Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas


The last of the Christmas decorations was finished yesterday, just in time for our oldest daughters arrival from the west coast. 

My fancy frame chalkboard in our Foyer was calling for a great little banner for Christmas and Doreen over at over at Hymns and Verses showed hers off on her home tour.  Doreen even offered her fabulous banner as a printable. It can be resized to fit your needs and  I made mine to fit some white cardstock.


O Holy Night just happens to be my favorite Christmas carol, so it was perfect!

Last year I showed you the little printed card with a prophecy about Jesus. It sits at the bottom of the chalkboard.
My mother in law gave us the unpainted white nativity scene many years ago.




Thank you Doreen for offering such a great printable. If you haven't seen Doreen's 2013 Christmas Home Tour, you should take a minute to see it...because her home is gorgeous!

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Pam

ps: if you need something easy to make for breakfast for Christmas morning, I have a great recipe HERE

Thursday, December 19, 2013

And Finally, The Christmas Trees...

Come on in...


Once again we had to have a real Christmas tree. 

You know, the kind that dries out even though you cut the trunk fresh and fill it up with water?

and have to keep filling it with water?

and even though you keep filling it up with water, a whole bunch of needles fall off every time you walk by and happen to catch a branch?

Oy

The reason we keep getting a big real tree is because our daughter always wants big real trees. 
She practically begs. I didn't give in to the huge 12 ft tree, but she wore me down and we ended up with a 9 foot tree. 
The very tippy top is over 9 feet tall. 


The North Carolina mountains got a lot of rain this year, so all the trees we saw were very bushy
and tall.


Mr. Fanatic put on the lights and our youngest daughter put on a few ornaments. 

Then, they left  the rest for me. 




A couple of years ago, after seeing how fast a real tree burns, I purchased a manageable 7 ft, pre-lit tree thinking I could get away with it. 
Unfortunately not...

Pre-lit trees are so awesome. 
Get out the box...
put the 3 pieces together...
plug it in
and
voila!


Of course, you still have to add a few ornaments.  
Mr. Fanatic decorated this tree all by himself, with the exception of the burlap ribbon. 
I asked him to add the horse ornaments, purchased many years ago, but aren't quite vintage....yet.

Did I say how much I love a pre-lit tree?
Would be very happy to have this be our main tree.

So, do you have a faux Christmas tree or a real tree? Would love to know what you think!

Pam

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Porch 2013





Christmas is next week.
As if you didn't know that.
How are you doing?
I mean, 
REALLY?
This week is crunch time and I just finished up my porch, which I totally put together at the last minute so it would at least look Christmasy when we had some friends over. 
I used the same red burlap ribbon to make a bow for the wreath. Then I added a some candy cane striped ribbon, and said:

It's good enough

You know you can make yourself crazy by fiddling with decorating and trying to make things perfect, especially when time is short or at the last minute.

Or is it just me?

Sometime's I just have to say "it's good enough".
You might remember my little blue spruce that I bought last year.
(Yup, I actually kept it alive for a WHOLE year.)
I just added a few red ornaments and some candy cane strip ribbon and said,

It's good enough 

So, if you're a little behind decorating your porch,
add some lights on faux green garland and say:
it's good enough


...fill up a bushel basket with burlap, pinecones, some red ornaments and a sprig or two of faux greenery and say:
it's good enough



Besides, your friends and family aren't coming over to see your decorations...hopefully, they are coming to see you. 
I heard my Great Aunt Lillian say something like that  to my mom many years ago when I was about 12 or 13 and I still remember it today. She and my Great Uncle Vince loved to travel and when they were in town, would drop by. 
I was one of 6 kids, so my mom (and dad) managed a busy household and the house wasn't always neat and tidy and it might have embarrassed my mom a little bit. 
But, my Great Aunt Lillian didn't care what our house looked like, she was coming to see us.
She wanted to see how we were doing and what new adventures we were getting into. 


So, this Christmas season, don't fret about making things perfect...
...make your guests feel welcome in your home and feed them some good food...and have good conversation.
and tell yourself....
"it's good enough" more often. 

...


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Mantel and Christmas In The Family Room

We finally had some sun yesterday and I was able to take some photos of the Family Room and the Mantel all dressed for Christmas. 
With Christmas less than 2 weeks away (eek! Am I the only one who feels so far behind this year?), I'd better get a move on with the last bits of decorating and shopping. 

Our daughter added red to our Christmas tree this year, so I just went with it. 
I haven't decorated for Christmas with traditional red and green for a few years now, so I was happy to see the cheerful color again. 

Greens and pine cones gathered at the Mountain Cottage and a few Magnolia leaves gathered from our yard are mixed with red sparkly ornaments in a white pedestal bowl on the coffee table.



Warm and cozy fleece blankets and pillows are kept handy in a basket on the side of the sofa.  The Santa pillows are displayed during December and are tucked away during the other months. 


Lots of green pine boughs drape the sofa table. 





Winnie The Pooh has always been one of our youngest daughter's favorite characters. We bought this ornament for her when she was a little girl. 


We added some berries from the Nandina bushes in our backyard  to the pine boughs in a large white pitcher. 


Now, for our mantel...
diy design fanatic, christmas, christmas mantel, christmas decorating



A few Christopher Radko ornaments are set front and center on the mantel this year. 


I had fun unwrapping all of the peppermint candies and filling up an apothecary jar with them. 


Red and white striped bows were added to the burlap Christmas stockings I made a couple of years ago. They previously had an ivory lace flower and satin ribbon on them. The bow really brightens them up. 

Now that the sun is shining, I'd better finish up taking photos around the house.  I might even finish the porch in a day or so and take some pics. I just have to add some finishing touches to it. 

Will probably be shopping today to pick up some items I can't get online. It's been nice this year to do so much online shopping and not have to face the crowds.
How are you doing with your Christmas preparations? Hope you're hanging in there!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas In The Breakfast Room 2013

I think this is my favorite room in the house to decorate...
doesn't matter the season

It's not a large space and you can't really go wrong with long white flowing curtains, a neutral background and tall windows that let in a lot of light in the morning. 



This year I decorated with traditional red and green. 




I kept things simple with  some red and white candy canes tucked in silver napkin rings.


I've had that mini Christmas tree in the background forever. It's dressed differently every year. 


This year I decorated with pine boughs cut from the edge of the woods at the Mountain Cottage. You will see them all over the house...

I'm thinking my wreaths could use a big bow this year. 







Thanks for stopping by.
I wish I could sit down with you for a cup of coffee or tea, but I'll be working on the rest of the house for awhile.

Seems that every room is 3/4ths of the way finished. 
How are you doing on your decorating???

Pam
joining: 

Savvy Southern Style

Friday, November 29, 2013

Looking Forward To Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. 
Last week Mr. Fanatic and I went to the Mountain Cottage for a few days last weekend and came home on Tuesday. 

It. was. cold.

and rainy.

and a little icy.

Remember that storm that came through the eastern part of the US?
It wasn't too bad where we were, but it was cold.

 Oh, and did I say rainy?

Knowing all that was coming, I went out the day before the storm and collected a couple of bags of pine cones and cut down some little pine tree sapling. 
I might as well take advantage of some free stuff.


All of the leaves have fallen off of the trees and the air was crisp even when the sun was shining on. 




All along the edge of the woods are hundreds of little pine saplings which I would like to cut down since there are rhododendron and other green shrubs growing there which won't do well if the pines are left to grow large. 




I figured now would be a good time to get started since I could decorate with all the branches. 

I cut lots of branches and whole little trees down and filled up a big Sterilite storage tub and we brought them home, along with the pine cones. 

We also  have three Noble Firs growing on the property, but they aren't bushy enough to be a Christmas tree. 
Did I ever tell you the first house in the mountains back in August had 2,000 Christmas trees growing on them?
I was thinking we could have multiple trees all over the house had that deal gone through!


I'd better get busy decorating the house for Christmas. 
I'll leave you with a  few photos of our Thanksgiving. It was just the three of us.
with lots.of.food. 

We will have Christmas dinner with at least 4 this year as our oldest daughter was able to get some time off and we booked her flight just a few days ago!

Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

Pam


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Inspiration From Christmas Past


With Thanksgiving being so late this year, I feel like I'm already behind for Christmas.
34 days and counting...it's hard to believe. 

I'd better get busy....

Last year I made some mini wreaths made from cuttings from some holly shrubs in our yard. 
They were truly easy to make and they cost zero, zip, nada, since I already had everything on hand. 
You can find them HERE.




We plan on being home for Thanksgiving, so next weekend would be a great time to decorate the front porch. I still have most of the green cypress  and the tiny blue spruce I purchased last year, so I will be using those along with a few new additions that will be harvested from the Mountain Cottage. You can see last years Front Porch HERE.






 We're  planning on four Christmas stockings hanging from our mantel this year again. Our daughter is going to be spending Christmas with us here in Charlotte. You can see the rest of last year's mantel HERE.


Unplanned vignettes  made with old and new found items are the most fun to put together. It's always satisfying when something turns out pretty. 


...could be as simple as some ornaments and a few pinecones in a footed silver tray. 



Our Breakfast Room is my favorite room to decorate. There's something about a single wreath in each window that makes me smile. 
I love repetition in design. 
and symmetry
and order.






 Even though we don't go down to the basement much, I love doing some simple festive decorations down in the basement family room. Maybe we don't spend much time down there because of the ancient tv and weak internet connection. 
hmmmm, sounds like a project to me. 


Maybe I'll bling up the Easy Stenciled Christmas runner I made a few years ago. A little glitter glams up almost anything. You can read about my Stenciled Christmas Table Runner HERE


One treat we make every year at Christmas is Buckeyes. 
We make a whole bunch of them.
We roll them, dip them, wrap them all pretty and give them to neighbors and friends and even save a few for ourselves. You can read how we make them HERE just in case you'd like to make a few of your own.
Just a warning though, eating these will ruin Reese's peanut butter cups for you. 
So sorry.



And after all that decorating, baking, buying presents and wrapping, remember to buy yourselves some pretty flowers to brighten your day. 


So, do you have a plan as to how you'll get everything finished before the 25th?
I have no idea how we'll get it all finished, but somehow we always do.
My attitude these days is whatever gets done, gets done. 
The only thing that matters is celebrating Christmas with family and maybe a few friends.

Have you started your Christmas plans yet?


Pam