Tag: Christmas

Fa la la la Living Room

I’m continuing this week’s tour of Christmas decor in my house with a peek at the living room where I’ve decked the halls with red, green and silver accents.
IMG_8870.JPG
I mixed some of my old favorites with a few new pieces this year to make the room feel extra festive.
IMG_8871-0.JPG

IMG_8872-0.JPG
I splurged on a pair of green and white houndstooth pillows that coordinate with my table runner in the dining room. The couch is the first thing that draws your eye in when you walk through the front door so I focused my attention there this year. A trio of new pillows, glittery garland and DIY holiday-themed art transformed this spot for Christmas. My couch and rug are so neutral that it’s easy to change the look of the room by switching up a few accent pieces and swapping out the yellow pillows for green. My strategy for decorating the living room was to take away yellow and replace it with green which complemented my existing red accents nicely.

IMG_8875.JPG

IMG_8876.JPG

IMG_8873-0.JPG
A few silver accents go a long way to make this space feel Christmas-y, too. I found this wreath made of silver, vintage-looking ornaments that I placed on a tray on the coffee table as a statement piece. When we put the tree up it will make my large silver ornaments really pop.

IMG_8888.JPG

IMG_8874.JPG

IMG_8880.JPG
Silver also makes a statement atop my entertainment center where a bevy of glass Christmas trees in a variety of sizes add interest to this side of the room. I treat my entertainment center as if it were my fireplace mantel (because I’ve always wanted one). It’s one of my favorite decorations in the whole house and I love how it turned out.

IMG_8881.JPG

IMG_8883.JPG

IMG_8882.JPG
Last but certainly not least is the stairway where I draped the same glittery garland down the banister and secured it with some red and green striped ribbon. I like the fact that you can see the ribbon holding up the garland and I think it gives the banister added character.

IMG_8878.JPG

IMG_8884.JPG

IMG_8885.JPG
And with that, the tour of our indoor Christmas decorations is complete. Next up I’ll share with you my Christmas tree and our display of lights outside. Also, look out for a new vlog with a video tour of our Christmas decorations which will give you a better feel for the layout of the space!

Red, green and… Copper?

When it comes to Christmas decor I don’t play favorites. Red, green, white, silver and gold all have a place in my home for the holidays. This year I added a small splash of a new metallic tone to the mix — copper.
IMG_8765.JPG
My husband’s favorite holiday drink is the Moscow Mule which is traditionally served in frigid copper mugs. The bright hue was the inspiration for my dining room sideboard this Christmas season. It makes a bold statement and a little goes a long way so I paired it with some rose gold pieces, deep reds and classic greens for a playful holiday look.

IMG_8774-0.JPG

IMG_8780-0.JPG

IMG_8764.JPG

IMG_8770.JPG

IMG_8771.JPG

IMG_8768.JPG

IMG_8769.JPG

IMG_8772.JPG

IMG_8773.JPG
Take a closer look at my DIY Noel sign.

IMG_8766.JPG
I used the cover art from another pretty notebook as the background with a metal “Noel” ornament (both from Target) on top for a custom piece that goes perfectly with my color scheme. I nabbed that rose gold Nicole Miller frame and Earth & Vine cocktail mixer at Marshall’s a few weeks ago.

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the dining room:

IMG_8779.JPG

IMG_8777.JPG

IMG_8776.JPG

IMG_8778.JPG

IMG_8775.JPG
I’m really excited about how the dining room turned out this year. Have I mentioned how much I love that preserved boxwood wreath? Vern Yip’s go-to decoration for December in HGTV Magazine was preserved boxwoods because they look like real/living plants and are maintenance free. I got the wreath from Target last year but I spotted it in the store again this season along with a smaller version.

More photos of my living room are in the works and I still have to trim the tree, so more to come!

DIY Target Felt Wreath Hack

I’d like to start this post by saying my husband is both a genius and a saint. A genius because he suggested we take off of work from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday and a saint because he agreed to sit home with me for three straight days while we decorated the entire exterior and interior of our home for Christmas — save for the tree.
IMG_8800-0.JPG

IMG_8708.JPG
If you know my husband Mike you know he suffers from something my Mommom likes to call “gas ass” (I do too in all fairness) and our social calendar is eternally full. But we spent most of the ENTIRE weekend at home and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house.

With no time constraints holding me back I had a great time DIYing three felt wreaths for my kitchen and powder room. I bought the wreaths at Target a few weeks ago with the thought that I’d cut them apart into separate pieces and use two of them on my kitchen cabinets. This is what I started with:

IMG_8722.JPG
First I snipped the burlap holding the wreaths together to separate them.

IMG_8721.JPG
Then I snipped these glitter pinecones off of the tri-pick they came in (also from Target.)

IMG_8720.JPG
Then I hot glued the pine cones to the wreath, followed by a few white berries.

IMG_8719.JPG

IMG_8716.JPG
I knew I wanted to hang the wreaths from my kitchen cabinets so I hot glued a piece of ribbon to each one. In the meantime I had hung command strips on the inside of the cabinets upside down where I would hang the wreaths from for a clean look.

IMG_8807.JPG

IMG_8806.JPG
Ta da! Here’s the finished product. Very festive! My kitchen is the first room you see when you walk in the front door so I wanted it to feel just as Christmas-y as the rest of the house.

IMG_8804.JPG

IMG_8801.JPG

IMG_8805.JPG

IMG_8800-1.JPG

IMG_8802.JPG

IMG_8803.JPG

IMG_8808.JPG

IMG_8809.JPG
I hung the paper banner I made last year over the window and weaved a garland through the wrought iron swirls of my vintage ice cream parlor table to give the whole kitchen a festive feel.

With two of the wreaths in the kitchen, I figured the third would be perfect in the powder room across the hall. I added the same pine cones and white berries but wanted to give it some extra oomph. I bought some gorgeous notebooks (also at Target) a few months ago because I loved the cover art but never found a place to put them. Something in my brained clicked and I thought — custom art and paper flowers!

IMG_8707-0.JPG

IMG_8714.JPG

IMG_8712.JPG

IMG_8713.JPG
I just cut out a square piece of the notebook cover to fit my existing frame and cut out the remaining flowers to hot glue onto the wreath. How cute?!

IMG_8711.JPG

IMG_8708-0.JPG

IMG_8715.JPG
Here’s how the rest of the powder room turned out:

IMG_8710.JPG

IMG_8709.JPG
I love how both rooms feel holiday ready without screaming red and green! As excited as I am at how the kitchen and powder room turned out — I’m even more excited about the dining room. Stay tuned for more Christmas decorating fun coming this week!

Bye Bye, Christmas

Our Christmas decorations are finally down, and our house feels so empty. The end of the holiday season comes with both a feeling of sadness and a feeling of relief. Sadness because weeks worth of planning, organizing, shopping, cooking and cleaning has culminated in a few short-lived days of revelry. And relief because all those weeks of planning, organizing, shopping, cooking and cleaning are over, for now.

Goodbye Christmas

The hectic pace of the holidays kept me from blogging (sorry about that). As a brand new blogger I’m still trying to find my groove, and I was enjoying a holiday break where I could be more unplugged than I usually am. I’m blessed to work for an agency that closes between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and though I was checked into email throughout that time it was nice to come out from behind my computer screen for some much needed R&R.

That said, the Christmas decorations are put away and I’m excited to be actively blogging again. How was your holiday? Are you sad to see the holidays go or are you looking forward to a slower pace this month? I have a hunch my winter hibernation will include some fun projects around the house. Who’s with me?!

Holiday Fête

Mike and I had the pleasure of hosting a little holiday fete last weekend with a few close friends and family. I was excited to have another chance to entertain since it’s been a few months since our housewarming party back in September. I wanted to avoid spending the entire party in the kitchen, so I kept the appetizers, entree and dessert super simple yet festive and gave our home an extra special feel with some DIY decorations I made just for the occasion.

Christmas Tree Cheese Platter

I placed a few easy to eat finger foods on the dining room table to greet guests as I finished our main course in the kitchen. This cheese platter in the shape of a Christmas tree was Mike’s idea and I think it turned out to be super cute, and even easier to make. I layered a variety of cubed cheese, rosemary springs, crisp green grapes and cherry tomatoes on an extra large solid-wood carving board that we got at Target on clearance.

Appetizers

An easy homemade spinach dip, pita chips, and gourmet Italian breadsticks rounded out my appetizer offering. I combined some of our vintage green glassware and candle holders with a faux ranunculus arrangement for a centerpiece that felt casually collected.

In an effort to keep my party decor simple and warm I opted to use real cranberries, snippings from our big jade plant and floating candles to make a variety of accents for the powder room, kitchen, dining room and living room.

Cranberry Christmas Centerpiece

 How cute are they? Not to be outdone by the cranberry and candy cane vase I threw together to adorn one of my living room side tables. Swoon.

Side Table Peppermints

Peppermint Candy Cane

 And I was lucky to have an adorable elf helping me set up for the party. Hello free entertainment. Well, we did pay for his dinner. Ha!

Elf Cody

 I used a free Christmas printable and some chevron burlap to create a cheery sign for my display of wine glasses with the hope of inviting guests to help themselves – which they did. I used a standing photo frame from Ikea that is very easy to switch up for any party. I originally got a set of to use for our wedding and they’ve come in handy ever since.

Cheers Christmas Sign

 I didn’t snap any photos of our dinner buffet, but I kept it simple by using crock pots to keep my hot side dishes warm throughout the night. Our menu included holiday baked ham, cheerful mac and cheese, Santa’s seasoned veggies, Rudolph’s arugula salad and ho! ho! ho! rolls. I gave each of the dishes a holiday name for a playful touch since the dishes were so simple. My work week leading up to the weekend of the party was very busy, so I was thanking my lucky stars that I chose to keep the menu very manageable.

Last, but certainly not least, was the dessert table. This was my favorite set up of the night! The morning of the party I pulled some of my pre-mixed Christmas cookie dough out of the freezer (post on the pre-mixing and freezing ahead process to come) and baked four different kinds of cookies – peanut butter, chocolate chip, oatmeal scotchies and Christmas spritz. They’re all recipes I got from Laura and they turned out great (surprise, surprise). I arranged them on a simple white platter and got two decanters out to serve milk (and later egg nog).

Christmas Cookie Dessert Table

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Decanters

 I set up egg nog in a punch bowl across from the dessert table on my small island in the kitchen. The punch bowl was an amazing vintage thrift store find that my mom purchased for my bridal shower last summer with 10 adorable matching cups. I filled the bottom of the punch bowl with ice, placed a metal bowl on top and poured the egg nog into it so the ice would keep it nice and frosty throughout the night. It was a hit!

Egg Nog Punch Bowl

 I’m so glad we had a chance to hang with some friends before the craziness of the holidays really ramps up in the coming week. Are you attending or hosting any holiday parties? What are you favorite tips for holiday entertaining?

Free Printable Chalkboard Christmas Art

I had to share another set of awesome Christmas printables that helped make our living room photo collage extra festive. I found these free printable chalkboard Christmas prints on The Cottage Market and I loved that they each featured lyrics from traditional Christmas songs. We have a lot of red and green going on in our holiday decor, so I thought these chalkboard prints would break up all the color nicely while still being very Christmas-y in their subject matter. How cute are they?!

Free Christmas Chalkboard Printables

If you love these as much as I do, you can download them for free over at The Cottage Market and print them to use in your home. I purchased three white frames to hold similar birthday-themed chalkboard printables for Laura’s birthday dinner knowing that I wanted to keep switching out the prints for each holiday throughout the year. The frames were roughly $10 each purchased a T.J. Maxx and I love the way they can easily be changed to match the season. I printed the art on plain 8×11 printer paper and cut it to fit the 8×10 frames. Here’s what they look like up on my photo collage wall and propped on the side table next to the couch.

Photo CollageIMG_0849 Photo Collage Left Angle

Trimming the Tree

The tree is trimmed! Here it is cheering up our living room in all its glow-y heart warming beauty!

Finished Tree

I mixed all of our old ornaments with a few boxes of new designs and I love the way it turned out. Here’s a closer look at the ornaments I used.

All Ornaments

Old Ornaments
Old Ornaments
New White Ornaments
New White Ornaments
New Bird Ornaments
New Bird Ornaments Leftover from Wreath Making
New Silver Ornaments
New Silver Ornaments

I started with the above silver ornaments that I picked up at Target this year to fill in such a big tree. This is the biggest Christmas tree we’ve ever had so I knew I needed some extra ornaments, but I didn’t want to break the bank. I got 12 large ornaments in this pack for $15 and they nicely filled in a few holes in the tree. I layered on the white ornaments next followed by the green and finally the red. Putting the entirety of each color on at time helps me evenly distribute them throughout the tree for a more balanced look. Last and most importantly I added our more ornate and meaningful ornaments like the angel that Mike’s grandmother gave him during their last Christmas together, and the lovey dovey snowman couple that we got for our first married Christmas – complete with our wedding date. Here’s the final product!

Tree Close Up

Red Reindeer

Bow Tree Topper

Christmas Tree

Tree & Stockings

Finished Tree

There it is! I love how it glows like this at night. I’ve become quite the Christmas sap since marrying Mike. He’s helped me see Christmas in a whole new way and appreciate little things like a cheerful tree much more than I used to. If you celebrate Christmas, do you have your tree up yet? What’s your favorite ornament?

 

 

Easy DIY Holiday Art

After crafting the outdoor Christmas wreaths to adorn the front and side windows of our home this season, I knew I wanted to add a personal touch to our indoor decorations with a fun Christmas craft as well. This is what I came up with.

Easy DIY Holiday Art

My inspiration came from this glitter reindeer art that I pinned a while ago. I liked the simply get sparkly look of the art and it looked like something simple enough to recreate. When Mike and I were in Michael’s a few weeks ago looking for Christmas decorations I picked up a pack two canvases on sale for $7 and two bottles of Martha Stewart’s craft paint for $2.99 each, so these two custom pieces of holiday art cost me just $11. I also used a foam brush, a small painting brush and some glue dots that I already had. If you had to buy these I think the total project would cost around $20. Still a great steal for some awesome art – especially because you can make the colors and style match your decor perfectly! Here’s a look at everything I used for this project.

Art Utensils

The stencils you see above were a great Pinterest find, too. Another blogger had them hosted on her site available for free download. Score! Free printables are one of my favorite things. You can access these files here.

Christmas Printables

As I mentioned above, I bought two new craft paints for this project. One is a silvery glitter called Antique Silver and one is a gorgeous red color called Habanero. I also had a pretty forest green and bright white left over from another project that I had on hand but didn’t end up using.

Craft Paint

Before I started painting, I took a second to look through the four pages of stencils I printed out to come up with a rough composition for my art. I decided that I liked the Christmas tree and reindeer shapes best. Initially I wanted to make a print with all three words, but I thought ‘love’ was a little more hippie than what I was going for, so I decided to split up ‘joy’ and ‘peace’ and pair each one with a shape.

Three Words

Peace Reindeer

Joy Christmas Tree

With the competition set it was time to affix the stencils to the back of the canvas so I could trace the design right onto the front. I used the easily removable glue dots to secure the stencils because they wouldn’t do any damage to the back of the canvas.

Glue Dots

I don’t have one of those handy dandy artist light boxes, so I used the next best thing. My iPhone! I clicked on the flashlight tool and held the light up to my canvas so I could see the lines clear enough to easily trace them. The light wasn’t bright enough to lay on the table, so I had to hold it right behind the canvas and move it along the lines as I traced to get a clear view. I was worried this may be a pain but this step when pretty quickly and wasn’t very difficult.

iPhone LightBack Lit StencilHere’s what the tracing looked like when it was finished. I used pencil so I could easily erase or paint over mistakes and readjust the design if necessary.

TracingWith the stencils traced it was finally time to break out the paint. I decided to use the light silvery glitter color first because the red would cover it later so I didn’t have to be careful painting outside the lines. I quickly applied the silver coat with a foam craft paint brush.

Silver Coat

With the silver glitter coat finished it was time to break out the small paint brush for the smaller sections that I was painting red. The brush has an angled tip which made it a little easier to stay within the lines, but my lines certainly are not perfect. Notice the uneven ‘Y’ in joy? My lines aren’t straight at all, but I think these small imperfections lend a hand crafted feel to the art – so I love it.

Red Paint

I reversed the colors for the second print and made the background red and the letters/shape glittery silver. Nothing says Christmas like a glittery reindeer. Holla! Note, you can’t pick up on the glitter in the below photo as well as the above, but it’s just as glittery in person as the background of the joy print.

Peace Print

With both of the prints painted I was done! The project took me about 2 hours in all between gathering all the materials, cutting the stencils, tracing, painting and putting everything away. It wasn’t bad at all, and I find painting to be very relaxing.

Final Prints

And here’s what they look like up on the wall. I think they make our photo collage look super fun and festive. They really add a Christmas-y feel to our living room and play well with the rest of our decorations.

Photo Collage

Prints From Right

Prints From Left

Notice the new living room furniture layout with the couch against the wall? We did some rearranging the same night we put the tree up. I’ll go over the new layout in more detail in my post outlining our indoor Christmas decorations. Stay tuned!

Are you guys planning to tackle any Christmas crafts in the next two weeks? What hand crafted decorations make your holiday extra special?

Brightest House on the Block

Remember when I told you to just call us the Griswolds? I said that for good reason. We may have gone a bit overboard with the Christmas lights this year, and we’re just a little scared to get our electric bill come January. But hey, we’re festive!

I love the way we were able to mix in Mike’s beloved colored lights in the red and green Edison bulbs that we ran across the front roof line and the strands of colored lights we used to outline the fence and bushes in our back yard with warm white lights, wreaths and garland for a really warm look. I wish we could have lined the peak of the second story roof in red and green lights too, but there’s no way either of us were climbing up there to make that happen.

Overall I think our decorations do our expansive corner lot justice and hopefully make our neighbors feel like we take pride in our neighborhood. We decorated over a few days and there was definitely some editing and tweaking involved to land on this final look. This is our first year decorating for Christmas and we knew we’d have some kinks to work out, but our thorough planning this year should make next year a breeze!

In my conversations with friends and family so far this season it seems like men have a fondness for colored lights while women like the simpler look of warm white lights. I’m a white light fan myself, but I’m a sucker for how excited my sappy hubby gets over festive colored lights, so I’m glad we were able to compromise and incorporate them both. Are you on team colored lights or team white lights? How are you decorating the outside of your home for the holidays?

Stuffed, and I’m Not Talkin’ Turkey

Thanksgiving was late this year so we decided we would dedicate a lot of time during the holiday weekend to decorate our house for Christmas both inside and out. After spending a few days focused on our outdoor decorations, Sunday was finally my day to go crazy shopping for indoor decor to round out what we already had. I’m a pretty lucky girl with a husband who actually enjoys shopping (for at least a little while) so after a leisurely morning and a light breakfast we ventured out hoping for great deals and not-too-crazy crowds.

Scion Stuffed with the Christmas Tree

After a few hours of shopping it was time to drop off our spoils at the house and head out to get the Christmas tree. Mike knew of a local fire company that was selling trees about five minutes away from our house, so we decided to head over there in the hopes of supporting a community organization. Five minutes after we stepped foot on the lot I set foot on the beauty pictured above, and I knew that lush Douglas Fir had to come home with me. I don’t even think Mike got a second to check it out before the firemen were wrapping it with netting and carrying it to our car. He just said, “happy wife, happy life,” and off we went.

Well, it wasn’t quite that easy. You see, Mike and I have gotten a real Christmas tree each year since we moved into our first apartment nearly four years ago – and each tree has perfectly fit into the back of his trusty Scion xD. My knees were jammed in the dash and his torso was twisted every time to accomodate the tree’s trunk in the tiny car, but it fit nonetheless. Maybe it was my romantic ideals of the perfect first Christmas in our new home, the poorly lit fire company lot where all the trees were leaning or the haphazardly way trees of all sizes were packed in together that distorted my ability to tell what size our chosen tree actually was – but it wasn’t fitting. The Scion was stuffed to the gills and there was absolutely no way the hatch in the back was closing.

With the tree packed in as tightly as it could be and our hazard lights on we gingerly pulled out of the parking lot to start the quick five minute drive home. I had one arm holding onto a sturdy branch at the tree’s base (as if I could hulk out and keep it from sliding out of the car – yeah right) and the other was wrangling our vlog camera trying to capture some of the craziness. Mike’s No. 1 goal for me?

Christmas Tree in Trunk

“Just keep your eye on the rear view mirror to see if anything flies out of the back,” he said as the hatch completely flung open. “Sure, no problem,” I thought, praying that we wouldn’t hit a red light or a strange patch of Sunday night traffic. I’m a wonder woman multitasker. No sweat.

Luckily we made it home with no problems and Mikey manhandled the tree into the house. We attached the tree stand, cut off the netting and BAM! There it was. The most beautiful and enormous tree I’ve ever owned. Right in our living room. More than 1,000 lights later and this gorgeous tree made our hectic day worth every minute. I spent the rest of the night decorating our downstairs (post to come) and I was bursting with Christmas spirit by the time we rolled into bed in the wee hours of Monday morning. I’m a night owl and nothing makes me feel more accomplished than a late night spent getting things done. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Christmas Tree with Lights

I can’t wait to decorate it! I’m just waiting for a not-so-busy night when I can get really creative and inspired. There’s nothing worse than rushing to get something done when you’re not feeling creative, but I hope to get the tree decorated one night this week. Stay tuned.

How are you guys celebrating the holidays? Did you spend the weekend after Thanksgiving on shopping, decorating, or both?