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Archive for the ‘Christmas Decorations’ Category

Welcome to our home, 2011 Christmas style! Thanks for joining me in a little look around our place. This is only our second year in this home, so I’m still trying to figure out where everything should go and what I want it all to look like – so fun to make little changes each year though, right? I’ve made some updates from last year’s decor and I love how our house feels right now!

We kept the single strand of lights around the bottom of the roof but added two cute little lighted trees on the front porch that look so great flanking our front entrance. It still makes me so happy to see our house lit up at night – Christmas lights are my favorite! We worked out our kinks with putting up lights last year (our first time ever) so this year was so smooth and very painless…maybe this means I can convince a certain someone to add to the lights next year?? 🙂

When you walk in our front door, this is what you see – my distressed Salvation Army buffet and a cute little vignette that is festive but not cluttered. I think I went too over-the-top in this area last year and ended up taking a lot of stuff off of the top of the buffet after I posted about it. This year I’m loving the blank space on the top, makes me feel more calm!

I wanted to keep some elements from my year-round decorating so I wouldn’t have to put everything away so I layered things throughout the house, like my coffee filter wreath on top of the jute-wrapped monogram I hung on the mirror during the fall. I used the free Keep Calm printable again. I think some people are over this but I still love the saying!

On the side of this buffet are the two lanterns I got for Christmas last year. I use them all of the time and love moving them from space to space! Right now, they are filled with snow and mini, sparkly ornaments surrounding the two candles. In keeping with the rest of the Christmas decor, I used white, green, silver and natural elements in this area. Simple and pretty is really making me happy this season!

Our dining room table has that same feeling of simple and pretty. I wanted a tablescape I could actually use when people come over. Too many times I have to take off the centerpiece before serving a meal because there isn’t any room for people’s glasses or you can’t see over it for proper conversation!

The mix-and-match plates layered on our wedding china are a perfect touch of whimsy in such a formal room. We are not formal people so I wanted to keep it light and fun in this room too. For a full look at our Christmas dining room, please click here.

On the buffet in the dining room, I filled a tray with cinnamon pinecones (smells amazing!) and layered in a large pedestal vase filled with snow and silver ornaments – the easiest vase fillers ever. The NOEL sign I made last year was updated with some burlap wrapped around the canvas to cover up the red that I’m not crazy about this year. The jingle bell mason jars I made last year also fit in perfectly with this year’s decor!

Our living room is so cheerful and delicious smelling this year. We put our live tree in this room instead of our dining room this year and I got a fresh cedar garland to lay on the mantel. I love how warm and cozy this room feels with so much fresh greenery! Our tree is on a timer and always surprises me when it clicks on each night – makes me so happy to see it all lit up. (I’ll show you a full post on our two trees this week, come back to check it out!)

This is my most favorite mantel I’ve done! I love the simplicity and prettiness to it. The green, white, silver and burlap all tie together so nicely. My heart always feels so full and happy at Christmas since I get to see so many family and friends at parties and gatherings – this is how this year’s mantel makes me feel. Happy and full of love without being too much or too stressful. Exactly what I wanted! (Click here for a full post on this year’s mantel.)

Our sofa table got in the Christmas spirit this year, too! My mom let me borrow one of her Nativity scenes (I really want one of my own but don’t know what I want just yet) and it fits perfectly here. This set was made by an artist in Alaska using reclaimed wood – it is gorgeous! I layered it in a tray purchased from Hobby Lobby last year and love the way this looks. Its weird to see how different this area looks compared to last year at Christmas and how much my style has changed in just one short year!

Thank you for visiting our home this Christmas! This time of year gets to be so stressful and so hectic – I hope you’re taking time to relax and enjoy what Christmas really means. I know I’m making a big effort to do that and simplifying our decor this year helped so much. Merry Christmas!



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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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I love, love, love opening the mail during December! Christmas cards have to be one of the best pieces of mail you can ever receive! I get frustrated though because we have never had a place to display everyone’s hard work and pretty pictures so after seeing an idea in this month’s Martha Stewart Living, I decided to try my hand at my own Christmas card holder.

To start this project, you’ll need a sewing/knitting circle loom thing (yes, that is the technical term), clothespins, ribbon and a glue gun. I chose to add glitter because I like things that sparkle and shine. Wow, that just sounded so blonde! Moving on…
It also helps if you have a cute little guy like Carl to help you sniff each item and make sure it is okay to use. Martha used mini clothespins but I wanted more weight and a bigger wall hanging so I used the regular sized clothespins.
To start, wrap your ribbon around the circle so you already have the hanging spot marked. Then, glue gun the clothespins around the entire circle. I did some on the front and some on the back. Martha (I say Martha…we all know its her staff, right? Right?) recommended just doing them on the front and alternating putting them out and in. I wanted to make sure we had plenty of space and plenty of clips, so I used the front and back of the circle.
Once those were glued and dried, I laid out the newspaper and went to town with the glue and Martha Stewart glitter from Michael’s. Everyone says this is the best glitter ever because it doesn’t get everywhere and is easy to work with…they are so right! It is super fine and hasn’t gotten all over the furniture this is hanging above. Love it!
Here is the finished project! I love it! It is exactly what I wanted and has just enough sparkle and shine to add to the kitchen. I’m glad I went with the clips on the front and back. The back ones face in to the circle and the front ones face outside the circle. We have plenty of room for more cards – can’t wait to see yours!

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