November 30, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Thanksgiving is over, and the Christmas holiday season has begun. First things first, the tree. We're a little on the slow side this year - just having picked up our tree last night. We got a real tree. It's a Frazier Fir pine tree. It's the right height for the room, but a bit narrower than our tree last year. Although, it will widen some as the branches drop down a bit more.

Here are just the "before" pictures. Decorating will occur over the next couple days! The tree is sitting in the middle of the den for now so we can easily make our way all around it when we hang the lights and ornaments. Then we'll push it more toward the corner of the room.

We've had our tree stand for a few years (think we got it from Menards). It's genius. You stick the tree in the center rotating cup and tighten the screws to the trunk. Then push your foot on the lever and rotate the tree until it's perfectly straight and the "good" side of the tree is facing out. No leaning! Super simple. The round stand is nice and sturdy so the tree won't fall over. Plus it holds a ton of water so that we don't have to constantly refill it.

As a bonus, we bought a body tree bag. It goes around the base and is covered up by the tree skirt. When the time comes to get rid of the tree, you pull the bag up around it before carrying it out. It prevents needles from going everywhere.

Spike was quickly entertained by the new living thing standing in the room. He wouldn't hold still long enough for me to even get a clear shot of him. He did circles around it. He usually tries to drink the water too. Silly kitty.

More pics to come once we have lights and stuff on the tree. Pin It

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 22, 2011

Table Centerpieces for Thanksgiving

I was browsing through Better Homes & Gardens website when I came across selection of centerpieces that I thought were really pretty (and really cheap/simple/easy) for Thanksgiving. So, I thought I'd share in case you need a spark of last-minute-creativity for Thursday's table. Enjoy!

1. Wire Basket Thanksgiving Centerpiece with a sage green table runner: Simply tuck pears, nuts, and fresh or preserved leaves in a large wire basket for an updated take on the cornucopia. A great part of this display is its portability -- simply lift and set elsewhere to make way for the Thanksgiving feast.

2. Golden Thanksgiving Centerpiece: A vase filled with wheat adds texture to the centerpiece. Fill a tall cylindrical vase with dried white beans. Add a berried branch to another vase to complete the setting.

3. Thanksgiving Buffet Presentation: Drape harvest-theme table runners across a wood buffet table. Serve favorite Thanksgiving dishes in simple white serving dishes. Dress up the rest of the Thanksgiving table with a pair of earthy brown candles and use a pretty Japanese maple as a backdrop.

4. Flea Market Finds Centerpiece: Rely on the old for fresh Thanksgiving decorations. Here, a glass bowl on an overturned silver mold teams with a canning jar. Adding pecans, wheat shocks, and ears of Indian corn gives the centerpiece a harvest flair.

5. Antique Thanksgiving Display: Instead of a cornucopia basket, opt for a found object to hold fall bounty. Here, a large metal antique scoop (lined with a fall-hued handkerchief) replaces the traditional cornucopia basket for an eye-catching display.

6. Natural Table Runner: For a fresh-from-the-pumpkin-patch table runner, arrange a line of miniature pumpkins or gourds in the center of the table and weave double-faced ribbon around them. Top with a bittersweet stem for a blaze of color.

7. Nuts-and-Stands Centerpiece: Compose a striking table display with a collection of dishes of varying heights and fill with nuts, small pinecones, or other items found in the grocery store aisles.

8. Bittersweet-and-Candles Display: Bittersweet branches and colorful gourds bring seasonal splendor to a simple candle centerpiece. Tip: Arrange all of this on a platter or tray so you can move things easily to change the tablecloth.

9. Pumpkin-Based Centerpiece: It doesn't get much easier than a pretty vase of flowers surrounded by pumpkins. Prop a few on an old wooden stool or a pedestal cake plate to vary the height.

10. Autumn Sampler Display: Serve up a stylish centerpiece by simply centering a serving tray on an autumn-orange table runner and filling it with a sampling of mini pumpkins and fall plants.

11. Bookend Display: Sometimes the best decorations come from unexpected places. This Thanksgiving centerpiece is built on a foundation of books, whose bindings add color to the table. The stacks are surrounded by an assortment of mismatched vessels filled with fall-color blooms. Other seasonal accents -- such as the feathers and pear -- add visual interest.

12. Centerpiece with White Dishes and Pumpkins: Choose white pumpkins for a soft yet stunning arrangement that will stand out amid the Thanksgiving table fare.

So, tell me, which centerpiece is your favorite? Pin It

November 10, 2011

Looking Forward to the Holidays

Time is a-flyin'! I can't believe how busy we've been, and it's only gonna get busier as we get closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've been slightly absent from blogland amidst the hullabaloo of work and family and just good ol' life. So, my apologies on that front, but I'm hoping to do some more frequent posts between now and Christmas. Gotta show ya our Chrissy tree and all.

Is anyone else looking forward to the holidays like I am? I mean, can you believe we are only 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving and 6 weeks away from Christmas? Really?!?! It blows my mind. Certainly you're playing Christmas music and watching Christmas movies too. I've jumped aboard that train, and I'm riding it all the way until December 31st!

Oh, and we got our first peek at snow flurries today. The ground was too warm for them to stick, but I saw them in the air and on rooftops for a bit. So, as they say, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (kinda)!

Speaking of Christmas, I got Ballard Designs Christmas mag last week and L-O-V-E-D it. It's full of stuff I want to buy (but can't afford - but no harm in looking, right?), and it has some ideas worth duplicating.

Here are a few of my favorite items I cherished...

Trapunto Stockings: $28.00 each - I want the red ones. They would look great against our newly painted white fireplace. I love the white piping on them too.

Venetian Star Tree Topper: $75.00 - What can I say? This is just gorgeous. It fits in perfectly with the sunburst mirror trend right now, but this star would be classic for a long time.

Magnetic chains ($45), ornaments ($39), and crystals ($35) - I already hang ornaments from my dining room chandelier using ribbon and things, but I love the idea of using magnets to hang them. This is something I want to DIY as the prices here are a bit high for my blood.

Holiday Script Chandelier Shade: $18.00 - The magazine has a lot of different holiday shades, but I like this one in particular. The music notes and script just spoke to me. So charming.

Mariana Button Wreath: $79.00 - This is a great DIY idea. I love buttons, and this wreath could be hung all through the winter. Using white buttons makes it versatile for any room too.

Mercury Glass Hurricanes ($25-$39) - These are beautimous and worth the price in my book. I may buy one (or two) unless I can find them somewhere else cheaper. Gotta look around for them...

Carriage Lantern ($15-49) - I just love lanterns. Any shape. Any color. Any time.

Spruce Alphabet Wreath: $45 - Could I DIY this? Maybe? It's clever!

Snowflake Bordered Sisal Rug ($39-$109) - This is seriously something I'm begging asking my husband to buy me for Christmas. I want to use it in our den where we stand our Christmas tree. It goes perfectly with our color scheme. I would use it from November 1st until February 28th every year (because we get snow until at least March). And the price really ain't that bad. Please, please, please ....

Lastly, here are just a few of the pretty Christmas rooms that I found enchanting in the magazine...

So, who else has started the Christmas decorating planning? I know I'm not the only one! 'Fess up! Pin It
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