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Welcome to A Jewel Home Decor & More

ajewel Thank you for stopping here.‭ ‬A Jewel is dedicated to inspiring you,‭ ‬sparking your inner creativity and becoming your own personal designer.‭ ‬Browse our website at your leisure‭ & ‬communicate with us.‭ ‬We love sharing decorating ideas.‭

A Jewel is all about family.‭ ‬Our mission is to get families back around the dinner table and make your house the home of your dreams.‭ ‬We all need that safe haven,‭ ‬a relaxing,‭ ‬comfortable,‭ ‬stylish environment the whole family wants to come home to.‭ ‬Let’s start now and together,‭ ‬accomplish it affordably‭!

A Jewel Home Décor and so much more‭!

Maureen O’Hare
Owner,‭ ‬Home Stylist

Wednesday, 12 October 2016 07:49

Love Letters

Are love letters a lost art? With all of the negativity in the world, it was refreshing this morning to turn on the radio and hear the topic of "Love Letters in Relationships" being discussed. I was pleasantly surprised at how many callers said they had written love letters to their spouse or received love letters. It was a positive way to start my day to know that with technology taking over and hectic schedules, individuals still take the time to write from the heart, on paper.

My husband and I would write love notes to one another. I saved some of them. I wish I had saved them all. Some that he had written were very romantic, while others were made to be comical. He tried to rhyme! I wrote more than he did. I would habitually leave them in his work truck tucked inside a bin or on the console. Someplace that I would be sure he would find it at some point during the day. Just my way of telling him to be safe and I couldn't wait to see him later. Clint always left mine on my pillow. I began to notice with him that his were written when he knew he would be gone for a natural disaster or harsh storm. I had always wondered if it was his way of saying, in case I don't return. I cherish those notes now!

It was made mention in the radio broadcast that Ronald Regan wrote love letters to Nancy, later which were made into a book. I was unaware of that. I think I need to pick up that book and add it to my reading list. Have you read it?

Some people have a hard time putting what they feel into words or dismiss opening up their heart on paper to; the other person knows how I feel. True, we feel another person's love in many ways. There is eye contact, spoken words, physical contact and small gestures of love. I recall one time Clint said, "I know you love me, you make hot cocoa for me every morning". It was so automatic for me, but I did do that every morning. It was a good feeling to know it wasn't an expected gesture, but an appreciated one. If you've ever read "The 5 Love Languages" by Dr. Gary Chapman, you'll understand that if you are in a relationship with someone who needs "Words of Affirmation" or "Receiving Gifts", maybe you should consider a love letter. When my husband and I had taken this challenge, we discovered that he needed "Words of Affirmation". It was in his top two. That was good information for me to know. Surprisingly, "Words of Affirmation" was 4 out of the 5 for me, so I had to learn how to incorporate more words of affirmation into our everyday life, because that was very important to him. The love notes started before we read the book and I was the love note initiator. I didn't know at the time how much he would embrace the love note exchange. It began as my way of just telling him to be safe and always remember, "I love you". I was really shocked when this big macho lineman wrote a love note and left it on my pillow. One note inparticular brought me to tears and when Clint called during a break from a storm to tell me goodnight, I was gushing about the note. He was very quiet and then typical of my husband, he said "I didn't write you a love note. Someone's already moving in on my woman while I'm away". Of course, it was in his handwriting and he signed it.  

I write in a journal daily, but a year after Clint passed away, I decided to write my last love letter to him and bury it. It was the most difficult letter to write and yet the easiest. I'll explain. I recalled all of the times we had shared together. I thanked him for that time and explained that I didn't know what love was, until I had met him. With that, I even asked for permssion to love again. I knew as I was writing it that I would experience even a greater love in my life, because of his love. Yet, I wasn't believing that before I started writing. I would advise anyone who has suffered the loss of a spouse to write a final love letter. I made it difficult thinking about what to write. Once I relaxed and just felt the love I have for him, the words flowed. Years of memories flowed from my pen to paper. It was an eye-opener and soothing.

So my blog today is wondering how many people have ever written or received a love letter? You don't have to be Shakespeare to write one. I always envisioned a love note on rolled parchment paper with a beautiful ribbon tied around it. That's really not how a heartfelt love note arrives. Some of Clint's were on post-it notes and napkins. I loved them all the same! Just a warning but possibly the first time you write one, your other half will question; "what have you done?" I guarantee it will be well received and one day when you're gone, a beautiful reminder of the love you shared. Oh, and if you haven't already, may I suggest you add the book "The Five Love Languages" to your reading list? It explained a lot to me about interactions with loved ones.

Now, I'm anxious for a road trip to Barnes & Noble for the Ronald Regan book.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016 12:23

Mirror, Mirror

Are you looking to add something new to your home? Have you seen the oversized floor length mirrors? The width is usually twice the size of a typical floor length mirror. I'm noticing them everywhere and it's my new obsession. I bet you've noticed that I have many decorating obsessions! We all know that mirrors make a room appear larger, but when you add a show stopper like one of these mega mirrors, they really open up a room. The frame can be simple to very ornate. Every color is optional from black, bronze, beige, silver and gold. They also come in metal, wood or plastic coated. The natural wood framed mirrors are amazing. This bad boy needs the perfect spot in your home.

My first love would be the dining room. It's the ideal room for an oversized mirror, if you have the wall space.  If you want your dining room to really stand out, prop an oversized mirror up against a wall where you're sure it won't get bumped into. Now imagine the holiday season with a festive tablescape with candles, glass and silver. Top that with the reflection from the monster mirror. The whole room will glisten and shine! Due to the large scale, nestle one of these mirrors behind your living room sofa. We all seem to struggle with the over-the-sofa dilemma. Wouldn't the natural wood mirror look fantastic in a family room or at the end of a hallway? I sure think so.

Do you have a tiny foyer or does your foyer need a magic weapon? This may be exactly what you've been looking for to enlarge the space. Braced to a wall with brackets, it will set a firm foundation to showcase your entry table and a tiffany table lamp. If you angle the mirror just right, it will showcase your foyer light fixture. Do you have an amazing chandelier that you want guests to notice? It will make a tiny space sparkle.

I haven't figured out the ideal spot in my own home yet. Once I do, I'll measure the wall before I go shopping. My master bedroom is out. I think it's a bit tricky to add an oversized mirror in a master bedroom. We tend to fill our bedrooms with oversized furniture as it is. I know I do. My preference is to scale down the size of the mirror for the bedroom and concentrate more on the frame of the mirror. I would suggest you go with something more ornate or something with a unique frame for over your bureau. The bedroom should be comfortable and relaxing. Too many overscale pieces may hinder the warmth of the space.

The cost for an oversized mirror will range anywhere from $200 to thousands, depending on the quality and material. Barnwood mirrors are more in demand, hence they will carry a heftier price tag. Yes, it's an investment piece, just like a piece of furniture. It's an investment that you'll have for years. If you're budget conscious, do some research. Shop flea markets, closeout sales, furniture liquidations, auctions or go online for furniture store coupons.  Don't forget to measure the space first and take your tape measure with you!

Happy Home Decorating!



Tuesday, 13 September 2016 13:20

Autumn Decorating

I get super excited when it's time to decorate for autumn! I'm not one who cares for cooler weather, but I wholeheartedly embrace the change in seasons, just so I can decorate. So, as the weather turns cooler outside, you'll find me indoors mostly. I'm styling, decorating and decorating some more. I'm in my element now! This is my busy time of the year and I embrace it. My home is starting to come alive with bursts of autumn color. Are you ready to decorate? Seriously, I'm even itching to put a Christmas tree up. I'd have one up now if I thought I could get away with it. I know, I know, hold your horses. One season at a time, right? With that, let's decorate for autumn.

Just think about the abundance of color during fall. The colors of the leaves are what you want to bring inside. Those hearty, rich colors of golden mustard, persimmon, garnet, and evergreen bring your home alive. While chocolate brown and shades of green are huge fashion colors this fall, they are just as appealing in your home decor. Bring the outdoors in, I say! Mix and match those rich colors in throw pillows, floral, linens and wherever you need a burst of autumn. Invest in some pumpkin or apple aromatic candles. Guests will appreciate visualizing fall and smelling all of the scents of the season. Ozark Country Candles has an enormous variety of soy scented candles. It's hard to pick a favorite, but if you twisted my arm and said only one, it would have to be Apple. If you're like me, you will probably want more than one. You really can't go wrong with a candle that smells like cookies or a pie baking.

It's time to check your closet or storage and storage area for all those goodies that are hidden away. Bring out those heavier textures in your throw pillows and blankets. Mix and match the textiles for a more cozy environment. From faux fur to chenille, your throws and pillows will make guests want to sit and enjoy a cozy visit. Consider corduroy, leather, suede and plaids for a more masculine look. You'll always find something plaid/tartan in my home from fall through winter. I even tote around a plaid throw in my car during the cooler months. I adore red and black plaid. I guess I should have been a lumberjack! Oh yeah, I don't like the cold!

Set the stage for your home outside with some impressive curb appeal. Let your guests experience a sampling of what to expect inside. Load the path and porch with mums, pumpkins, gourds and indian corn.  Don't forget pathway lights. Light it up! Color is the name of the game though. I always like to add a little something unexpected. You might find a witch tucked in an urn or possibly an angel or two. Kids prefer the witch or a skull! Let's embellish that front door. Do you prefer the front door to have a simple trio of indian corn or does your personality scream, showstopper wreath? Unless you decorate full blown Halloween, your fall decor will take you through Thanksgiving. It's no fuss decorating and with our busy lives, who doesn't love that! Decorate now and you're done until it's time for your traditional Christmas decorations to go up. Don't you love how we have such a variety of pumpkin sizes and colors today in the marketplace? My love is white pumpkins! I can't resist them. I also love to mix an assortment of gourds in my arrangements. My go-to is a variety of shapes in shades of green.  It makes decorating much more exciting to mix and match things. It's fun to get creative!

There's no better time to get your children involved in decorating than fall. Especially closer to Halloween, when it comes time for pumpkin picking and carving. Those are the times memories are made. Just add some laughter, hot cocoa or apple cider and some treats, of course! Nothing beats pumpkins crafted by children. Their imagination comes alive at Halloween. I always thought it would be exciting to buy a bunch of mini pumpkins and take them to daycares or schools for children to design. Then have the children go on a field trip to a local nursing home and distribute them. It's a gift that keeps on giving!

I am always on the lookout for creative decorating ideas. That's why I enjoy traveling so much. Everywhere I go, I am in search of ideas and decorative accents for the outside and inside of my home. Some people brake for garage sales. I brake for amazing curb appeal and home decor! I can't wait to see all of the fall decorations around town and in my travels. I hope you will share your fall and Halloween decorating designs with me. I'm anticipating imaginative and exciting creations! Decorating isn't meant to be a chore. Relax and enjoy yourself. 

Happy Autumn Decorating!


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