Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Ramblings

Our simple Christmas wreath made with leftover garland that I floral wired to a grapevine wreath and embellished with beads, floral picks, and a bow I had leftover from last year. Easy peasy!

Just wanted to pop in and wish you all a Merry Christmas!!! We decided to do Christmas today in case Little Girl decides to come early. It was so fun! I love soaking up quiet, family days. I even made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and a full Christmas dinner for 9 months pregnant. Who da mom?! What What??? Hahaha, just kidding. Of course, it helped that Hubby washed the dishes and I bought a premade pie and frozen rolls... Massively pregnant women are allowed to cheat. Oh, what am I saying? Anyone is allowed! :)

I also wanted to update you on what this blog will look like for the next couple months. I may post a random post here or there when I'm up to it, but otherwise, I will be taking a hiatus from blogging until after Little Girl is born and we are in some kind of rhythm again. I will miss blogging, but will definitely still be keeping up with all you bloggers--probably at 3am when Little Girl is hungry. ;)

We already have a big project planned for the new year, plus a few smaller ones. Can't wait to get started on them after the holidays and new baby craziness slows down! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nursery Gallery Wall

Well, friends, I'm officially full term in this pregnancy--just over two more weeks until my due date. Of course, this made me panic and start nesting like a crazed woman because Little Girl could come any time, right?! Haha! Thankfully, the added pressure helped us finally finish hanging her gallery wall. It's small and nothing fancy, but we like it!
(Yes, the door frame was actually built into the house crooked. Don't even get me started on that!)

Obviously, we need some newborn pictures of Little Girl to add to the frames, but you get the idea.
Frame Sources: Both small frames are from Target. The large frame is from Michael's. The shaped frame is actually a cheap wooden plaque from Michael's that I picked up for less than $2. I used Modge Podge to attach a piece of cardstock to the front to give it some color. I'm either going to use those little photo corners or double sided tape to attach a photo to the middle. Easy and so cheap!
Artwork Sources: The letter C is from my friend Heather's shop, What is Perfect. I LOVE it! The watercolor is a print from Katie Daisy's Etsy shop that I've been swooning over. The Bible verse is just something I typed up in Google Docs and added an inexpensive bird clip art to the bottom from Petittatti's Etsy shop.

All that is left to do in Little Girl's room is hang the ceiling fan, change out the gold hardware and off white outlets and switches, and hang the curtains. My mom made Little Girl's curtains and is bringing them with her when she comes to see Little Girl. Can't wait to show them to you!

That's all for now! Have a great afternoon!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

This is our second year getting a real tree and I LOVE it! I'll never go back to fake! Of course, our old fake tree was the most pitiful tree on Earth, so it's not much to compare. ;) 

Last year, we got our first real tree from Home Depot. It was not really a very romantic experience to dig through a pile of trees, but we were afraid of killing the tree and wanted the return policy. Haha! 

This year, we went to a Christmas tree farmer and had a great time picking out a tree. This tree is so full and fresh! The farmer had just cut it down the day before we bought it!
Over the years, Jeremy and I have come to a good comprimise on how to decorate the tree. I love matchy matchy and he loves random. We've hit a good middle ground that we both love with silver ornaments and red garland, plus lots of sentimental ornaments. We love the mixture!
I saw this Christmas tree skirt at Lowe's and loved it! It's the first tree skirt I've seen that I loved and thought was absolutely perfect and exactly my style. I stewed over it for a month, then finally decided to spend the money on it. So glad I did! I was able to repurpose our scalloped tree skirt for our advent tree. 
Every year, we purchase a new ornament that represents the year. Love this one from the year we bought our first house. :) 
These snowflakes are some of my favorite ornaments! They were my grandparents and have hung on their tree ever since I was a little girl. My grandma gave them to me a few years ago and I love hanging them up each year. 
Every year, my hubby plays this little game where he sneaks his Darth Vadar ornament up to the top of the tree when I'm not looking. He insists on it being the highest ornament on the tree. He only gets his way because he's over 6 feet tall and can reach higher than me. Haha!
One of my favorite things is to turn of all the lights and snuggle under a blanket with some hot cocoa and admire the lights on the tree! Only 13 more days until Christmas! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Simple Christmas Dining Room

I've shown you the fireplace mantel and our advent tree, so figured I'd continue the Christmas tour of our home. :) Today's stop is the dining room!

I kept it super simple because that's what I like and what is comfortable to live with. We eat dinner in our dining room, so I knew whatever I put on the table needed to be easily slid to the side while we eat. I also tried to keep it pretty neutral since the dining room has a lot of soft greens and blues. Here's what I came up with! 
The centerpiece is a simple white pitcher and platter with Christmas tree clippings and silver holiday picks leftover from a wreath I made last year. 
I love the joy sign! I found it at Target on sale this year and it was my only purchase for this room. It came in a faux vintage finish, but it didn't go well with our home, so I taped off all the little lights with painters tape and my sweet hubby spray painted it with silver glitter paint. I love how it turned out!
I used some extra garland to decorate the buffet and added a few leftover ornaments to fancy it up. 
I don't leave the table set with plates and silverware, but I just had to play with the place settings. So fun! For everyday, I just put the napkins with the ornaments and tree clippings directly on the placemats.
We hung the gallery wall in Little Girl's room today, so I'll be back soon to show you pictures of that! 

Linking up to Hi Sugarplum and Thrifty Decor Chick!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas 2013 Mantel

I'm so so so excited to share our fireplace mantel with you! It may not seem that exciting to you, but let me tell you, I'm ecstatic about it!

If you read this blog, I'm sure you've gleaned that we try to be very frugal. We will wait..and wait and wait and buy things until we have the cash saved and it makes sense in the priority order in our budget. I've had a vision in my head for years now of how I want our Christmas decor to look. Little by little, we've slowly purchased different elements to make that vision come to life...almost always on after Christmas sales where we scored some killer deals. One year was the star for the tree, another year was the beaded garland, another year was a giant box of silver ornaments, and so on.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, this year, all of the elements we've been collecting for the past few years came together and the vision I had in my head came to life. It's exactly what I wanted and was worth the wait!
I just love it! The antique window is by far my favorite part! We tried to make a window frame with super cheap wood last year, but the wood was too cheap and wouldn't cooperate. It kept splitting and ended up going in the trash. Lesson learned--don't be too cheap when buying lumber. :)

My friend Julie mentioned that I should check out a nearby antique shop and see if they had any window frames. She, my friend Amy and I met at the antique shop and found this awesome window! All of the glass was in tact and it was only $15! My sweet hubby spray painted it white for me to freshen it up because the paint job was pretty beat up. I plan to keep it up all year and change out the wreath according to the season. I love it!
I made the Christmas trees last year and stored them in a closet inside the house during the year. They held up really well! The boxwood wreath is from Trader Joes and was only $10! Thanks to Chelsea from Two Twenty One for posting about them on her Instagram feed! I've been wanting a boxwood wreath for years, but they are usually around $40! This will be an everyday wreath for in here, even after Christmas is over.

I found the stockings after Christmas at Kohl's last year. I love the cozy cable knit! They actually have an initial on them, but Kohl's only had a couple letters left and not the ones we needed. Since the letters aren't really our initials, I just turned them around. I wasn't too worried about the letters being correct because these are just for decoration. Jeremy's mom cross-stitched our names onto stockings and those are the sentimental ones that we use.
The vase with flowers is an after Christmas clearance steal from Pier 1 several years ago. The sparkly frame was a cheap Michael's find from last year. We picked up the garland where we bought our Christmas tree and added a strand of lights. I love twinkle lights!
So cozy! Love it!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Advent Tree

I'm so excited it's finally Christmas time! It's my favorite time of year! We picked and decorated our tree the day after Thanksgiving and have been busily decking out the rest of the house in Christmas decor! Love it!

Now that our little man is getting older and understands what Christmas is all about, we've been able to start some new traditions. SO exciting! One tradition we started this year was an advent calendar. I've seen a million cute and creative ideas I like from wooden calendars with little doors, hanging fabric calendars with pockets, garlands with 25 little bags or buckets hanging down, etc. So many choices! I also noticed two completely different themes to advent calendars. Some are Scripture based that tell parts of the Christmas story each day. Others are more of a countdown to Christmas with little treats or activities each day leading up to Christmas.

We decided we liked the advent trees the best, so while we were at the Christmas tree farm, we picked up an inexpensive miniature tree. I cut down the scalloped tree skirt I made last year and made it into a mini tree skirt for the advent tree. Then, I just took heavy cardstock and cut out 25 tags for the advent activities. I numbered and decorated them with metallic markers and tied on silver strings to hang them. Easy! I lightly decorated the tree with some ribbon and a few mini ornaments from the Target dollar spot. I kept the decorations simple, though, since we'll be adding so many tags to the tree.
We decided to do the countdown to Christmas style of calendar, so each day Little Man gets to put a tag on the tree and do a special activity. The hardest part was thinking of 25 different activities to write on the back of each tag. Haha! I put our list of activities at the bottom in case you're in need of some ideas, too! :)
I love how it turned out and Little Man has had a great time adding a new tag to the tree each day! And yes, it really is only December 2nd. I added a few extra tags so you could get the picture of what it will look like. Don't panic--you still have 23 days of shopping and prep time left! Ha!

Here's the ideas that we came up with and/or found online. We tried not to put too many specifics on the tags so that we could reuse the tags each year. For example, we just put "Do a Christmas Craft" instead of naming the specific craft. That way, we can change the craft from year to year without having to make a new card.

Day 1: Decorate outside
Day 2: Welcome Elf on a Shelf
Day 3: Decorate your bedroom
Day 4: Read a Christmas book (this one is repeated a couple times because we have multiple books to read)
Day 5: Act out Christmas story (with nativity set or in person)
Day 6: Help someone
Day 7: Donut Day!
Day 8: Eat at a special restaurant
Day 9: Send Christmas cards
Day 10: Drink hot chocolate
Day 11: Read a Christmas book
Day 12: Do a Christmas craft (this one is repeated as well)
Day 13: Make a Christmas treat (I can't wait until this day! Buckeyes! YUM!)
Day 14: Bring treats to neighbors
Day 15: Family movie night
Day 16: Sing Christmas carols
Day 17: Make Christmas cookies
Day 18: Do a Christmas craft
Day 19: Read a Christmas book
Day 20: Drive around and look at Christmas lights
Day 21: Special breakfast
Day 22: Make gingerbread houses
Day 23: Family game night
Day 24: Read Christmas story
Day 25: Merry Christmas!

Our schedule may not make sense to most, but we were working around weekends and trying to get in things like treats for the neighbors early in the month in case I go into labor early. Exciting times! ;)

Happy Monday!

Linking up to Thrifty Thursday, Hi Sugarplum, and The Humble Brag Link Party!
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