. How awesome that you had the guts to lay it all out there. Just remember, God made you in your own uniqueness, not to be changed for anyone else or for any reason. Your purpose and your path in life were set long before you even met your husband, so just keep doing what you do, stick to morals and values and you’ll get through all of this, and who knows, it might turn into an adventure after the pain wears off. As a follower of your blog, I wish you well and will keep you in my prayers!ReplyCancel

    • Candy – thank you so much for your comment! It means the world to me! And such wise words in it. I agree with every one of them!! Thank you!ReplyCancel

In this new little place I call home, I’ve been letting myself ease into the unpacking part of moving.

Some things came first:

Organizing my closet so I could get dressed easily in the morning and get to work on time.

Unpacking with Purpose | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Finding my linens and making my bed so I could sleep.

Unpacking with Purpose | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Organizing the kitchen so I could feed myself.

Unpacking with Purpose | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Unearthing enough bathroom supplies so I could stay clean.

Unpacking with Purpose | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

However, other things I’ve let go at a slower pace. I’ve done this for two reasons.

Reason #1: I want to unpack with purpose so it goes into its place organized.

I don’t want to put things behind closed doors or under beds or into containers just so it is out-of-the-way. Actually, I want to unpack quite the opposite.

Unpacking with Purpose | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

See, if things are sitting around and out-of-place, it bugs me. I want everything to have its place – but not only have a place but have its right place. A place that makes sense to me. A place that is organized. Not just a place that is hidden. That’s not really unpacked to me.

So when it takes me 6 hours to organize the kitchen, I’m okay with that. Because everything has its right place – with a pretty lining underneath. That makes me feel better than setting the record for unpacking an apartment.

Unpacking with Purpose | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Reason #2: I want to observe how I live in this space and let that dictate where I put things.

Sometimes that means putting off buying things or unpacking things for a while to allow yourself to observe how you are functioning in the space. Where do you really reach when you get your drinking glasses? What side of the shower do you really get in on so you know where to put your conditioner (meaning not knocking it off the side of the tub every time you step in)?

Watching how you live can make your life easier – and you won’t have to reorganize a few weeks in.

Another positive about watching how you live in a house is that it can actually save you money.

For example, I came from a house with a trash compactor so I didn’t have a trash can to bring with me. I put off buying one because they are just so darn expensive. Plus, I wasn’t exactly sure the style and size I wanted. So I decided to just use a plastic grocery bag until I figured out what I wanted. Turns out, I would be SO MAD if I had bought the tall stainless one I had been contemplating. I don’t want to look at my trash can all day long. Floor space is too valuable in this place. I would rather have a small under the sink one. For one person living here and a dumpster in the parking lot (meaning I can take the trash out daily, nay hourly, if I want to) there was no need to buy a huge one that would take up too much room. So now I know I can spend $7 on a small, white plastic one and be perfectly content.

Unpacking with Purpose | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

So Little Miss Organization here is actually preaching that it’s okay to stay a little messy for a little longer. Yup, keep those boxes around until you’re feeling comfortable about unpacking with purpose!

  • I love this!! I am notorious for rushing things, so this is great insight into a much better process =) Love that you’re making such an intentional, purpose-filled home!ReplyCancel

    • Thanks so much Carrie! I’m trying to do everything with purpose and intention right now.ReplyCancel

  • I think you are so smart to get things exactly like you want them instead of rushing through your unpacking and then having to reorganize later.

    I hate having a trash can sitting out and would much rather have it hidden like you are doing.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you, Paula! It’s definitely an enjoyable process for me. I just can’t take tooooo long or it starts to bug me. And I agree about the trash can! Let’s get those outta sight!ReplyCancel

My heart has grown at least 10 times bigger since my last post. Oh my goodness, you wonderful friends out there. I love you so much. Thank you for your overwhelming messages of love and support. You sure know how to buoy a girl. I’m sending you all giant bear hugs.

Anywho, now that you know my news, I can share with you my new apartment. This place already gives me so many happy, peaceful, cozy vibes. I actually just moved last Friday so there is quite a bit of settling in to do. Sometimes I feel like I am trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. But that’s the fun part, right? I definitely think so!

So before I start showing you the apartment with all my stuff in it, I thought I would show you the blank state that it was the first day I got my keys.

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Here goes the grand (ha!) tour of my little place that I feel lucky to call home.

Living Room / Dining Room / Kitchen

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Porch

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Den / Studio

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Bathroom

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Bedroom

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Laundry Room

My Empty Apartment Tour | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

It’s older. Nothing fancy. Finishes that I wouldn’t pick. Has brown carpet. But I FRIGGIN LOVE THIS PLACE. This is my place. All mine. I can do what I want (within the constraints of my lease that is) and it is what I make it. I am going to love the heck outta this place and make it warm, inviting, cozy, beautiful, light, pretty, and colorful. I am going to fill it up with everything that makes this place feel like a home. Cause stuff is stuff but it’s the feeling you bring to your home that matters.

So now that you’ve seen it empty, let’s get this party started! I can’t wait to show you what I’ve got up my sleeve!

PS – Confused as to why I moved or why my blog name has changed? Read this post to understand what’s happening in my life.

  • Celia

    Ok, here is the mom in me coming out. 1. Don’t ever leave your purse on the floor (dirt & bad karma) get a purse hanger or put on a doorknob, hook, chair. Lol 2. Add a deadbolt to doors & re-key your locks. Your too pretty to take a chance someone else has a copy. Put a hook eye lock on bedroom door(police told my sister in law this -she woke up w/burglar in room!). Face it you have a blog it is better to be safe than sorry. Not trying to scare you , this comes from a place of love. It is very exciting- new beginnings always are. Loooove what you do. Don’t forget there is a trick of hanging fabric with blue starch. I transformed my apt with hippie cotton wall hangings that then looked like wallpaper. I also used matching sheets to comforter set to wainscot my moms guest room. Also command hooks are your new best friend! Have fun & much love on your new direction.ReplyCancel

    • Oh Celia, thank you so much for your awesome comment! I truly appreciate everything you said and will take everything to heart! And I LOVE all those ideas with fabric! Can’t wait to try all these fun renter friendly decorating ideas!ReplyCancel

  • I can’t wait to see what you do to add your personality to this place. It looks quite roomy for one person!ReplyCancel

    • Yay! Me either! First thing is to rid it of boxes…haha! It is definitely a great size for one person! But I don’t think I would love it with two. I like my space too much!ReplyCancel

  • Looks great, fresh and inviting — much like our condo (that I still miss!). Enjoy making it your own!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you! I love the floor plan. Sounds like you did too in your condo! So good to hear!ReplyCancel

I sit on a couch of compromise above a rug that was just never quite the rug with a red wall that’s been there the whole time that I thought I could live with. Yet, when I open my eyes a little bit wider I see I have built a life of compromise. A life of  love for someone else. A place where I am not as strong as I should be, could be. A place that is less me than it should be. A place that needs a fresh coat of paint. Because I can live with some compromise but I cannot live with the red wall.

How to make a curtain rod from an electrical conduit | www.rappsodyinrooms.comYou may think that I’m talking about the living room I’ve been rambling about here for the past few years. The living room that I could never quite get right no matter how I tried. How I thought I could love the red wall because he loved the red wall. How the couch was good for now and the rug was something for both of us – but ended up for neither of us.

But now I realize that the living room is our life. Our life that is full of compromise with a wall of something that is not quite right. But that wall cannot be taken down and the wall cannot be painted. The wall stays. It is us who have to change. Me who has to leave.

So change we will. Change for the better. Change for the stronger. Change for the possibility. Change for the future. Change for the friendship that lives on and the love that isn’t quite right.

Change for me is a blank slate. A place to be me, for me, by me, and only me. It is the time of me.

And I am ready. I am excited. I am sad. I am proud. I am buoyant. I am okay. I am open. I am embracing this blank slate of only goodness and happiness ahead.

Because there isn’t time to let what once was hold us back. There isn’t time to let past memories mar our present, our future. There isn’t time for guilt, or blame, or hard feelings. There is only time for now. For the rest of the now’s ahead of me. For the possibilities.

I feel like I am a new woman. A woman with a world ahead of me that excites, intrigues, frightens, and beckons to me. A world that is ready for this woman that I have become. I am a full, complete woman with nothing but love and goodness buffering my heart, leading me in the right way, guiding me on my path.

Because as I navigate through my life, it continually points me in directions that remind me that this life is not just for me, but what I can do for others. How I can bless wherever I go. Now is time to remember that even more. To live to my fullest potential where I am able to live, love, and lead to my best.

Now if this just seems like some garbly gook of words fraught with symbolism and hidden meaning, my point is that Eric and I are separated.

It is a decision that we have come to with great affection and good will towards each other. It is best for both of us to  live the life that we want. Yes, there will always be the memories, the good memories, that will sometimes make the present harder. But I believe in the plan, that everything happens for a reason, and that goodness never stops. That healing is immediate. That I am a whole and complete person now, with no unnecessary baggage. I go forth now lighter and free with nothing but good memories and a grateful heart. Because harboring negativity only hurts me.

For some of you this may seem sudden, you may have questions, you may be shocked. But it is the right time, and there is a right time for everything. I appreciate your concern and love but I am okay. This is all the detail that I would like to go into now and I know you will be understanding with my lack of specifics.

I just wanted to tell you here, in this little online family that I have grown, to let you know about my changes. That you will now be seeing pictures and projects in my own little apartment that I could not be more thrilled to get my hands on and make it me. All me. On to the next we go.

completely-hopeful-orlando-espinosa1

Love you all so so so much.

Megan

PS – You will be seeing some changes to the layout, organization and name of the blog. Some have already begun and others will take longer to roll out (depending on how quickly I can figure out how to reroute this domain name to Rhapsody in Rooms – any help you can give me on that would be appreciated). Stick with me, I know it’s going to be great.

PPS – I’ll be going back to Megan Elizabeth Aubrey as my name. I forgot how much I love that name all together.

  • Cait

    I love you, friend! <3ReplyCancel

    • Love you right back Cait!!! Thanks for being such an amazing friend in my life!ReplyCancel

  • Hillary

    So much Love is being reflected right back to you both every moment … big hugs and big smiles for the new adventures ahead.ReplyCancel

  • Sending lots of good vibes your way.ReplyCancel

  • Oh, Megan. I am so shocked but I love your positive attitude! I am looking forward to seeing projects from your new apartment. If you want to get together sometimes, I’m a good listener. Sending you a virtual hug. (((Megan)))ReplyCancel

    • Paula – you are the best! Thanks you for your amazing virtual hug! And yes – I will definitely take you up on a get together…especially when I figure out what I need for my new place. I see thrifting in our future!ReplyCancel

  • wow, megan- you are strong and amazing and will do wonderful things and own your life completely. wishing you all the best.ReplyCancel

    • Cassie – thank you so much for your wonderful words of encouragement. I deeply appreciate it!

      PS – This is why I’ve been terrible at getting back to you about the race. Life will be settled down more after this weekend so I hope to be able to have some time to spend on that!ReplyCancel

  • Jill

    Such a well written post! Hang in there Megan and if you need anything you know where to find me!ReplyCancel

  • You are such a strong, vibrant woman and I admire your honesty and openness. I’m excited to see what you do in your own new space. All my best and hugs :)ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Leslie. I so appreciate your kind words and support!ReplyCancel

  • Susette

    Wow! Wow! is all I can say. That was beautifully written. Your positive attitude and sense of wonder will take you far. I hope you get everything in life you wish for. I’m always here for you!ReplyCancel

  • Wow…my first inclination is to say “I’m sorry” but the way you wrote it was simply beautiful.

    Do what you have to do. Know you’re loved and supported all the way :)ReplyCancel

  • Big hugs and you have such a great attitude about everything. I know you will do amazing things. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the new place!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you for your hugs Jena! Can’t wait to dig into new projects in a new place! Silver lining perhaps?!ReplyCancel

  • Anita O.

    Megan,

    I am proud of you and how you have handled this whole messy chapter of your life. You have shown courage, strength and willingness to face the unknown. I believe that you will be the one to come out on the other side a stronger and better person. I’m glad to share a little corner of the world with you ❤️ReplyCancel

    • Oh Anita, thank you SO much for your heartfelt words. You rock! So glad to share a little corner of the world with you too!ReplyCancel

  • Megan, sending you hugs and prayers for the journey ahead. xoReplyCancel

  • I’m so sorry to hear this Megan! But I wish you all the best with what lies ahead and what the future has in store for you.
    xoxo
    NancyReplyCancel

  • Gifty

    Megan, I have not known anybody more complete than you! The basics of who you are will carry you through and don’t forget your Father Mother God is always listening! Giant bear hugs right back :)ReplyCancel

    • Gifty, thank you so much for your kind words. I am so honored. Thank you, thank you, thank you.ReplyCancel