Monthly Archives: December 2013

Christmas DIY

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My job is kind of left-brained if ya ask me, but I’m not a totally left-brained person.  Creative projects give me an outlet and help me maintain some semblance of sanity.   So I guess it comes as no surprise that a lot of the things I do related to the holidays/special occasions are projects I want to tackle.  I figured I could share a couple of my holiday DIYs with you here.

Lanterns have become popular over the last year or so…and I lucked out and bought a couple at Homegoods for $12 each a few years back.  Love a deal!  They look great by themselves, but I figured they warranted some dressing up for the holiday.  I got lots of beaded picks and ribbon from a local craft store, rounded up some ornaments, found my garland from last year and went to work.

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I layered the garland and picks in the bottom of the lantern to wrap around the pillar candle.  I attempted to make a pretty bow with gold and navy ribbon and tied it to the handle.  Then, I used raffia to string the ornaments up under the bow at various lengths.  I put some garland behind the bow too, just so things would look a little fuller.  Looks good, no?

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And maybe you remember the Saucy Sauce Jar DIY from long ago?   Well, I’ve been saving the majority of them for Christmas gifts.  I really like to give handmade gifts, but its hard to do that in large quantities for the holidays.  Thankfully, I had done these so far in advance it worked out perfectly.  I picked up some typical holiday candy (peppermint bark, Hershey Kisses, and candy canes) and filled the jars with treats. 

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I tied a bow with jute and adorned each jar with a paper reindeer I cut using the Winter Wonderland cartridge for the Cricut.  I think they came out kinda cute!  Plus, if the recipient wants, she can reuse the jar later for something else.

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Hope you all had a safe holiday and blessings to you and yours in the new year!

Winter Wonderland

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Before D and I got married, I swore up and down on all things holy that I would never be one of those women that got all crazy at Christmas…changing the themes and color schemes year in and year out as trends came and went.  I have known people like that and I always thought they had some screws loose for succumbing to the hype and hassle.   If you peruse Pinterest like I do, you know it can be like Christmas Theme Cocaine.  It’s entirely addicting and you I could sit for hours looking at all the things people do for Christmas.  And that makes you want to be different every time your tree goes up.  Prepare yourselves, for I am a monster.

Here’s the part where I make a confession.  I have changed my Winter Wonderland every year.  Now before you full-on judge me, I reuse tons of stuff…I just tweak it a little each time.  But so help me, whatever I did this year, I wanted my decorations to be mostly things I already owned.  I was feeling ill about having enough holiday shit to be a real-life hoarder.  And I got to thinking, what about navy?  Wouldn’t that be pretty!?  I know this is awfully “First World Problem” of me but I nearly had a coronary trying to find navy ornaments and ribbon, and I wasn’t successful until about a week or so ago.  But I think it’s really pretty and I think I’m going to be able to have Christmas with my family in our house this year, so it’s really exciting.

So here’s what I’m working with this year:

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That’s my little foyer table.  I used a hurricane, some antlers from my dad, pine cones, and the ever popular spray painted rubber band vase from Pinterest.  I’ve continued the scheme into the dining room.

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And I’m crazy, and I like my wrapping paper and tags to match my color scheme.  So sue me.

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Since I’m hosting Christmas for my side of the family for the first time in a few years, I wanted it to be special.  I used an early Christmas present from D, the Winter Wonderland Cricut cartridge, to make name tags for our guests.  If you’re wondering, those plates and bowls are from Anthropologie and we love them.  Unfortunately this style, Anatolia, is no longer available.  Placemats are from World Market, napkins from West Elm.

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My centerpiece is a collection of different things.  Apothecary jars are from Homegoods, deer are from Dollar Tree (who knew?!), mirrored trees are from Target, and candles are mercury tealights and the rubber band vases repeated from the foyer, and the burlap runner is one I made and have used again and again.

Since I’m childless this holiday, get ready.  You’re about to get dog-pictured.

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I mean, come on!!!!  You’re welcome.  Roscoe’s not so sure about the Christmas lights yet, he acts like he’s in trouble when I put them near him.  His picture is forthcoming, haha.

Merry Christmas guys and gals!  Have a safe holiday!

Put on your Party Pants!

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Well, I’m posting to tell you I have survived our annual Christmas party.  D and I have parties on a pretty regular basis, but our Christmas party is my favorite…even over our birthdays.  Everyone seems to be in such a good mood and ready to celebrate with their friend-family, and our house is done up for the holiday.  Years ago, D and I committed to throwing a party at least once a year that was different than our other house parties.  It seemed liked the perfect time to give back so we decided to charge an “admission” to our holiday party.  We’ve chosen a different charity every year, and asked our friends to help us make a donation worth talking about.  While I know all donations are important no matter how big or small, it feels really great to all work towards something together.

Our first year we chose Operation Christmas Child and our friends put together 22 boxes full of goodies and all the checks it required to mail them across the world.  The next year, we donated to Toys for Tots.  Our friends were so generous that I had to have someone’s help getting everything out of my car and into a donation center.  It gives me warm fuzzies to think a child somewhere could be loving on the dolls and teddies we collected.  It’s important mentally and emotionally for a child to have something of comfort they want in what may be an unstable living environment.  But having what they need is critical too, so we chose the Second Harvest Food Bank as our charity for 2013.  Considering that 1/6 adults and 1/4 children in North Carolina face hunger and malnutrition, we knew we should help out.  And again, our friends came through in a major way.  My gosh, I love these people like family.

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So there it is.  Together with our friends we collected: 92 cans, a box of macaroni, a box of cereal, peanut butter, oatmeal…and one Barbie.  As good as I try to be about communication, I led one of our guests to believe that we were collecting for toys in addition canned goods.  Not to be unprepared, he brought both.  Oops.  Thanks JOHN!  John plays guitar in the same band as D, and is an avid reader of the DLHW (can I do that?).  He has been telling me he wanted to contribute to the blog.  I didn’t know how serious he was or if he was joking but you gotta do something housewifey to be on this blog.  And if this ain’t housewifey, I don’t know what is!

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John makes this awesome bean dip and he agreed to share it here with all of you.  It’s so dang good and he informed me that if I used Staci to mix my ingredients, my attempt at the dip would be perfect.  That’s right folks, this metal band guitarist knows all about Staci and discussed her by name without prompting.  HA!

I also decided to make hot chocolate for this little party.  My friend Michael asked, “How many packets of Swiss Miss did you have to open to make all this hot chocolate?”  The answer was zero because it was homemade…and delightful.  And not to ignore my theme this year, I picked up some navy and white paper straws to sip from.

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I’ll take our donations today and turn them in and I hope it really helps somebody, somewhere.   As simple as it was, I have never collected or donated a canned good ever.  What was I thinking?! I hope everyone has fun this holiday with your friends and family, and if you can, try to remember people who are not as blessed as you.  Merry Christmas!

Autumn Spice

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Well I just can’t decide if it’s fall or winter, and North Carolina weather ain’t helping me.  And true to history, it has snowed already (so I was told, I slept through it) and people wore shorts the next day.  When the weather is not characteristic of the season I think it’s hard for people to embrace the holidays because it doesn’t feel like it should…outside.  At least that’s what they said, but I still saw plenty of Christmas trees go up before Thanksgiving even had a chance to come and go.  But fear not, I pressed forward through the adversity and did my house up for the holidays (all of them).  Fall is so beautiful and it’s my favorite so I never skip the chance to decorate for it.  I thought maybe I would share my decorations since I hate that people practically wish a holiday away in favor of another one.  Soak that time up, people!

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D got those cute owls for me from Cracker Barrel of all places, and who doesn’t love some glitter-coated leaves to do the season up right?  That incredible wooden bowl was made by a friend of mine and I love how rustic it looks sitting on my blue table.  A little mood lighting by way of a pillar candle and a picture of my little family makes for the perfect foyer if ya ask me!  I feel like I’ve welcomed Fall in without being in your face about it.

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I use these decorations every year with a few additions and tweaks.  I would have had wood slices and all if I hadn’t gotten excited about using my fire pit back around Halloween to roast marshmallows.  I burnt all I had to a crisp without realizing it.  Bummer.  I did add some pine cones this year and some deer antlers from my Daddy.  Maybe that’s weird but I love it!

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That’s my front porch.  I got that little wheel barrow at Lowe’s Home Improvement for $20.  I love it!  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  And if you had responsibilities that kept you from your loved ones on the holiday, I commend you on providing services to those that needed you.

Have a great week, ya’ll!