Sunday, November 29, 2009

A little Christmas cheer

Thanksgiving is over and well quite frankly I am still stuffed. I took advantage of the holiday season and threw caution to the wind and ate all that I could. Next week I will pick myself up, dust myself off and start back on my weight loss journey.

Now for a little Christmas cheer...

I pulled out all of our Christmas decor and soon realized that we need a lot more in order to decorate our new house the way I want. I figured for now I would start putting some items out and hopefully by Christmas the entire house will look like my vision.

First I decided to hang my wreaths. One I made and one my mom made and I can't get enough of them. I think I might make a few more this year and who knows maybe give some as gifts to others.

This one is on our front door...

And this one is on our pantry door...

I had decided that I would decorate in theme this year and when I started pulling out all my treasures I realized that I have a crazy love for Frosty, you know the Snowman. I am not sure what that is all about but he is so lovable that I couldn't leave him in the box. I figured I would decorate my table scape and one of my trees with red, white and green but the rest of the house would be a good mixture of holiday items. Here are some items around our house. The task is not complete and there is still plenty to do, including finishing up the lights outside.

This is above our DVD case, the snowman lights up with fiber optics, sings a Christmas song and the little ice skaters inside skate around the rink. I just placed white Christmas balls around the items that were located there, put up one of my Christmas signs I showed you earlier and pulled out the frosted candles; super easy.

Here is a sign one of my good friends gave me. She also gave me a ton of snowmen too! Isn't it the cutest thing! It is located by the front door to direct traffic to either Santa's Garden or Snowflake Park.

I took the lovely glass vases from the Fall table scape and put the left over Spanish moss inside. The big vase I put more white Christmas bulbs in it and stuck it in the back on our kitchen counter.

Then I added green "pine" scented candles to the other two vases and some garland behind to pull it together. It still needed something...

So I decided to put our small Christmas tree in front of the vases. I put red bows from my tree last year and voila!

This is a black bird cage that we used to hold our cards at our wedding. I stuffed it with white tissue paper, some red Christmas bulbs and my candy cane candle....

Now for the isn't complete yet but it will be soon. Like I said before, decorating for Christmas is a process for me. I have this gigantic tea cup that I used for the centerpiece. Last year it had real poinsettia's in it but this year I decided to do fake. I put a piece of my floral foam into the teacup and started stuffing in poinsettia stems until I reached my desired look.

I got these wine glasses at the Dollar Store; I love the green hue and it will work perfectly with my table scape.

Here is a picture of the whole table (before I found the green wine glasses)...

I found fake snow today that I plan to fill the glass jars with, maybe some glitter confetti also, I need some green and red tissue paper, some green cloth napkins for the cute red napkin rings (they look like Christmas bulbs) and lots and lots of garland and lights.

I will be in Boise, ID all week but shortly after I get back I will show you how I decorate our tree for the master bedroom. I will also show you some more holiday decor (I even have some in the bathrooms).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Advent Calendar

One of my wonderful SIL's (sister in-law) sent me a link for a free advent calendar. I have never had one but always desperately longed for one. There are several floating around blogland that I would just. die. to. have, I mean they are GORGEOUS but I don't have the time this year to pull one off before Dec 1st. This one you can download and print yourself, could it get any easier? I think this will be the way to go this year and then maybe I will attempt a far more extravagant and beautiful version next year.

Here is the link...

If you are feeling more adventurous and brave then check out these great ideas...

Both of these were found at Martha Stewart.

If you can sew, I cannot-Dang it!, try this one from Better Homes and Gardens. It would be cute on a pantry door, hanging next to the mantle on the fireplace (Oh how I wish I had a fireplace and mantle, someday my dreams will come true), on the back of a chair; there are many options.

In related news (sorta), I have officially pulled out all of the Christmas decorations (well all that I could see or remember having) and the boxes are sitting in the living room awaiting patiently for me to open them and pull out the treasures. Decorating for Christmas is a process for me but I enjoy every minute. I will arrange, then rearrange and maybe even rearrange the items again to find their perfect home for the season. I cannot wait to show you the finished product. Later this week I will showcase some more Christmas/Holiday items; until then enjoy your Thanksgiving with your loved ones and try not to eat so much you are forced into a comatose state. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's just hair, it will grow back; right?!?!

Okay so I decided to finally get my hair cut. It's been months since my cut and no trims in between. I was starting to look a little scraggily, okay maybe a lot scraggily. I took the plunge, with a new person--GASP!! Say it isn't so, Cass! Well I have been trying for weeks to get into see my regular gal and haven't been sucessful so I decided to try someone new. I went in, I stated exactly what I wanted. I wanted maybe a bob, maybe a-line and I definitely wanted it stacked in the back to create volume. Well when I came out from under the blowdryer it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I have a "bowl cut". It's entirely too one dimensional and I have the shortest side swept bangs EVER! It is not pretty; I'm a hot mess! I've decided to make peace with it and grow it out and then maybe, just maybe be brave enough to try the whole thing over again. Thanks for letting me vent; I feel much better now!

So I promised another Christmas craft, a super-duper easy peasy one but first...look what I woke up to!

Isn't it beautiful?!?! Snow in the early morning when everything is still quiet and people are still in their beds is most magical.

It was snowing sideways; you can't see it in the pictures but it was a flurry of fun. It's an omen to start taking out my Christmas decorations and get to decorating. Anyway, here is the craft I promised. I found these wonderfully glittered words at Michael's for only .79 cents each. I bought 4; 2 of the FA LA LA and 2 of the HO HO HO.

I took some old ribbon wrapped wire, you can use anything you would like, and hot glued it to the back of the words to create a "hanger". I was done in 3 minutes flat. I told you it was easy! You can hang these babies just about anywhere.

You can hang them on the cabinets in the kitchen...

You can hang them on the pantry door...

You can hang it from the cookie jar...

Really the options are endless.

How do you decorate for Christmas? Do you follow themes; maybe one for each room or one total for the whole house? Is your tree the only item that is themed or maybe the tablescape? Me, you ask? Well I try to decorate in theme for sure. This year I am going for the classic red, green and white. I have a lot to do so I better get to pulling out my boxes, my garland and maybe one of the trees. Yes, we have 3 total. I will show you more later but until then enjoy the snow while it lasts because I think it might become an ooey, gooey, slushy, puddly mess soon.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Once bitten the transformation starts to take place

It's no secret that the Christmas bug has bit me and I am in full swing for Christmas and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. So I promised a Christmas craft and here is the first of many. I had an idea for our wedding to make these floral balls that would hang from Shepard's hooks on the aisle. I took styrofoam balls and hot glued yellow and white flowers to it, a ribbon at the top to hang and another ribbon with a crystal on the bottom. They were beautiful and relatively easy to make. I thought that I could take this same concept and make a Christmas decoration with "cranberries" instead.

I didn't want to go and buy a white styrofoam ball when I had a couple green ones left over from the wedding. I thought that I could just spray paint them with my Heirloom White spray paint and it would suffice.

Bad idea...let me tell you, something went terribly awry here. It may have been the 34 degree weather that I was trying to accomplish this in or maybe it was the fact that styrofoam doesn't take well to spray paint OR maybe it was my technique. Either way, I don't suggest it. Buy the white styrofoam balls and you will be good to go. I personally didn't have the time to go out and start again so I decided that I would just use the green ball instead.

I first took a pair of wire cutters and started to snip off the "cranberry-like" items from the original stem.

I had 19 sprigs of berries and they were only .59 cents each at Michael's Craft Store. So I began to cut these babies off one by one. I soon realized this is a tedious job and boy, oh boy does it make your hands ache when you are finished. So an hour and a half later, mind you I was also watching the Season Finale of Project Runway so I wasn't fully engaged in my own project, they were all cut and ready to go. I gathered my styrofoam ball, ribbon and glue gun. I first hot glued the ribbon on to the ball to make a starting point.

Then just start gluing the cranberries on to it. Try to go in a circular motion around the ball so that they fit nicely onto each layer and cover the majority of the area. Since you are working with a small item ie-the berry it is important to maximize your space and be mindful of your positioning. Do as I say not as I do!! As you will see I became impatient and just wanted the project done so started hot gluing in a random pattern. I'm not saying it won't work, anything is possible, but it didn't work out for me. I have a tiny bald spot on the back of mine that cannot squeeze another berry into.

It's not perfect and I am okay with that. I also think it needs something else like greenery or a ribbon perhaps. What do you think?

Overall it cost me about $12.00 (I had the ribbon and the styrofoam) and about 2 hours of my time, including the undivided attention to cutting the berries while watching Project Runway (say it with me-Yah, riiighht). Next is a SUPER EASY project involving HO HO HO and FA LA LA. I will showcase this tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feeling Grateful

If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have, that you don't want.

Thanksgiving is around the corner and I hope that you all will be with family and friends this year. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect, reconnect and think about what you are grateful for; although I do try to write a thankful list daily to boost my awarness and mood. To get you in the spirit of Thanksgiving I found some beautiful ideas and pictures at Better Homes and Gardens.

This is gorgeous! And that fire in the background--Wow; how very cozy, like a big hug! Makes me feel as if I am there drinking a glass of wine, wearing my cashmere sweater and listening to jazz.

Look at this centerpiece; love it! And the best thing is you can take this idea and change it every season. For Christmas, I can see it filled with cranberries, sprigs of evergreen and a few Christmas bulbs and all tied up in a velvet ribbon.

Speaking of velvet-check this out. So simple yet divine. Velvet ribbon and berries to wrap up your napkins. Love it; it is very home-y!

And who can resist pumpkins, leaves and these warm colors! This table runner is to die for. I think I will try to duplicate this next year. Imitation is the best form of flattery, right?

So what are you thankful for? I am thankful for good friends, a loving family, a beautiful home with my husband and most importantly my health and happiness. God bless.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kick up your feet and relax!!

First I would like to say that we received our first snowfall of the season on Friday. It was beautiful and short lived (thank goodness). I have to wonder though, if I brought it on; I may be the reason for the snow and the slight panic in everyone's eyes. You see I have been secretly, well not any more, listening to Christmas music for a week now, I have been picking up Christmas items and my head is swimming with ideas to decorate for the holiday. I am even going to start one Christmas project tonight-GASP! I can't help it; I love Christmas! There is something so magical about the season and I can't wait, although I could do without the snow this year. Last year was plenty--2 ft in 2 days is INSANE!

It's been a long time coming, I have promised you multiple times and I do not want to disappoint. Here is the foot stool folks; are you excited? I am! I think it turned out great considering that I had to start over about 3 times.

First I bought this at Ross for only $14.99, as previously mentioned. It was alright but I knew it could be better. The first step in redesigning this stool was to get rid of the ugly, dirty, mud looking color on the base. I spray painted it "glossy" black. I would show you pictures but I am a horrible photographer (I think I've mentioned that before) so you will just need to take my word for it.

I then took a trip to Joanne's Fabrics and picked up some faux leather. I loved the color; it was rich, warm and I figured the fabric would be easy to wipe down considering my feet would be relaxing on this every day at work.

So I layed the original cushion on top of the faux leather and cut it to size. I then started to staple the sides of the material to the original cushion. I used my husband's compressor, my father in-laws staple gun (thanks a million!) and his staples.

Now here is where it went a tiny bit downhill...I thought it's like wrapping a Christmas gift (ahhh, Christmas) and anyone that knows me, knows that I don't wrap gifts. I am terrible but for some reason today I ignored that tiny fact and proceeded on my path. I started it over 3 times, as mentioned earlier. I gave up, only for a little while to hang out with the nephew that came over to ride the 4-wheeler and play with trucks---I swear, I cross my heart, and came back to it later. I soon realized that I needed to enlist the help of the "big guns" aka "muscles" aka "The Hubs". So he was pulling the material tight around the existing form and I was stapling. I must give credit where credit is due, although he would deny helping me, he really was why I came back to finish it. I cannot tell a lie, I was ready to throw in the towel. That tid bit about the nephew, although very fun and I was excited he got to come over the "farm" and play, was going to be my excuse for not finishing this project along with a multitude of others that I would invent over the course of days, weeks or months. I am such a slacker and a quitter-holy moly!

All that was next was to put it back on it's stand and screw in the frame to the cushion. Easy peasy, now that the husband helped with the hard part.



I love it and better yet, my feet are going to love it even more. Whoever said you cannot be comfortable and relaxed at work never redesigned a foot stool! I'm off to start my Christmas projects---sshhh, we don't want it to snow again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Cornucopia

I know I promised some other projects but this one was so easy to do and I could complete it without much time. It's been hectic at work; this time of year people do not want to pay for their bills because they have Christmas gifts to purchase so life for me is busy.

I swear that I will complete the foot stool and post it later this weekend. I won't leave my peeps hangin! So for now back to the cornucopia...

First I found this at Michael's; it has a flat bottom and it had a handle so I don't think it was intended to be used the way I was thinking I could but I figured that I could still make it work. I cut off the handle first (the hard way-with scissors; ugh). This "basket" was marked down from $12.99 to $4.99 and additional savings on all Fall or Halloween decor at Michaels and this baby only cost $2.39

I then took some floral foam; I bought in bulk so I would have extra for other projects. It was only $3.99 for 5 blocks. Oh and you can always cut this and shape it down to fit your needs.

I then took some Spanish Moss that I had laying around for another project; a Christmas project. Oh man; Christmas already?!?! It's coming folks and I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for it but I think this year I will start early. Christmas is full of sexy, sparkles and pizazz!! I love to decorate for Christmas. I got off track here; sorry about that--back to the project at hand. I added the moss and covered the foam. From there I started adding in fruits, leaves, pinecones and berries.

Ohhh glitter; I love me some sparkly! I am such a girly girl!

The box of fruit and fillers was only $2.49; marked down from $7.99. The yellowish/greenish/orangish gords were only .39 cents each people! That is amazing. I wish I had more places to put them because I would have taken the rest of what they had.

I started to stuff everything in; some of it wouldn't fit so I had to lay it out in front of the piece but if memory serves me right, that is how the pictures show the cornucopias anyway; filled with fruit and spilling out. Maybe I am wrong but I liked how I put it together and it only took 10 minutes. Now I have a new "centerpiece" for Thanksgiving. I am sure there are far better looking ones out there, heck maybe you made better looking ones yourself but I love it. I never got into decorating for Thanksgiving or much of Fall (which is odd because I love Fall for the clothes, the warm cider, the smell of baked goods, the colors of leaves and so much more) for that matter but I am confident that I can make it work and for years to come our house will be decorated for Fall.

Just a few finishing touches to the table and it will be perfect, or close to for my standards.