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Entries in Christmas decor (14)

Thursday
Dec212017

my house at christmas

As I write this, there are only four more sleeps until Christmas, so I thought I'd take a break from all the wrapping and toy assembling (there is SO much to put together!) to post a few snaps from around our house this year at Christmas!  I like to keep my Christmas decorations like the rest of the decor in my house: super simple.  Fresh white pine garland on my entry table, my mantle and the hutch in the eating area, a rosemary topiary or two in the kitchen, clementines in my favorite oversize clam shell bowl and, of course, lots of white twinkle lights are my go-to staples every year and go a long way in making the house feel so cozy and smell amazing.  This year, we ended up going with a 9 foot tree, which, I will say, I absolutely love, but the bottom half is sans ornaments, thanks to a 15 month old bear who tries to scale it every chance he gets (I'm hoping he outgrows this by next year!)  My absolute favorite Christmas decoration is the pair of nutcrackers on the table in my foyer.  They were in my house growing up and when I got married, my mother gave them to me.  I don't remember a single Christmas when they weren't on our mantle as kids, so it makes it even more special for me to carry on the tradition of having them out for my children. 

Hope you are all enjoying these last few days of the most magical time of the year!

Sunday
Dec102017

how to keep your christmas tree fresh until new year!

 

Picking out our Christmas tree is something we wait all year for!  In a perfect world, I'd get mine the day after Halloween, but living in the South, where it's warm and muggy until right about now, usually means our trees are extra crispy just in time for Christmas itself.  The last three years, though, and so far this year (knock on wood) we've had the best luck keeping ours fresh all the way until New Year - and I'm not just talking about keeping it alive, I mean soaking up water twice a day, smelling amazing and still soft to the touch!  I realize many people are ready to take their tree down the day after Christmas, but there isn't anything I love more than curling up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a movie under the soft glow of white twinkle lights for as long as I can push it!  The secret is two simple steps, but they make such a huge difference! 

First, make a fresh cut at the base.  (I do this even if the vendor says he just did it because I'm a tad OCD and also because I like to keep an inch cut off the base, mark it with the year and keep it with our Christmas stash!) 

Next, I use a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch drill bit to drill two or three holes in the base of the tree, depending on how big the bottom is.  This helps the tree guzzle water like you wouldn't believe!  I had a couple in my toolbox from when I made mini pumpkin taper candle holders; I found mine at Lowe's.

And that's it!  Seriously, it couldn't be any easier.  Just be prepared to check the water level on the tree a couple times a day at first; for the first week, I ended up adding water three times every day.  Now, I fill it up first thing in the morning and then again around dinner.  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are gearing up for a fabulous week! xx

Thursday
Dec222016

a little christmas cheer in lydia's room

We are in full-on Christmas mode over here, baking cookies, listening to holiday tunes, burning our Christmas lights 24/7 and counting the days until Santa's arrival!  The most wonderful time of the year is even more magical when you're experiencing it through the eyes of your almost three year old and I'm loving every single minute as much as she is! We've had the house decorated since, literally, five minutes after Thanksgiving dinner, and this year we added some Christmas cheer to Lydia's room, as well.   Last week, she asked me for a Christmas tree for her room and, after gallivanting all over town and coming up empty-handed, I stuck some fresh cut branches in a glass vase and wrapped some twinkle lights around them.  Improvisation at its best!  I added some more twinkle lights to her gallery wall, and a stack of our favorite Christmas books and a miniature nutcracker to her chest.  My aunt sent her a sweet surprise over the weekend - a porcelain Christmas tree with the most beautiful lights and it's our new favorite heirloom as she won't go to sleep without it! Her room is so cozy to begin with but now even I have a hard time turning the lights out after reading our books at bedtime!  Since the weather's been too crappy to take pics of the Christmas decorations throughout the rest of the house (and to be honest, it's not much different from last year), I snapped a few shots of her room this morning:

Hope you're all enjoying these last few magical days before Santa comes!

Monday
Dec142015

our christmas decor + the one finger rule

Hello, hello!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! It was 75 degrees and sunny here so we spent almost all of ours outside, but I did manage to snap a few (hundred) photos of my Christmas decor before my greens are completely fried!  Every year I swear I'm never buying the real stuff again because it dries out within two weeks but every year I end up eating my words and coming home with another 75 feet.  I just can't resist the smell! As for decorations, I was curious to see how much would get broken or go missing because Lydia just couldn't help herself but then an Instagram friend told me about her genius "one finger rule" she had for her boys when they were little.  They were allowed to touch anything they wanted but just with one finger and nothing ever got broken.  It's worked well for Lydia, who loves everything and anything sparkly or glass and pretty, and, knock on wood, nothing has been broken, so thank you for the suggestion, Pat! 

Other than our tree ornaments, our decor is pretty simple: fresh evergreen garlands, bowls of clementines and wreaths.  Here are a few snaps of what I came up with this year:

I went a little "Fat-guy-in-a-little-coat" with the front door wreath this year; I had to trim a little back just to be able to close the door!

A few black and white photos of my parents sledding when they were kids paired with framed Christmas quotes I bought years ago from Pottery Barn mix with the normal decor on my built-ins:

The nutcrackers were in my house growing up and my mom gave them to us for our first Christmas after my husband and I got married.  One is missing his nose (thank you, little miss!) but I love how it seems like they are standing guard over our framed family photos in the foyer:

I always throw some white pine garland over the hutch in my breakfast room and this year I filled my clam shell from Z Gallerie with as many clementines as it could hold:

More white pine garland and a preserved boxwood wreath hung by navy striped grosgrain ribbon in the entryway:

Gold spray paint glams up some unfinished wood letters from Walmart:

White lights and more garland are a must on the fireplace.  I was so inspired by a mantle in the study of designer Steven Gambrel's Sag Harbor home which was decorated simply with empty glass apothocary jars that I decided to do the same for mine.  They look so gorgeous with the lights on at night!

My clam shell from ZGallerie is on sale now; it's one of my favorite decorative accessories and would make a lovely gift idea:

My mom's childhood sled has pride of place, propped up on my hutch; I love the pop of red and, apparently, so does Lydia, who takes it down multiple times a day to "ride":

Close-up shelfie:

Happy Monday!

Friday
Dec132013

simple christmas

Pregnancy has slowed me down considerably the last week and a half and I couldn't be more grateful; it's given me a chance to take my time and focus on things I haven't had time for before (namely, anything in my own house!) Putting up my Christmas decorations has been one of the things I've relished most;  I'll admit, I was ready to get a tree the day after Halloween (and even had a string of white lights on the mantle for a week or two before Thanksgiving to keep things festive when I couldn't sleep at night!) I've kept my decorations simple the last few years and this Christmas, especially, sticking to fresh evergreens and garlands, magnolia branches, jute rope as garland for the tree, a piece of burlap as a tree skirt for some texture and a handful of my favorite ornaments (my porcelain milk bones!)  That's it. I think Baby Girl is going to love it; I know her Momma does!

Our local nursery was kind enough to let me have as many extra branches as I could haul away...I stuck them in dirt in my urns flanking the front door - with a little water, they last well beyond Christmas! And reason #389,762 to paint your front door high gloss black; fresh evergreens look so amazing against it!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Progress pics of the nursery coming on Monday!