Santa! I know him!

First off, thank you all for your kind words about my puppy, Lucy. She was 17 when she passed, so she lived a long life and we have so many good memories of her. I really appreciate all your sweet words.

On a happier note, can you believe Christmas Eve is tomorrow?! I love Christmas. I’m pretty much done wrapping (just need two tiny gifts I ordered my mom to arrive and then I’ll be DONE) and the apartment is all decorated.

I realized I never showed you pictures of my kitchen decorated, besides my cookie cutter craft. How rude of me!

Inspired by Pinterest, I put ribbon on my kitchen cabinets and hung our Christmas cards from it. I love how it looks. It’s fun to be able to see all the cards nicely on display.

The other side of the kitchen is our table, which in this picture is all decked out with alcohol for our party. Usually doesn’t so predominately display our love of wine and spirits…

You’ve seen our decorated living room before, but I figured I’d send you a little reminder.

I have to say, I love having the apartment decorated for Christmas! It’s so homey and warm in here. Why can’t we decorate like this all year long?

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL Christmas! I will chat with you all on Monday. xoxo

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Christmas Party Plans

Man oh man, we have been busy! Our tree is up, Christmas cards out, stockings are hung and the Christmas party planning in full swing!

I promise to share pictures of our holiday decor later in the week, but for now wanted to focus on the task at hand: our first Christmas party. Being that Christmas is both John and mine’s favorite holiday, we decided to start a tradition of hosting a Christmas party the Saturday before the big day. Since we are still in an apartment, our party will start small, but we have big plans of making this a big friends and family party in later years.

So the question I keep asking myself is, what makes a good Christmas party?

There are the obvious :

Music

  • No Christmas party is legit without Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” blasting throughout the space. Right?

Festive decorations

  • The tree must be up, as well as any other decorations you choose to have. John vetoed the human-sized reindeer that I fell in love with from HomeGoods, so our party will be missing that (unfortunately), but we do have some other fun things up and around the apartment. We even have some presents wrapped under the tree!

Food

  • Now this is the big one. Our menu isn’t set, but I’ve already started making a list of good hors d’oeuvres to place around the apartment. We won’t be serving a meal per say, but I plan on having a ton of finger foods for people to snack on.

So what are my other Christmas party must-have’s?

Mistletoe

  • What would a Christmas party be without some awkward forced kissing situations? Unfortunately for me, I’m having a VERY difficult time finding some mistletoe. I’ve gone to a few places and they have all been out of smooch-inducing plant. I don’t want fake mistletoe, so I’ve held off purchasing any. I’m not giving up, though. I will locate some before Saturday!

Eggnog

  • Ahh, good ol’ eggnog. I don’t really know anyone who actually drinks it (besides my dad) but it WILL be at the party. Maybe I’ll even try it this year and like it. Maybe.

Champagne

  • Call me crazy, but I don’t think any celebration is set without some bubbles. In fact, one of my favorite Christmas drinks is a Mistletoe; champagne with a spash of cranberry juice. Yum!

 

Because no blog post is ever really finished without some photos, I wanted to share some living rooms decked out for Christmas that are totally inspiring:

 

via Better Homes & Gardens

 The ceiling in this space is just divine. Yes, I know that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, but it absolutely adds to the rustic Christmas vibe this living room has going on. I even love the mini Charlie Brown tree on the mantle!

via Country Living

The lime green in this space knocks my socks off. Admittedly, I’d probably never decorate with this color. Not because I don’t like it, but because when I think “Christmas” I think red and dark green. But wow, this color really works and is just a little bit unexpected!

via Pottery Barn
 
What doesn’t Pottery Barn do right? This space just screams Christmas cozy. I want nothing more than to be laying on the couch, under that blanket, in front of the fire. A girl can dream, right?
 
via Pinterest
I had to include this room because it’s so FUN! I can’t help but think sometimes people decorate too seriously for Christmas, with no color or well…Christmas spirit. Well, THIS Christmas room is the epitome of fun and festive. I love how whimsical it is.  You KNOW this family is having a jolly Christmas!
 

Do you have any suggestions on how to make a Christmas party great? Would love to know your suggestions! Have a great Monday, all!

 

Top of the Tree, to ya!

Today is my last Thankful November post! First, I want to thank Paisley Print Shoes for coming up with such a great idea on how to keep the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving the month of November. You guys really rock.

Next, I want to say again how thankful I am for this blog, and for all the people who take the time to read it every day. It means a lot to me that you guys are supporting me as I try out something “new.” I look forward to learning more about life and blogging, and sharing it with you every step of the way.

***

While I am on my Christmas decorating kick, I should share that we don’t have a tree yet…or a tree topper.

John and I already decided we want a star. No angel, Santa or otherwise for us. We’re keeping it old school.

This Pottery Barn star makes me swoon. I carried it around the store with me for a good 15 minutes, before I came to the realization it’s about 2 ft tall and about the size of the actual tree we are going to be able to fit into our apartment. Gorgeous, but not for us.

via Pottery Barn

 

So that means it’s time to do some online browsing. Shall we discuss some stars we like (and one we luuuuuurve)?

 

I like this gem-inspired star from Pier 1. All the curly swirls make it a bit more whimsical than other blinged-out toppers I’ve seen.

via Pier 1

 
John would never go for this one, but there’s something totally unique about this sunburst mirror topper. Very different from other toppers out there. Perhaps a bit TOO modern for my traditional holiday style, but I’m sure that there are people out there that would love this on top of their tree.  

via Ballard Designs

 
This star from Neiman Marcus is like the Bentley of tree topper stars. How gorgeous is this thing? Unfortunately the price tag is a bit too much like a Bentley for my taste…

via Neiman Marcus

 
Another jewel-inspired star. This one really brings the bling.
 

via HSN

 
 To switch it up, I found a picture of the Christmas star I grew up with. It was the best thing ever.

via Ebay

 
Want to know why it was the best thing ever? Disco ball and holiday fun all rolled into one. It literally had a disco ball in it, that made the top of the tree a glowing dance party. The Lewis Family keeps it real, yo. Just see this bad boy in action…
via Ebay
*Sidenote, you better believe I would buy this retro/used version if John allowed it.
 
I know you are all running to Ebay right now to snatch that bad boy up.
 
Anyway, shall we get to our mutual favorite?  
 
We both fell in love with this Capiz star from Target. Or shall I say Tar-jay, since this beauty is so gorgeous.

via Target

Seriously, I need it. It’s apparently in “limited stock” at my local Target and it’s not available online, so I’m not going to get my hopes up, but I think I need it. I’ll keep you all posted.

 

What do you all have on top of your tree? Star, Santa, Angel or other? I’ve seen some great trees out there with ribbon bows on top that seem super cute. We’re doing a real tree this year so we probably won’t have it up for another week or so. I’m dying to get it and put our ornaments up! Can’t wait to share pictures with you all once it’s all decorated.

Have a great Wednesday!

So Not Cookie Cutter

Today I am thankful for Christmas music. Christmas music is a SERIOUS mood booster for me. The second one of my favorites comes on I’m smiling and singing along like I have no cares in the world. Man, I love me some Christmas spirit.

***

Attention everyone! I was crafty again!

Yes, I am just as shocked as you are. And this craft wasn’t even inspired by Pinterest. It was from my own head. CRAZINESS.

I went to Michael’s on Black Friday and they were having awesome sales. I ended up buying two packages of snowflake cookie cutters and some heavy sparkle cardstock. I obviously couldn’t buy just plain cardstock. It had to have red, green and gold sparkles all over it. This is very important to the story.

Anyway, I decided to trace the cardstock to the shape of the snowflakes and then used my exact-o knife to cut out the shape. I tried using a scissor, but it didn’t cut as nicely as I wanted.

The next step was realizing I got sparkles EVERYWHERE. All over me, the couch, the kitchen, the living room, John…everything. Not sure how I would have avoided this, but it happened.

After all the shapes were cut out and I took a break to watch Homeland (any of you watching that?? It’s SO good!), I hot glued the cardstock to the back of the cookie cutters.

Then I put some ribbon on these bad boys. I hot glued them starting from the middle of the cardstock, to the top center of the cookie cutter. Gluing the ribbon to the top of the cutter evenly distributed the weight of the cookie cutters so they hung correctly. Otherwise they kind of pulled forward, so you’d see more of the top/back of the cutter then you really want. 

 Then I hung my new beauties in front of my kitchen window.

Get it? Cookie cutters…in the kitchen…

Man I’m good.

So what do you think?? I’m pretty proud of myself and I think they look adorable in our kitchen. Success!

Apartment Cheating

Today I am thankful for relaxing nights with my husband. Last night we ate tacos, drank some coronas and watched television. Seemingly low-key but very good for the heart. It’s nights like those that get me through hectic work weeks.

***

I’ve been day dreaming about owning a house.

Is this seriously happening after only 5 months of living in the apartment of my dreams?

I feel like I’m cheating on our little home. Which frustrates me because John and I looked so long to find it, and we genuinely love living here. The big, retro-vibe kitchen, the hardwood floors, my walk-in closet… it’s a renters dream space. But the budding housewife in me can’t help but sometimes wish for more.

We keep hearing, “it’s a buyers market” and “now’s the time for you guys to do it,” and we know all that. But it’s just not the right time for us.

I don’t want to wish away this time. We’re newlyweds with no real “life commitments.” Sure, we both have demanding careers, but we have no children to raise, animals to care for, lawns to mow. We can travel the world on a whim. That’s what we need right now.

I struggle with living in the moment. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been looking to what’s next. My parents always talk about how as a little girl I was never content with what I was doing at that moment. From the other, bigger, better rollercoaster at the theme park or the next vacation we go on, I struggled with being grateful for what I had at that exact moment.

I’m working on it.

I’m a do-er, a dreamer and a planner. I struggle to just let things be. That being said, I am trying.

So, I’m sorry little apartment. I hope you know how much I love you and how much I cherish the memories we are making.

If you need to blame someone, blame Pinterest for throwing pictures of houses like this in my face.

Le sigh

Holiday Madness

I am so thankful for my mom. She’s my best friend, plain and simple. We talk every day and never run out of things to say or do together. She’s my favorite shopping partner, life coach and cooking teacher. Overall, she’s the best role model a girl could ask for. I hope that one day I’m half the mom she is.

***

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only nine days away? And Christmas is next month?

I adore Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday, and I am so beyond excited to start crafting and decorating to the tunes of “A Chipmunk Christmas.”  I’ve already started making notes on what I want to do this year, and even bought this bad boy to help spark my creativity.

If you’re wondering, it’s a pretty good magazine. Nothing so original that’s probably not already on Pinterest, but it’s still a fun read.

Anyway, I noticed that I have kind of skipped over Thanksgiving as far as decorating. Yea, I have my mini-pumpkin on the coffee table, but that’s about it. Since we aren’t hosting Thanksgiving whatsoever, the thought never crossed my mind to spruce up the apartment.

However, we ARE having friends over the night before Thanksgiving for a little pre-bar hopping cocktail party. It’s technically for my birthday, but it’s really just a “Thanksgiving Eve is the biggest bar night of the year so let’s get a few pre-cocktail party cocktails in us before we head to the bars” party.

Phew, that was a mouthful.

So I think I might need to jazz up the apartment a little. Not sure what to do though, since I don’t have much energy time for this. But, there’s so much eye candy out there…how can I not be inspired?

via SAS Interiors

via Frenchie and Flea

via Star Shine Chic

via Old Sweet Water Cottage

Being that Thanksgiving is almost over and it’s literally JUST about time to decorate for Christmas, I’m going to see if  good ol’ nature can inspire my decorating this weekend (cough cough…free stuff).

I’ll keep you posted!

Hold the Ketchup

I am so thankful for my job. I don’t say that enough. Yes, there are times when I’d rather be home, sleeping in, not commuting, and doing absolutely nothing on the couch. But at the end of the day, I’m so thankful to have this career, to work with talented people and to be challenged every single day. With the economy being the way it is, I could easily be unemployed right now. I am thankful to have the luxury of a steady job and paycheck.

Okay, now back to my original post at hand. No, this isn’t about a recipe. It’s all about mustard yellow. Yea, the color.

I’ve been drooling over it lately. The accent pieces, the splash of color. I literally want it all over my living room. It’s exactly the spice I think we need to brighten up our space and give it just the little bit of pzazz it’s missing.

Like how gorgeous is this bedroom? The headboard, the pillows…swoon! Ruffle pillows are my favorite, so I’ve been keeping a sharp eye out for something similar for our couches.

via House*Tweaking

Since we have all of the furniture pieces that my tiny apartment can allow for, I am going to have to rely on accent pieces. I’m envisioning pillows and a few awesome vases or trinkets like the ones below from Crate & Barrel. Only issue I’m facing is the fact I have zero shelving (besides my bookcase, and well, my books have taken over). Something I might need to fix asap…

via Crate & Barrel

I love how artwork and pillows give this room just the pop it needs against the gray. It ties together the entire room so it looks perfectly in sync. A future artwork DIY may need to be in my near future.

via Houzz

Lastly, how amazinggggg is this gold/yellow light fixture in this living room? What an awesome retro statement piece. Of course, to have something like this would mean your rooms have overhead lighting (which my apartment does not) so, something like this will have to wait until we buy a house. But a girl can dream.

via Decor Pad

How do you all feel about mustard yellow? It’s certainly trendy right now, but it’s not necessarily a color that everyone loves. Do you have any suggestions for me on how to brighten up our living room with this color? I tend to shy away from color…so I could definitely use your help!

Stick a Cork in it

Well folks, I can happily say that I have completed my second DIY! Remember last week when I talked about my need for new fridge magnets? I actually did something about it!

I’ve been collecting wine corks for some time now because I have my mind set on one day making cork artwork for my kitchen. I don’t have enough to do it just yet, but my little cork centerpiece is totally full and I had some extra champagne corks just sitting around in a bag waiting for me to be crafty.

So I tried to be.

First, I started by slicing six champagne corks in half.

Then, using an exatact-o knife, I carved a little divot in the center of each cork for a magnet. I did this because I wanted the finished product to lay flush with the fridge,  rather than have a space in between the cork and the fridge because of the bulky magnet.

Then, I hot glued a magnet to each cork.

And there she blows!

Cute, right? I’m pretty sure John thought I was going insane for doing this craft, but even he admitted that they are super cute in person. And it only took me like 10 minutes, and the $2 it cost to buy the magnets. Success!

Here’s what my fridge currently looks like:

See that picture with all the hearts? That’s my absolute favorite drawing of all time. My niece Emma drew it before the wedding, and it shows me in my wedding gown and John in his tux. Adorable right? I’m pretty sure I’m framing it, so it’s stay on the fridge is limited.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Tuesday!!

My Pinterest Challenge: Fall Edition DIY!

So I have a confession: I stalk Young House Love and the Bower Power Blog like it’s my job. So obviously I was very excited when they both posted that the Pinterest Challenge was happening again. I hadn’t started this blog when they held the last one, so this was my chance to get involved (and subsequently hope Katie and Sherry become my BFF’s).

Of course, deciding to participate was the easy part. The hard part was deciding what to make. Can I even make something? I’m not crafty! I can barely walk and listen to my iPod at the same time.

I’ve made a bunch of recipes from Pinterest before, but I wanted to venture out of my comfort zone and try to be the DIY expert that I so dream of becoming. So I decided to go for it.

I saw this awesome keyring holder on the blog My Sweet Savannah. Melaine actually saw this keyholder on Pinterest as well, but from an Etsy shop. It didn’t look too complicated, plus it’s something we genuinely need at the apartment. I’m constantly losing my keys (in my jewelry box, in the seat cushions, under the couch), so I need a place that I can put them whenever I come home from work or running errands.

So, there was my inspiration. Time to turn inspiration into real-life.

I started by going to Michael’s. I didn’t have any scrap wood lying around (I live in an apartment, so renovation scraps are hard to come by in these parts) and bought a cheap wall plaque. I also didn’t have any old baby blocks and didn’t want to spend money on buying a set just to spray paint, so I bought cheap wood blocks and letters. I had the stain already, so the items I needed to buy were limited. So I guess my overall theme for this project was “keep it cheap.”  Just how I roll.

To keep with the decor of my lovely mansion apartment, I decided to veer off My Sweet Savannah’s design and put a little Lewis in Love spin on it. I gave the wood a light sanding, and stained the plaque a dark brown.

Lookin’ good, right?

I then glued the wood letters to the blocks. Unfortunately, I did this a little sloppy (and was annoyed with how it looked after I painted), so if you end up doing this, I would suggest use the glue sparingly.

I gave the blocks a light sanding around the edges, and had my handsome husband screw cup hooks in the bottom of each block. Hey babe!

After that was done, I sprayed each “baby block” white.

Ooh, pretty.

Then, I used liquid nails to glue the blocks to my plaque. Obviously make sure you are happy with the location of each block before you do any gluing.

After the blocks were dry, it was time to hang up on the wall! I decided my new keyholder would live on the wall next to my front door.

We LOVE it. It goes perfectly with our decor and we needed it BIG TIME. With four cars between the two of us (only one of them is mine) it’s nice to finally have one spot where all the keys live.

Hooray! I actually made something!!

How did your Pinterest Challenge go? Thank you again to Sherry at Young House Love, Katie at Bower Power Blog, Ana of  Ana-White and Erin at House of Earnest for hosting this season’s Pinterest Challenge. I’m excited to see what you all created!

Wednesday Thanks

As part of the Thankful November series from Paisley Print Shoes, today I would like to publicly state how thankful I am for my little home. It took John and I a good deal of time during our engagement to find a place to live, and I just feel so lucky to have found this apartment. We have really begun to make it our home, and I honestly can’t imagine a better spot for us to be living right now and beginning our journey together. There are times where I wish we could afford to buy a house right now, but this little apartment, with all its warmth and charm is such great “training wheels” for us, that I need to remind myself that everything happens for a reason — including where we are live.