Christmas Decorating

The past few years, the kids and I have had the tradition of decorating the house for Christmas the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It works well because it fills time that they have off from school and would likely just be watching TV anyway. But it also makes it so that the house is all nice and decorated when they return to me after the rest of the weekend with their Dad.

I think I have mentioned on here that we just moved into our house last Spring, so this is the first Christmas at our new house.

I decided to buy a bigger (9 ft.) tree this year for our family tree, which allowed me to use the tree we already have in the entrance to our home (my office). This tree gets to be mine to decorate! I love all the sweet, sentimental, handmade ornaments on our family tree, but I was super excited to be able to decorate one myself this year. I will show you the main family tree, as well as the other decorations around my house, in another post next week.

11-24-16_8751-copyMy office has a very neutral tone, with an earthy colored large world map on one wall, dark wood furniture and other neutral accents, like burlap desk accessories. So I wanted this tree to have the same feel. I had a vision for burlap, ivory and gold/bronze. I think it turned out well.

The awesome part is that most of the decorations for this tree were really inexpensive. Some of them were actually purchased at the Dollar Tree! Others were on sale at Hobby Lobby, in addition to the burlap garland and string pearl garland. I made my own ornaments from clear glass ornaments (more about that here) and also from styrofoam balls (wrapped some in canvas and tied it up with Jute; wrapped others in burlap and tied with a white ribbon).

11-24-16_8749-copyI found this sign at Hobby Lobby and knew I needed it to go with this front room decor. I found the little (faux) trees at Ross for about $7 each. I bought some cheap wood letters from Hobby Lobby, spray-painted them brown and hot-glued them on. I love how this turned out!

11-24-16_8752-copyAnother new addition to this room (though not specific to Christmas) is this:
I have long-loved the beautiful signs made by House of Belonging and finally bit the bullet and bought one when I saw this version of 1 Corinthians 13. So simple, understated and beautiful!

(Excuse my dying plant also featured in this photo – ugh!)



I just love the way this tree (and the whole front room) turned out, and I love that I was able to have my own to decorate this year!



Fall Decor


The changing of seasons, Fall and Spring, tend to be my favorite times of the year. I love the anticipation of something a little different than we’ve had for months.

It feels like an awakening.

While I think I would rank Spring a little higher (beach days ahead!), I do also really love Fall, as it holds my very favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.

I think probably the majority of my readers live in the southern US, and like me, are thinking Fall when it still feels exactly like Summer. The only thing that feels Fall-ish is that the days are getting shorter, which only confuses me…I’m thinking it’s time to tell the kids to start getting ready for bed and it is only 7:30 rather than the hour later it feels like.

Despite the lack of Fall in the air, we can still pretend and decorate and prepare for it. I love decorating for Fall. For the last few years, I have been in charge of decorating for Thanksgiving, which I have loved and taken very seriously. But that decorating has bled over into decorating my own home for the season (and then “borrowing” those decorations for the Thanksgiving tables).

So, I’m going to share a little of my Fall home decor with you today:9-24-16_8472-copy

One of my favorite things to do is to buy the packs of leaves, pinecones, bigger potpourri, small gourds, etc and throw them into a decorative vase or basket of some sort. It is a super simple, but effective decor.

9-24-16_8457-copyHere is that same piece on my dining room table (please excuse my wrinkled burlap runner that really should have been steamed before this photo).



Another alternative to this is a big tray — metal, wood, whatever you can find that has great texture and character and fits with the decor of your home — filled with similar things in addition to candles and larger pieces. The photo to the right shows a wooden tray filled with the same kinds of items as the metal basket on my table. However, I have added some pumpkins of different kinds (one woven, one solid light-colored wood, and one a glass candleholder) and varying sizes. The tray is sitting on my coffee table, but I just realized you can barely distinguish my coffee table from my floors. 🙂

I love having a white mantle to decorate, because I feel like it allows the decor to really pop. 9-24-16_8464-copyI usually have these bigger items (the wooden and iron scroll candle holder, the woven mirror, and the dark filled vase) on my mantle year-round, but I accentuated them for Fall with candles, leafy garland, and varied sizes of pumpkins. I am really happy with how it turned out.

You might also be able to see the vase beside my fireplace (sitting on my subwoofer). It is light blue glass and is usually filled with faux cherry blossom stems. To adapt it for Fall, I replaced the cherry blossoms with dried neutral colored (almost wheat-like) stems and then tied a bit of burlap ribbon around the neck of the vase. Simple and pretty.

9-24-16_8456-copyLastly, we’ll take a look at my front entrance. I had pinned a bunch of links about front porch Fall decor and tried to let them inspire my own. I knew I wanted faux pumpkins — so I wouldn’t have to deal with rot and so I could keep them year after year. I remembered buying some a few years back (they stayed at that home when I left), but did not remember them being quite this expensive. They were a little more than what I anticipated spending, but I used some Michael’s coupons, and am looking at it as reusable decor (hey, it’s an investment!).

Earlier in the summer, I bought a rolling cart from Sam’s Club for entertaining purposes. It has a dark metal frame, a large vintage-looking silver metal bucket on top and a tray on the bottom. It was great for holding ice and drinks this summer; but I decided to utilize it for my Fall decor as well. I put some hay in it and added the faux pumpkins and a “welcome” sign. I stacked some hay and added pumpkins on the other side of the door, and some wreaths on my double doors, and voila! A Fall front entrance!

I certainly don’t claim to be a decorating expert, but I enjoy making my home feel like my own and comfortable for friends and family who visit. I think Fall is the perfect time to make a home feel nice and cozy. I can at least dream of cooler weather!