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Holiday Decorating - Silver and Gold

Hello friends!

Have you ever gone into a panic prior to a party?  Yeah,  I'm pretty much there.  We're still working on the fireplace, and I feel like I can't do anything else until that thing is DONE!  Can't put up the tree until the fireplace is done since it will be in the way!  Can't decorate the mantel until the fireplace is done because I don't HAVE  mantel.  Make sense?

So, my family is bracing for the raving lunatic that will occupy our home for the next 48-72 hours.  It's kind of like I have so much to do, I don't know where to begin, which just causes the stress level to rise even more.  But, it will get done.  It always does.

Here is a sneak peek at the fireplace though.  We have made serious progress, but the mantel has been the bane of our existence.  Suffice to say, there will be no husband and wife DIY blog coming from this house anytime soon.  Unless you enjoy tales of bickering and frustration about mitre cuts and misplaced tools...

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  Decorating for the holidays.  Earlier this week I blogged about decorating with the traditional red and green, but today we're going to change it up a bit with silver and gold accents.  They're as classic as red and green, and take things up a notch in the elegance department if you ask me. 
Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Have a wonderful day!  Any stress-reducing, party-planning tips are welcome!!


Holiday Decorating - Red and Green


I hope you had a glorious Thanksgiving and perhaps got a head start on your holiday shopping.  Please remind me to never, ever set foot in Target (or any other store for that matter) on Brown Thursday again.  I should know better.

But, despite the insanity in the stores, I'm excited to gussy up my home for Christmas.  I have a lot of holiday decor that I've acquired over the years, but am still trying to find my style for decorating this house.  This is our third year here, and I am feeling the urge to change my color palette a bit.  With the aqua and blue hues throughout much of our home, I feel like I need to go with something a little out of the red and green norm - even though I love those holiday colors.

After all, how can you resist?  What colors are you going to use to decorate your home for the holidays?

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

I also get the Distracted Dummy Award of the Year after my... mishap yesterday.  I was running around, multi-tasking, and sat down in the basement, all ready to try to use my "Light Keeper Pro", since none of my lighted garland works.  NONE of it.  My son was playing video games and made a comment, "Do you hear that water?"  Yes, I did.  I go to look in the storage area off of my office only to find water leaking everywhere.

So, I start yelling for my husband and rush upstairs to find the water source.  Um, yeah, it was the sink in my laundry room.  You know, the one where I put my daughter's pants to soak them before I washed them and neglected to turn off the faucet.  Yeah, that one.

The good news is that we caught it and were able to clean up the mess without any serious damage done.  A bunch of my scrapbooking supplies in my office closet were soaked, but thankfully all of my scrapbooks are dry.  And it didn't come close to my new hardwood floors. 


Have you ever had a disaster as the result of distraction?  Back to the subject at hand - how are you planning to decorate your home for the holidays this year?

Take advantage of shopping from the comfort of your own home - Cyber Monday deals on holiday cards at Tiny Prints!

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15% off site wide at Layla Grace.

I'm particularly smitten with this personalized cell phone case.  Might as well protect your phone in style, right?


The Blogger Who Could Not Read


I hope you're all doing well, and not stressing out too badly if you're hosting Thanksgiving.  We're visiting family, so that piece of stress is off my shoulders this year.  It's a good thing, because planning my cookie exchange for the following weekend has me plenty busy!

We have been hard at work on the fireplace, and I thought you all could relate to my experience last night.  Did you ever read the book, "The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read" when you were a kid?

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

It's an adorably cute book with lovely illustrations about a little old man who couldn't read (shocking, I know), and is left to grocery shop on his own when his wife goes out of town.  Since he can't read, he ends up buying items based upon how they look, and as you might imagine, it doesn't bode well.

I had my own "The Blogger Who Could Not Read" moment last night as I was working on the fireplace.  Like I said, we've been making progress.  Take a peek -
The drywall is up (and while I hate anything drywall, I have to say I did a pretty good job), and I've been working on the stone.  Last night I got to work again, only to discover at the end of the evening I had made a big mistake.

Can you guess which product I accidentally used?  Yes, that would be the drywall compound.

Fortunately, I discovered it and removed the pieces that I had worked to put up, but it's so frustrating to have your productivity go down the tubes!

Have a wonderful day!


The Hardwoods are Complete!

Hey friends!

Well, the hardwood installation is finally complete, and I can't wait to share them with you.  It's funny, this past weekend marked two years that we've been living in this house, and boy, has it come a long way!

I have envisioned hardwoods in the family room for a long time, and it's really exciting to see that vision become a reality.  We went with a prefinished solid maple hardwood manufactured by Bella Cera, with some handscraped and weathered details.  The actual description is "Handscraped Maple Tribeca" and the color is "Chateau".  I like that they're not so handscraped that they look wavy, but enough to where it adds some rustic charm and character.

So, let's get started!

Please excuse the creepy shadow that's showing up on my fireplace-makeover-in-progress.  It was late in the day, and I was losing daylight quickly.  I promise my house isn't possessed.

And I know the place looks a little bit bare right now.  Especially with the fireplace under construction.  But another item on the to-do list is to get a rug to add some pattern and softness to the space.  That's another post altogether.

Pay no mind to the vast amount of lumber and supplies in the background of some of these photos - this place is still a construction zone.

We carried the wood floors back through the hallway leading to the kids' bedrooms too.

I think a runner might be in order back here as well.  To keep my kids from break dancing on the floors, if nothing else.

And then there's the big finale - the stairs!!  Oh, how I love them!  The dog was a bit weary of them - I think today is the first day that he tackled them.

Let's do some refreshers with some before and after photos.  Here's how the stairs looked before...

And now...




After - Again, bear with me on the fireplace - I so wish it was done too!



So, get ready for some discussions about rugs!  I'll be looking for your opinions and feedback!


2012 Cookie Exchange Countdown


How are all of you?  Things are good here, and I'm feeling rested and ready to roll.  My husband surprised me with a (warm) weekend getaway for our anniversary, and it's amazing how rested you can get when you're away from the usual responsibilities of home.  Dare I say, we might have gotten a bit ... bored?  That's a new phenomenon for us these days.

So, the floors were finished on Friday (right as we left town), so when we came back today, I tried to move things back into place to snap some photos, but the daylight got away from me - pictures to come soon, I promise!

In the meantime, with the holidays upon us, I have been getting questions about how I created my cookie exchange invitations last year.  Remember these?

There are a couple of different ways to make these.  You can buy tags that are sold by Avery office products, or you can even make these from business card templates (also sold by Avery), that you can run through your home printer.  Avery provides a template that you can download online, to make the design process a little easier. 

I found the wreath in Microsoft's clip art by searching for "Christmas" images.  (If you use the business card and want it to look like a tag, just use a pair of scissors to trim the top sides at an angle and give it that "tag" look.  I'm still checking to see if I can locate the template I used for this - email me if you're interested!

This year, I'm going the more traditional route with my invites, but admittedly, spent way too much time scouring the internet for "the one". 

I pinned all sorts of great invites out there.  You can see why I spent so much time looking!

I ended up with this little cutie from Invitation Consultants (not my info, just the sample):
 I think I'm going to add some prizes this year too.  Maybe one or two door prizes, and another as the result of a vote for best presentation or something like that.  I really enjoy this get together, because it's a great chance to see friends and catch up before the holidays take over.  Plus, you walk away with a wide variety of six dozen cookies!  What's not to like?

I know everyone has their own rules for cookie exchanges, but I try to keep it simple.

My cookie exchange "rules":
  • Each guest brings six dozen cookies to exchange
  • No need to individually wrap the cookies - just bring them on a tray or container that can accomodate them
  • I provide a tray/box for guests to take their cookies home
  • Depending on the size of the party, each guest takes approximately 3-4 cookies from each tray for a total of six dozen 
I know some cookie exchanges have you package the cookies to exchange, and that works if you know exactly how many people you're expecting to have.  But, since schedules are hectic, and plans change, my approach allows you some flexibility.  You take the number of people who are at the party, and divide it into 72 (six dozen).  So, if 20 people come to the party, that comes out to 3.6 cookies per person - so 3-4 cookies from each tray.  Make sense?  I know math and cookies don't mix, but trust me, it's easy.

I have always planned this event for the first weekend in December, which usually gives me an extra weekend of cushion after Thanksgiving. Not so this year, my friends. No extra weekend to get it all done.

Do you know what that means?

We will be at Defcon 1 here as the preparations begin, and I think my family will be evacuating the house steering clear of me as I go into Tazmanian Devil Party Prep mode. They've been through this before and they know the drill - "We're having a party. Don't touch anything, and do as Mom says. Or run far, far away."

Are you planning a cookie exchange or holiday party this year?  Are you at Defcon 3?