Merry Caughmas and Hacky New Year

I apologize for the long radio silence. In addition to the normal holiday madness of shopping, wrapping and baking our family had 2 colds, back-to-back. We have felt like absolute poo lately so we've tried to stay in our den of germs house as much as possible.

To distract you from my terrible blogging I will dazzle you with a picture of my baby.

Ta Da! *jazz hands*

I may have missed Christmas, but I hope you and yours continue to enjoy your holiday!

Christmas Time Is Here Again

We are ready for Santa at our house! We put up our tree last Sunday and I spent this past week putting the final touches on the decorations.

When I bought our stockings last year I knew I was pregnant but for some reason I didn't buy a third one for the baby. I tried to find another one this year but no luck. Fortunately Steven's grandmother offered to buy Luke his stocking so I picked out this soft fleecy one from Pottery Barn.

The tree got decked out in the same lights and star as last year but this time I actually dug out our ornaments. We don't have that many - most of them represent our life milestones - so we'll build our collection as we go.

Also making a second appearance are the winter village houses under the tree. I love how they look nestled between the presents!

You may have noticed pillow switcheroo for my white chair (the other one moved to the dining table to make room for the tree). This is a pillow my mom cross stitched for our family the year before I was born. Since my mom has gotten remarried - and doesn't have the last name "LANEY" anymore - she passed the pillow along to me. It makes me want to pull out my embroidery supplies and get crafty myself.

Speaking of my mom's embroidery, I put one of her holiday hand towels in the guest bathroom. The red fits right in with the existing color scheme, don't you think?
The hand towel is hanging out with our holiday air freshener. To be honest, this is one of the quickest, cheapest DIYs I've posted on the blog and I can't even take credit for it. After we put up the tree and trimmed the bottom branches - gotta make room for presents! - the hubby grabbed a few pieces headed for the compost pile and stuck them in this bucket so our guests could enjoy the scent of pine trees as they wash up. Well, he didn't do it entirely on his own - I rearranged the branches in the bucket to make them look better. But he was the brains of the operation. He's so smart!
To add even more holiday spirit to the guest bathroom I hung a strand of Wolfpack lights. Tacky? Probably, but I don't care. I love my Wolfpack almost as much as I love Christmas. So there.
Last, but not least, I whipped up a simple centerpiece for the kitchen table using items I already had. I grabbed my vintage cake plate, a glass cake dome, 3 star ornaments and - voila! - instant centerpiece. The cake dome lets me feel like I am participating in the hugely popular bell jar/terrarium trend and it keeps the cats from knocking the ornaments onto the floor. It's a win-win. I love this so much I might keep the cake plate all year and just swap out the contents.

What about you guys? Have you decorated already? Or do you put up your tree on Christmas eve?

Planning My Perfect Party

I just read this post about outdoor movie watching and it already has me planning and dreaming (and wishing and hoping...) about the perfect end-of-summer party. Labor Day or my next birthday, perhaps? Yes, that's months away but I had to get my ideas onto paper the internet before they slip away!

Picture it: a movie projected onto the back wall of the house, hot dogs and burgers on the grill, a tub full of frosty beverages, and all the tents, chairs and blankets we can fit in the backyard - and maybe a freecycled sofa or two, just for good measure.

I could do this all summer long, but I would love to do it in early fall so that there would be lots of fire-building, marsh-mallow toasting and blanket-sharing once the sun went down.

You're all invited, of course. What's your dream party?

Ahh, Much Better

Remember how I wanted a new ceiling fan for my birthday? Well, I got one and I am beyond happy.

I didn't get a picture of my old one before the hubby un-installed it, but it looked a lot like this one:

Just your basic white and brass builder ceiling fan. Was it hideous? No, but it didn't exactly go with the vibe I was trying to create. My new fan however...

... is just what the doctor decorator ordered.

Mom Jewelry For Moms That Hate Mom Jewelry

I love my son. I love my husband. I love them so much I want to write it on billboards. I can't afford that, so I have to settle for wearing it around my neck. The only problem: I can't stand mom jewelry. There are some more modern, unique versions on Etsy but even those are a little cliche for me. Yes, I'm a snob.

I figured I'd try my hand at making my own "Mom" necklace, and this is what I came up with:

What's that? It doesn't look like mom jewelry? Thank you, you are too kind. Don't let it's looks deceive you, this is one sappy necklace. Each strand is a message written in morse code. One says "Steven, my love" and the other says "Luke, my son." D'awww, isn't that sweet?

It doesn't look perfect, so I would like to re-do the beading, but I'm a busy gal and the odds of that are slim.

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