Holiday Storage

It's time to start putting away your holiday decor and Real Simple has a number of article on their website here that gives you ideas and hints on holiday storage solutions.

My tips:
  • Store individual strands of lights in plastic grocery bags.  This minimizes the tangles to one strand only.  Some how winding the strand around a tube doesn't really work for me.  But, this trick never fails.
  • Set aside and label a strand that is incomplete to be used for replacement bulbs for next years strands.
  • Buy needed holiday items NOW while the sales are happening and store as you put away this years decorations.  You can't beat a bag of 100 bows for 10 cents.  I just bought a new table cloth and set of 8 napkins for $10 that can be used year round.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas weekend.  We had a bit of snow.  It was a wonderful break and now I'm getting ready for some after Christmas shopping deals.  Just to let you know.  Most stores have Christmas items at 1/2 off right now and Target will be marking items down to 90% off next week some time.


Mistletoe Gift

Simple idea I saw on stephmodo here.  Get some mistletoe and wrap in a clear bag as a gift.  I have never bought mistletoe before, have you?


Modern Village

I'm going to be hitting the dollar store for deeply discounted porcelain houses after Christmas to follow the tutorial at ohdeedoh on how to make them modern and fun.  You can find the how to here.


Vintage Etsy: Santa Ornaments

There is something about vintage Christmas decorations that make me really happy.  I found these Santa ornaments on Etsy and had to share them.  You can find them here for $5 (for three).


Favorite Holiday Movies

Here is a list of my favorite Holiday movies in no particular order:
I have a bit of an obsession to watch all of these movies every year.


Chalkboard Gift Tags

Here are some wonderful chalkboard gift tags that you can use year after year.  Great idea!  You can purchase them here.  (You might want to check out their other items for purchase, too. Very cute!)


Block Bookends

I saw block bookends for sale for $30 at a website and I thought that I could make it and personalize it.  The bookends above have my sons initials on one side and the numbers 1,2,3 on the other.  He's going to be getting this for Christmas.

To Make:

  1. Cut a 1x6 piece of good quality wood into 4- 6 in lengths.
  2. Use sand paper to round each edge of the wood pieces.
  3. You can see above that 2 pieces get screwed together to create an L-shaped bookend.  The best way to do this is to clamp the L-shape together and pre-drill 2 holes at the base of the horizontal portion up into the vertical piece. Then you can screw in the screws right away.
  4. Stain the wood.
  5. Use hot glue to attach the wood blocks of your choice.
PS:  The wood train in the background of the photo was made for my husband by his grandfather a number of years ago.  My son will be able to enjoy it when he grows a bit.  You can tell that a lot of time and love went into it.


Vintage Gift Tags

I bought these vintage gift tags at a garage sale last summer for 25 cents.  It was a complete an unopened package!  I just love cutesy vintage.  (You can print these by clicking on the photo, saving it your computer, and inserting it into Microsoft Word to print on card stock.)

I found a few links for more free vintage and artsy printable gift tags (I love all of these!):

My Decor

I would be remiss if I did not post any of my own decor photos this year.  Let me apologize and say that my first priority was safety for my son, so I did not use any glass ornaments and I minimized the greenery around the house and other fun glittery things that I might otherwise use.  Instead...I opted to use simple gold ribbon, gold spray painted craft trees in matching pots (I made these about 6 years ago), and fake holly berries that I wired into my real evergreen wreath and Christmas tree.  I hope my simple decor hasn't disappointed you!

My husband created this little wood ornament last year.  They match wood toys that he made for our son.

A couple of years ago, b.b. (before baby) we vacationed in Germany and I saw these adorable and tiny nativity figures.  The conversion being as pricey as it was, I waited until we got home and I ordered a set for myself from here and gradually expanded it.  However, I did not like the stable that came with it.  My husband is building me one right now.  I can't wait to see the finished product, but we're having a difficult time finding the perfect stain.


Felt Tree Skirt

A different take on a tree skirt in gray felt.  You can view the original post here.  I can't help but think that I could attempt this with some extra felt that I have lying around.


Felt Dot Garland

via Etsy

You can buy this felt garland here.  This would look great draped on my mantle!


Decorating Inspiration

I keep finding lovely decor ideas everywhere and I just had to share a few of them.

The photos are linked to the site of origin.  Just hover, click, and look away!

Cardboard Wreath

This wreath is fantastic and green!  The original post and more photos are here.

Mitten Clips

Years ago Martha Stewart had a little article on how to make these Mitten Clips to hold tags on present as an alternative to tape.  I made a number of them about 8 years ago and gave a  few out to family and kept a few for my own use.  Because Martha has  n excellent archiving team, you can see the original article here.  This is such an easy project that I highly recommend it!


Felt Place Card Holder

I am hosting our Christmas family dinner this year and I wanted to create something simple as a place card holder.  I ran across a tutorial on 5 Orange Potatoes on created felt leaves with a split-stitch accent.  I decided to create my own holly leaves with a vein of embroidery floss in the split-stitch.  It was really easy to create and took about an hour to make seven settings.  I printed each person's name on white cardstock and cut the corners with a tool that I purchased from Martha Stewart a while ago.

Go here if you want to learn how to create a split-stitch.


Felt Bear

I made a little stuffed felt bear for one of Logan's little friends for Christmas from a pattern in Last-Minute Fabric Gifts by Cynthia Treen and I have to admit that it was really quick and easy.  This book has 30 different gift ideas with varying levels of difficulty and time required.  The little bear took about 2 hours to make and only required 2 felt fabrics and some matching thread and floss.  A few gifts can be hand sewn, but many do require a sewing machine.  I was pretty proud of the finished product and I have decided to make one for my son, too.


Free Advent Calendar

Here is a free and printable advent calendar here at mibo.  Pretty cost effective if you ask me.


Christmas Lights

We had a little warm weather a couple of weekends ago and up went the Christmas lights.  We just turned them on this weekend and my son was fascinated and kept pointing to them.  The lights peaking out from over our side porch is actually lights on the sailboat that we have in our backyard.  It gives me a little Christmas cheer every time we come home.  No comment about the fact that we have a sailboat in the back yard.

One of my favorite traditions is to drive around and look at Christmas lights.  Growing up in Florida, people really went all out to decorate because we always had warm weather to do the decorating.  There were some Christmases that my parents and I would drive around once a week to look in different neighborhoods.  Another of my favorite memories is riding in my Aunt's van with a bunch of my cousins looking at an especially large display of lights while visiting my grandparents.


Recipe: Christmas Punch

Christmas Punch

1/2 gallon crannapple juice
2 cups brewed tea
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
2 sliced oranges

Mix and heat on low in Crockpot. Remove orange slices after 1 hour or they will turn the punch slightly bitter.


Advent Calendars

via Target

Today is December 1st and it's time to get out your advent calendar to start opening treats each day until Christmas.  My mom always filled a calendar of boxes with treats for me as a kid and as soon as my son is old enough, I will do the same for him.  There are so many more options than just the chocolate or paper calendars and you can really get creative and fun with this special tradition!

Gold Stair

I saw this image over at Simply Grove and had to include it here.  How gorgeous is that?  I would love to find where you can get the snowflake on the wall.
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