Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Holiday Season 2015

Do you remember when you were a kid, or even in college, and Christmas just felt like a blanket you could curl up under? Seemingly endless days spent watching movies, baking cookies, snacking on popcorn tins, shaking my presents under the tree. And then you grow up, and it's basically a monthlong blur of scrambling to put up decorations, shop, wrap, and go to parties. Nary a holiday film has been watched!

Nonetheless, we have had some good holiday fun and a little bit of trauma. For the first time in my life, I have a house to decorate and it was almost too much pressure to decide what our holiday style would be! I knew Sean would not be super keen to be spending hours on a ladder, hooking icicle lights along the gutters. I wanted classy, but unique. 

After peeking around at what's available, we decided to get garlands for the columns on our porch, two little lit-up trees in my porch planters and -- the piece de resistance -- a Moravian star. Apparently, easier said than done.

One of the tricky hiccups making our dreams hard to realize is that there is no outdoor electric plug on the front of the house, so we could run approximately one extension cord from the garage for the Moravian Star.

That meant it would be really helpful if I could find battery-powered garlands. I found some on Target's website during the big Black Friday shopping weekend and was delighted to save something like 44% on three garlands. AND to make everything better and easier, I could select the "pick up in store" option and avoid waiting for them to ship. Much easier said than done. I ended up selecting the wrong Target location, had to drive 30 minutes out of the way, wait about 40 minutes in the pick-up line and then was informed they didn't have the garlands. Come again?! So, be forewarned that the "pick up in store" option doesn't actually guarantee the items will be in the store when you get there. Womp womp.

I finally was able to find battery-powered 9-foot garlands with a timer setting from Sears online, but by that point, I was fed up with life. I bought little mini 3-foot fake trees that I literally just stuck in the potting soil in my planters and decorated with bows and ornaments from the Dollar Tree. They have battery-operated lights, too.

I bought a classy boxwood wreath at Home Depot and added a plaid bow from Michael's and a glittery "love" ornament from A. Dodson's. Fun story: I thought this was a faux wreath until it started to get weirdly stinky and I realized it might be real. Or it's a really stinky plastic wreath. One or the other.

One of the joys of having a house this year is that, for the first time in about six years, we were able to get a full-size real tree! It smells amazing and looks so pretty.

On our mantle, I put up a glittery white garland I bought years ago when I lived alone, and was excited to put out bottle brush trees I bought on clearance after the holidays last year.

It makes me sad the holiday season is almost over and I'll have to take all of this down!

Otherwise life has been busy! We went to three parties last week, including my 80s-themed work party (shown above), and Ashleigh and I had a wonderful Friday date night at Christmas Town.

The beautiful "12 Days of Christmas" tree in France.

We had so much fun, and even sprang a very worthy $20 to pose for photos with Santa.

This week will be exhausting, but I'm excited to see every one and enjoy some time with family. Happy holidays to you and yours!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Best v.262

More adorable behind-the-scenes pics here.

Have you seen the new Star Wars yet? I LOVED IT. We've been so busy this holiday season...busier than I can ever remember with parties and get-togethers and concerts and beyond. I definitely need to do a big post about our holiday decor, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here's some good links to check out from the past week or so:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Wrapping 2015

 It's become a grand tradition around these parts to unveil my annual wrapping color scheme. It all began in 2006, when I decided I hate most holiday wrapping paper and wanted to just choose a few coordinating rolls I could technically use all year and be done with it. But over time, it's proven to be both a surprisingly relaxing (seriously) and creatively challenging endeavor. So, without further ado: Christmas Wrapping 2015.

Two big changes for this year: first of all, this is about as traditionally Christmas I've ever done and second, every single roll came from Target. Once I found the first one that inspired me, I couldn't find any other good plaids or patterns anywhere else! I decided to do a loose theme of plaids, checks and houndstooth prints with solid copper paper as an accent.

 I bought ribbons at Michael's and Target. I'm obsessed with the striped grosgrain, but the gingham is also giving me life.

I originally thought I'd try to REALLY challenge myself and do a nontraditional red and green. That's kind of my white whale of holiday wrapping because it's very hard to find any rolls that fit the bill. But someday I'll do it. Someday.

For a refresher, take a whirl through the wayback machine to look at past wrapping schemes: 2006-20092010201120122013 and 2014.