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Archive for the ‘Linky Parties’ Category

Well, its the last Christmas party. I can’t believe we’ve already been through another season of these – it went by so fast! I love this one though, our trees are my favorite! We do a live, traditional one in the main living room (last year it was in the dining room) and in the second living room, we do an artificial OSU tree. So much fun to decorate both!

This is the OSU tree (obviously) and I love it! I changed it up a lot from last year and like it so much better. I collected more official OSU ornaments, used a tree topper instead of just some ribbon and only put up orange ornaments. I love the way it looks this year! (I’m still working on a tree skirt…I have a mild case of December A.D.D. right now and can’t focus long enough to hot glue for two solid hours…)

Conner’s parents got us a stuffed Pistol Pete and he is perfect as the tree topper! He has his guns up and is wearing a cute little orange cowboy hat. He is actually a puppet so getting his top-heavy parts to stay sitting up and not fall over was a pretty interesting task. Luckily the top of this tree will move any way you want, so he is supported on all four sides by several branches!

Between Christmas clearance and Christmas presents we’ve received, we have a lot more super cute OSU ornaments, including the glittery golf bag and OSU nutcracker. I love them! The orange candy canes were a super easy project I did last year. The Dollar Tree had regular candy canes in packs of 6 for $1 so I just took those and spray painted them orange – such an easy accessory for this tree!

In our main living room is the real tree! This is a tradition we started last year in this new home and I’m so happy we did. I like going to pick out the tree and watching the branches fall after we’ve unwrapped it. Although, this year the bottom branches fell a little too much for my liking, but that’s the risk you take! I’ll take branches that hang too low for the smell this guy puts off – my favorite!

I went with all silver ornaments this year. I included some pinecones for a touch of the natural that I want throughout the house and I like to see one pop out here and there. I also went with a new topper in here this year. I saw a picture of a glittery monogram tree topper on Pinterest and copied that for our tree! It was super easy to get a letter from Hobby Lobby, cover it in glue and glitter, then drill a hole in the bottom to sit on the top branch. Love it!

For extra texture, I used a burlap runner/ribbon thing I found in the drapery section at Hobby Lobby. This must have been a hot item this year because all of my local stores were out! My mom found it at her store and bought several yards for me to use. I love the way this looks, especially next to the burlap I have on the mantel! I think it might be a little heavy to use and might have to find something else next year (could be the reason the branches are falling a little low this year) but I still love it.

One last look at our beautiful, wonderful smelling tree! I can’t wait until next year when I’ve learned how to use my new camera and can take those really cool, super fancy photos of these trees. Thanks for visiting, I can’t wait to see your tree too!

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Hey there and welcome back to another installment of, ‘what does your house look like at Christmas?’ Today is all about the mantel, which is the focal point of our living room and my favorite renovation we have done so far!

Keeping with the look of our Christmas dining room table, I used green, white, silver and natural elements. Can I be 100% honest with you? I LOVE IT! This is my most favorite mantelscape or mantel look or whatever you want to call it that I’ve done so far. It is full but still clean and simple and so, so pretty!

The 52″ TV above our thick and chunky mantel is my husband’s pride and joy. He loves telling the story of us winning the money to pay for this while playing roulette (always betting on Cowboy Black – Go Pokes!) in the Bahamas on our honeymoon. The only time of the year I’m allowed to put anything tall on the mantel is at Christmas and I take full advantage of it. I got these silver reindeer at Pottery Barn three years ago on clearance and they are the perfect little/large guys to flank our TV.

The silver JOY stocking holders I got in college from Hobby Lobby. It was my first-ever, grown-up Christmas purchase and I love still using them. The three stockings were a little splurge from Hobby Lobby when we bought our first house. Even though we have two dogs now, I still just use the three stockings…I think they can share one. :)

It was so cold while I was taking these pictures, I put a fire on. It is tough business, let me tell you. Totally kidding – I flip a switch and put a lighter by the gas outlet. One of the million reasons I love this house is this fireplace. Nothing is better during this time of year than a large fire and a cuddly blanket! I am very careful about fire dangers so the pillows got moved out a little and the stockings were put to the side…not really interested in seeing those go up in flames!

To add some natural and texture to the top of the mantel, I tore strips of burlap up and tied it around the tip of the stocking holder. I can’t tie a perfect bow but I like the little extra ‘something-something’ it gives this area and helps bring up the burlap from the Mr. and Mrs. pillows on the hearth.

The little mercury votives are more of what is on our dining room table. $1/each…not too shabby! The Dollar Tree LED votives inside are my favorite candle item as well. So easy and no worries about wax dripping, etc.

The tall mercury bud vase was an after-Christmas purchase from Pottery Barn last year. I only got 2 and am kicking myself for not getting more when they were so cheap! Of course that always happens, right?

The white Nutcrackers on the mantel are a new addition this year and are so stinking cute! I saw these in the West Elm catalog for $26/each…not interested, but thanks! My mom and I were at Hobby Lobby the day after Thanksgiving and I saw a pack of six natural colored nutcrackers for $7. They were running the 50% off special so I got all six for $3.50. Now we’re talking! After using several coats of white spray paint, these bad boys are almost identical to the $26/each ones. No offense, West Elm.

When we picked up our live tree this year (I’ll show you the full tree in another post), we put it in the living room and I’m so glad we did – I love seeing the lights from the tree reflect onto the mantel! For the first time, I got real greenery to put on the mantel and love it. I got a 7′ cedar garland from my local garden center and it smells amazing! It is so full and thick, I’m glad I went with this instead of using my old, lighted garland. Here’s hoping me sprizting it with water every day helps it last and doesn’t dry out before Christmas!

Here’s one last look at this year’s mantel, my favorite so far! (I’m getting my new camera very soon…after looking at this picture, I am even more anxious to get one and start taking much better pictures. Can I get an “Amen!”)

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you’re enjoying the season and enjoying decorating your spaces. I’ll be stopping by soon to see your special mantels, too!

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It is definitely the most wonderful time of the year! The house lights are up, the tree lights are on and my dining room table is set and ready for a great meal with anyone who wants to drop by. I love seeing friends and family as much as possible, let me know if you want to come by for a warm bite to eat or a nice hot toddy. :)

I kept our table as simple as possible while still feeling festive. I wanted our decorations this year to be a nice combination of traditional and modern so almost everything is green, white and silver with natural touches.

I used silver chargers from Bed, Bath & Beyond layered with our wedding china plates and a mix of salad plates from I got on clearance from Pottery Barn three years ago and my mom’s Christmas Spode china. The water glasses are our crystal ones from the wedding but I’m still on the hunt for some fun and cheap wine glasses. Any suggestions?

I used a natural, textured runner from Target on top of my mom’s white linen tablecloth. (see a pattern here? she lets me borrow a lot!) The mercury glass vases are the cheap ones from Target and I wrapped two Dollar Tree glass vases in cinnamon sticks. Both are filled with flameless votive candles that are 3/$1 at the Dollar Tree – such a great deal! The jute tree in the middle was a Christmas craft fail from last year – remember that one?

I love these glittery snowflake ornaments I got at Dollar Tree last year! They were 3/$1 and I thought they were so cute. This year, I used jute twine to tie them to the back of the chairs and add some sparkle and fun to something besides the table. I keep seeing people tying things on the back of the dining chairs and I love the extra added touch it gives to the whole look.

Here’s another look at the whole table. I’m still finishing up the vignette on the buffet in the back of the room – I’ll definitely show you that very soon!

I hope you enjoyed looking at my table, thanks for joining me! I’m excited to see what everyone else does, so I’m definitely going to visit as many other linked posts as I can.

It’s Overflowing: Christmas-scapes party

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Ruh, roh…it is almost that time where I forget to breathe and sleep. I’m completely consumed and 100% overwhelmed with everything Christmas and home, home and Christmas…

These four ladies are absolutely incredible bloggers and people (well…from what I can tell from their blogs/twitter pages at least – hah!). I respect them immensely and love what they post. Their decorations for holiday? Always awesome and jaw-dropping.

I really am so excited for another year of Christmas linky parties but I can already feel my heart beating faster and my mind racing too quickly! It is a fun challenge to see what new ideas I can create and helps me to think outside of the ‘what was displayed in the Pottery Barn catalog’ box. The stupid, ugly, green jealousy monster has a tendency to rear its ugly head though when I see what other bloggers have posted. Ridiculous, I know!

I want to be better, do better and just want to be liked. In the world of home blogs and the Internet in general, this just isn’t possible. My goal this year is to enjoy doing every project, putting up every strand of lights and to just live the Christmas season. I got too consumed with this ‘stuff’ last year to have fun and relax, so this year? Mix up another hot tottie Santa, Laura is ready to play!

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Well, it is officially Fall, y’all and I am officially late to the party. Whoopsies! The Fall linky parties started this week but I was late to get my stuff down from the attic and shop around my house. I am so happy to say that I love my mantel and everything is officially from the attic and around my house…nothing new was purchased, yea!

This is how my mantel looks and I love it! I was trying to copy the cover of this month’s Pottery Barn magazine and incorporate the texture with white and silvers. Last year, I didn’t want to spend money on the gorgeous silver pumpkins from the stores so I spray painted $1 pumpkins from the Dollar Tree – works for me!

The glass containers and white candles were wrapped with burlap twine I got from Hobby Lobby and the other texturized candles were a clearance find at Pottery Barn last year.

The white pumpkins I got from Target several years ago and am still using, I love when that happens! The garland was a purchase from several years ago as well and is holding up quite well! It has the gorgeous colors of leaves in October, when the trees are really starting to turn and have three to four shades of color on each leaf, and cute little acorns scattered randomly throughtout the garland.

I used three elements for the mantel and love that it is full but not crazy chaotic: candles, pumpkins and a garland. It was very easy to put together and even better, will be very easy to take down and put away!

Here is one last look at this year’s fall mantel! Sorry for the light, our living room has large windows facing our backyard but by the time I come home it is already shaded so the ‘natural’ light is low. I still think it looks great and love how cozy it makes our living room feel.

I’ll show you the mantel with the side shelves soon – I have a plan for them and am working on updating them since my last Before & After post on this area!

The Lettered Cottage

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We had some nasty storms come through Oklahoma last week and it broke my heart to see some of our bigger tree limbs and a small tree come down in the backyard. One of the reasons we love our part of the area is because they preserved the old, big trees while constructing homes and businesses! What got me excited though was the cooler temperatures and coziness several of the days had. It got me so pumped up and dreaming of fall!

I wanted to post this in case you have a blog and would like to participate but also as a reminder for myself – save these dates and link up to these parties! I love a good linky party, especially ones hosted by these four ladies (The Lettered Cottage, Southern Hospitality, Centsational Girl and Thrifty Decor Chick). They each have amazing blogs that I check constantly. I hope to get some amazing inspiration from Pinterest and put together our best fall house yet!

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My new favorite summer recipe has to be the Chicken BLT salad. There is no real “cooking” involved and it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to prepare! It is perfect for those hot summer days when you need to eat something but don’t want anything too heavy or warm. It is also my new favorite go-to when I take dinner to friends with new little babies. They don’t have to warm it up and I don’t have to worry about it being hot when I deliver it!

I first saw this recipe in Cooking Light and have adapted it a little to make it easier and more convenient for myself. I definitely added some fat and calories to it but those don’t count in the summer…right? Below is my version. You can click HERE for the official recipe.

Ingredients
1 rotisserie chicken, picked off of the bone and shredded
1 tomato, cut into small chunks
1 (10-ounce) package romaine salad
6 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 avocado, sliced and cut into small chunks
3/4 cup buttermilk ranch dressing

Preparation
1. Cook the bacon until it is crisp (This is the only “cooking” involved! I quote it because I just use the microwave for this step.)
2. Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Drizzle buttermilk ranch dressing over salad.
4. Toss well, serve and enjoy!

HINT: This goes very well with a glass of crisp and cold white wine or sangria!

Linking this recipe to:

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