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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Living Room 2014

Yesterday we spent most of the day at home decorating for the holidays! Trent put up the lights outside, and I put up the tree and decorated inside.

I snapped some iPhone pics around the living room yesterday...some when it was still light out, and some when the sun was setting and the glow of the Christmas tree (and the tv) was the only light in the room.

There's nothing like that comfy, cozy feeling when you get the Christmas tree up and decorated. The house suddenly feels warmer and more inviting.

Our tree hasn't changed much since last year. We have been using the same tree since 2010 when I moved in. That was our first Christmas in this house together. Hard to believe this will be our fifth! 

Once again I hung our stockings up on the shelf. (I can't tell you what was on TV when these pictures were taken)

My DIY snowflake garland has made its appearance once again. It started out just as paper snowflakes that Trent and I decided to make just for fun one year, and we decorated the tree with them. The next year I took some white thread and made them into a garland.

I have yet to wrap presents this year. Still a work in progress!

My frame wall is the same...for now. I might change things up a bit pretty soon...

I also might change the pillows up a little. That bright, colorful pillow in the middle of the couch may very well be replaced with a more Christmas-y one. I foresee another trip to Target in the near future!

The sun started setting, and I got a few more tree pictures.

Here are a few more living room pics...

Can't believe this long weekend is almost over. It's been productive and a nice break, that's for sure!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Holiday Gift Wrapping Organization

So, did everyone have a happy Thanksgiving? I definitely ate my weight in food these past couple of days, I'm pretty sure. But I've been enjoying the long weekend! We went Black Friday shopping yesterday, but not until late morning/early afternoon. It was still pretty busy in the stores, but not too crazy! Today we stayed home and put up all the Christmas decor. Trent got all the lights up outside, and I put up the tree and the other holiday decor. Will have some pics up tomorrow! One thing I haven't done yet is wrap presents.

I have some gifts figured out, but there is still a lot I have to buy, so I'm waiting to wrap presents until I have most of my gifts all ready. I picked up some more Christmas wrapping paper yesterday, and a few more random things like Christmas cards and gift bags. But I definitely needed a better system to store them all...they were in plastic grocery bags in the closet and I could never find what I was looking for. So, lo and new holiday gift wrapping system:

Last night I put this cart together - I had picked it up at IKEA and was planning on putting it in my office upstairs. It's the Raskog utility cart. When I got home last night I had the idea that it would be perfect for gift wrapping storage! So I took all the parts out of the box they were still in, and assembled my storage cart (with a little of Trent's help!). Then I filled it with all of my gift wrapping necessities.

I think it will work really well. It's much more organized. All of my bows and ribbons are in the top section, along with other little knick knacks, and small gift boxes.

I had a few extra plastic storage containers that I had used in my office for drawing and crafting supplies, markers, etc., so those came in handy, and they match! I love them because they're clear, so there's no need for labels, since you can easily see what's inside.

The middle section contains gift bags and tissue paper.

And the bottom section has gift tags, gift card holders, and Christmas cards.

The only thing missing is wrapping paper, and I'm working on a system for that! I have a long storage box that works for the smaller rolls, but I have several longer rolls that don't fit, so that's still a work in progress. Once I clear a designated spot in the closet, this cart will have a home. With the wheels on the bottom, it rolls really easily, and I will be able to roll it out whenever I need to wrap presents. And I can't wait to wrap some gifts this year now!

Linked to: Say G'Day Party, Link Party Palooza.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Fiery Archer: Sagittarius Inspired Decor

Time for another installment of Astrological Inspired Decor. This might be my favorite post of the month, just because I get to gather up a bunch of decor picks from all over the web...and they're themed. My design nerd idea of fun.

This month is Sagittarius - Nov. 22 through Dec. 21, which according to, is symbolized by the archer. The Sagittarius archer is also a centaur, or half man, half beast. Its element is Fire, and its ruling planet is Jupiter. Sagittarians are confident, social, and playful. They have an adventurous spirit and an eclectic sense of style.

According to Style at Home, they prefer decorating in colors like purple and royal blue. When I picture a Sagittarius home, I think rich, jewel tones and worldly, exotic elements. And for some reason, I had purple pillows and ottomans in my head when creating this post. But's what I gathered up for some Sagittarius Inspired Decor (sources at the bottom):


Sources (from top to bottom): 1) Painting from here 2) Chair from here 3) Picture frame - Target 4) Agate bookends - Z Gallerie 5) Globe - Z Gallerie 6) Pillow - Etsy 7) Ottoman from here 8) Chandelier - West Elm

This time I have two room inspirations. Yep, I went all out. Actually, I couldn't decide between these two equally jewel-tone filled, dramatic rooms:

Source: here and here

Can you say...purple pillows and tufted ottomans, three times fast? :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Give Thanks Homemade Art

This little art project was super easy. And it was inspired by the Dare to DIY challenge theme this week. Today kicks off this challenge, with the theme being "Be Thankful," and I'm linking to the party over at the lovely blog, Shift Ctrl Art.

This week the challenge was to create something that reminds you to be thankful, whether it's a banner, homemade art, or anything that spreads the message of Thanksgiving.

I'm all for a challenge, and any excuse to get crafty this holiday season, so I decided to make my own art for this IKEA frame - which I had sitting on my end table with nothing inside. 

An empty frame is no way to spread holiday cheer, so I pulled out my handy dandy laptop and my graphics program (InDesign) and whipped up this computer art.

That's right, while the texture appears to be burlap, it's actually just printed on computer paper. The background is just a burlap image that I found online just by searching "burlap" in Google images.


The fonts I used are Coneria Script and The Dead Saloon - both free fonts you can download online.


It looks nice during the day, but I had to take some night pictures, too. With the glow of the lamp it just adds to that little warm and cozy feeling in here.

The graphics I used were from this website. Love when you can download free texts and graphics to use for your own personalized art. Makes it a heck of a lot easier. :)

Soon it will be time to start decorating the tree! Until then, I'm still enjoying my fall decor for a little longer.

Also linked to: Say G'Day Party, Link Party Palooza.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Four Year Housiversary

FOUR YEARS. That's how long we've been living in this house together. It's a presidential term. It's a college freshman's years 'til freedom. Can you believe it? I barely can. You can see the progress we've made on the house from the beginning in my three-year post from last year.

So what renovations did we get done since that last 3-year post a year ago? Well, not too much! We did replace the old basement door with a new one, and Trent built a much-needed new custom shelving unit for the bedroom.

We've done some little projects here and there, but nothing too substantial in the realm of renovations. The big one was the foundation repair which took place almost exactly a year ago, and left the kitchen in pretty bad shape. Counters moved away from the walls, the door suddenly didn't open and shut, and the front porch now looks a tad crooked. You can see most of the aftermath here in a previous post. This summer we were going to fix all that....but life got in the way. Too busy with work and other priorities.

There's always this next year though, right? Maybe by five years of living here, we will have finished the hallway at least? One can only hope. Seriously - Longest. reno. project. ever.

There's one thing I can say though, and that is that we have already made so many good memories living here, and even though we may not feel like working on renovation projects all the time, or may not have the least we have plenty of memories and good times shared together in this little house of ours!

From Valentine's Day dinners, to carving pumpkins every Halloween, bonfires in the back yard, opening presents Christmas morning, to Saleen entertaining us with her antics...I kind of feel like a presidential candidate when I say this but, here's to four more years. :)

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