Christmas Decorating

This is our first Christmas in our new home.  It is larger than our first house, so all of the decorations are spread out a little more.  I started Thanksgiving week putting out the nativities and other tabletop decorations.  After several years of leaving it in the boxes, I pulled out the Willow Tree nativity that Bradley’s grandparents gave us.  I split it between the two bookcases flanking the fireplace.  My other nativities also went on the shelves of the bookcases.

Nativities1

The bookcase also holds the brass deer I found at Goodwill one year and a gold mercury glass tree.  The FaLaLa sign hangs from the back of the same shelf to help fill it out.

Nativities2

This is our nativity from South Africa given to us by Bradley’s dad.

African Nativity

My aunt gave me this nativity as part of our wedding gift.

Colorful Nativity

My best friend gave me this miniature nativity from Peru.

Peruvian Nativity

On the mantle, I layered two faux evergreen garlands.  I tucked pheasant feathers and magnolia leaves from the yard into the garland.  I found the fabric-covered ‘Merry Christmas’ signs at Michaels.  Not knowing what I was going to use them for, I thought the plaid pattern was cute, but in the garland it makes the sign hard to read, so in hindsight I wish I had bought both in solid red.

2014 Christmas Mantle

Below on the hearth, I added my collection of antique ornaments to the blue glass jars with a little faux snow in the bottom to cushion them.

2014 Christmas Antique Ornaments

On the breakfast table, I removed the bow from a red bead wreath and set it under the orchid bowl to add color.  I also brought out the snowflake plates that came from Target several years ago.

Orchid wreath

In the dining room, we use our table as a buffet almost weekly for our small group, so I kept it simple with my porcelain one-piece nativity under a glass cloche nestled in the feather wreath I got from Tuesday Morning a couple of years ago.

Christmas table centerpiece

In the living room, the decorations are sparse, including a couple of mirrored trees – one from Target and the other from Bealls, and the ornament I made years ago from large Christmas string light bulbs.  I picked up two of the red and white knit decorative pillows from Target this year to go with my green houndstooth pillows – mine are handmade using Robert Allen fabric, but Target is carrying similar ones this year.

Mirrored TreesLight Bulb Ornament

Christmas Tree

This year, we had a few more options to choose from for our tree placement.  Ultimately, we decided to have it tucked into the nook created by the stairs in the foyer.  It fits perfectly in that spot.  The only problems that came up with this arrangement were not having a single electrical outlet in the foyer – so our cord is tucked at the base of the stairs and around to an outlet in the living room – and that the tree isn’t as visible from the outside of the house due to our solid wood front door.  It can be seen in glimpses through the large, full-length sidelights on either side of the door though.

Christmas Tree

As always, I’ve decorated the tree with sentimental ornaments and those that we have picked up on various trips we’ve had, as well as the white and gold ornaments my mom gave me when I moved out of their house.

Since I last posted about our sentimental ornaments we have added a few more:

In February of 2013, we lost our crippled cat to cancer.  I made a clay ornament with his paw print to always remember him by.

Cat Paw Print Ornament

In March of 2013, we adopted our very first dog together.  I got a paw print ornament with a 2013 tag to celebrate his first year with us.

Dog Ornament

We traveled to Denver in May 2013 for a wedding, so we picked up a Garden of the Gods ornament while we were there.

Garden of the Gods Ornament

On Christmas Eve 2013, we were in the final negotiations for our new home.  I bought an antique key ornament for an etsy seller to celebrate our forever home.

Forever Home Ornament

To celebrate Bradley starting his dream job this year with Northpoint Ministries, we made an ornament out of a tag that was on his welcome gift.

Northpoint Ornament

In September 2014, I found a kitten in the bushes at my grandmother’s house.  She came home with me that day and we named her Shelley.  The story behind her name is that she is super soft, which make me think of the ‘Soft Kitty’ song from The Big Bang Theory and the main character Sheldon (or Shelley to his mom).  I got an ornament with Soft Kitty on it just for her.

Soft Kitty Ornament

A UGA Christmas

I have featured my UGA Christmas wreath for several years, but this year I’ve made a new tweak to the look.  I’ve never loved the bow I originally made for the wreath, but at the time, black ribbons were a little hard to find.  I came across some cute two-sided ribbon on Trendy Tree with black and white chevron on one side and red velvet on the other.  I’m very happy with the outcome.

2014 Christmas Wreath

This year we also added a UGA tree to the mix.  It is the 4.5 foot tree we bought last year because I didn’t feel like putting up the big tree.  I placed it in a corner of the hallway upstairs so that we get to see it every morning and evening as we go to and from our bedroom.  I had the red ‘G’ balls already, as well as the small red glass ornaments and glass candy canes.  I’ve added black glass ornaments and red curly tree picks to my collection this year.  The small red tree skirt came from Tuesday Morning.

2014 Christmas UGA Tree

Wedding Day Emergency Kits

As part of my recent gifts to two engaged couples, I put together his and hers wedding day emergency kits.  I found the small burlap bags at Hobby Lobby.  I used letter stamps, also from Hobby Lobby, and black acrylic paint to print ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ on the bags.

Inside the Mr bags, I included a comb, mints, floss, breath drops, a Shout wipe, a hand-sanitizing wipe, tissues, Wisp toothbrushes, chapstick, Static Guard, a single-use shoe polisher, matches, bandaids, and Ibuprofen.  The Mrs bags included a sewing kit, super glue, floss, a Wisp toothbrush, a packet of anti-stress drink mix, tissues, a makeup-remover wipe, a hand-sanitizing wipe, a nail polish remover wipe, a Shout wipe, lint remover sheets, bandaids, an emery board, feminine hygiene items, eye drops, bobby pins, corsage pins, and safety pins.

What I’m Loving

With football season finally here, I’m dreaming in Red & Black!  I don’t decorate our house with reds because on a day-to-day basis I find it to be too jarring.  But for my office at work, I’ve saved some items that I have added and some that I would love to use to pep the place up.

 

What I'm Loving 4

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The red Swingline stapler is a win-win – some red for my Bulldog pride and a subtle nod to Office Space.

This Pop Desk Lamp from Urban Outfitters would look so great sitting atop my desk.

I have these UGA neoprene coasters on my desk to soak up the sweat from my water bottle.  Also, I received this cute geometric glass candleholder as a birthday gift last year, but I use it to hold pens on my desk in style.

This trio of red, black and white decorative arrows from Etsy seller Mineral and Matter would be so cute standing in a vase or attached inside an empty frame.

Anthropologie’s Accordion Collator has a great retro vibe and would be perfect for desktop filing.

All that’s left to say is: Go Dawgs!