A tour of our Christmas decor

Join me around our house! I’ve been steadily adding to our Christmas decorations each year, and I’m loving how everything turned out this year. I’m not the best at decorating, but I’m learning slowly (layering, creating visual points, etc.). The boys’ excitement over the decorations make it worth while. Oh and if you need help decorating quickly, have J come over. He will bustle behind you until you are finished, saying things like “why are you sitting down?” and “keep decorating!!”

First up, our entry way!

I love the idea of combining what you have already with some Christmas updates…

holiday decor

And I was beyond thrilled to find these cotton stems from one of my favorite local shops (Mint Julep Marketplace), to include in the Target vase I had been eyeing:

Holiday Decor

And then we dressed up our little reading nook in the living room:

Reading nook

And our mantel is fresh and new with accents from Kirklands (that mirror was 20 dollars!!):

Mantel DecorMantel Decor Mantel DecorThe bottle brush trees are from Hobby Lobby and I’m going to tell you, they are a glittery mess. But they look awesome!

And here is a close-up of our tree. Take a good look, because this guy is about to be replaced. We have to string lights that work around the middle of the tree because the pre-lit portion stopped working. Last year. No judgement.

Christmas Tree

The layering detail was a tip I picked up from the mantel link I posted with my Friday Favorites two weeks ago:

Stocking layering

And this year we added in a fox to our random lighted animal collection:

Christmas DecorI cannot even express to you the hilarity of this set-up. The Bible does discuss behemoth animals, so I’m pretty sure this is what they were talking about.

Let’s move on to the kitchen, shall we?

Immediately upon posting this, I noticed that one of my candle wraps has slipped down, and my A-typeness cannot handle that, so I’m fixing it now…

Christmas Decor

I love the incorporation of the metal canvas with the cookie print that’s a staple in our house.

Holiday Decor

And our Christmas card holder is ready to go…


And my wall swag:

Christmas Decor

And my wreath that I made a few years ago with my sister and Mom:

Christmas Decor

And our cookie holder and Christmas countdown snowman:

Cookies & Counting

And that’s it! I’ve got my eye on these pieces from Anthropologie to complete a few areas:

Christmas Extras

And then it’s on to wrapping presents! Happy decorating!

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J’s closet refresh

Closet BeforeAfter one day of J’s bat cave falling out of the closet as he was trying to open it and then getting stuck in the door, I realized his closet had gotten out of control. This picture is actually after we removed an additional play tool bench from the closet as well. As sad as we were to admit it J had quite a few toys in his room that he had outgrown. In addition space in J’s room is at a premium as his room is quite a bit smaller than A’s. Thankfully, my sister and her family were headed to IKEA….

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Fall Decor

Fall DecorMaybe if we discuss Fall it will come? Kind of like the whole Field of Dreams philosophy. I would have posted this last week, but Target didn’t have all of their Fall decorations out (I KNOW! It’s the first week of September? Hobby Lobby is already past Christmas and on to Valentine’s Day. Just kidding. Sort of.) and I was waiting on the two pumpkins you see above. So besides those, here are my fall decorations…

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Last day of school project

J 3 YR Pre KYesterday was J’s last day of 3 year pre-K! He has grown so much this year (and not just in height). He can count to forty, knows all of his letters, and can tell us lots of stories from The Bible! He LOVES school and much of that is because of his wonderful teacher this year. I’m so thankful for the program that J has been a part of and I can’t believe next year will be his last year of pre-K.

As it was his last day of school, I decided to forgo my usual lesson planning in the morning and tackle a project I’ve been planning that would be more difficult to accomplish with him at home! We have two bar stools in our kitchen:

Bar Stool RefreshObviously this is not our kitchen. And obviously I need to pressure wash our drive way. However, that’s besides the point. My parents gave these stools to us when they moved and they are great function wise, but the color doesn’t match our kitchen. At first I decided to just buy new bar stools, so I headed to Target and picked up two. A showed me how immediately he could easily tip them over just trying to get on the stool. Thus, we returned them immediately. I then started looking elsewhere, but really didn’t want to spend $300-500 dollars on a bar stool.

While at Hobby Lobby I picked up this paint:

PaintI had read about it here and decided to give it a try. The 8 oz jar was more than enough to paint both bar stools (with two coats). You only need to lightly sand (if it’s finished) the furniture and you don’t need a sealant.

I collected a few more tools that I already had on hand:

PaintI did the first coat:

Bar StoolsThe main issue I had was there are a lot of nooks and crannies with the stools, so I had to use the brush to get in different corners and then smooth it out with the small roller. I used really light coats. You want to avoid glopping it on because then it will bubble up (something I’ve learned from past projects). I let the chairs dry for about thirty minutes and then lightly sanded them and did a second coat.

After the second coat, I looked at the chairs in the sunlight and noticed a few more spots that were not completely covered:

Bar Stool RefreshSo, I touched up those and then let the stools dry in the garage for about two hours:

Bar Stool RefreshAnd voila! Chairs that look as good as new.


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Boys’ bathroom update

If you recall about three years ago, I re-did the boys’ bathroom. Boys' Bathroom: CupcakesandcommentaryAfter three years, I decided they needed some updates, since both are a little past jungle animals. I also wanted to bathroom to be a little more updated, since their bathroom is also our guest bathroom.

I took a trip to Target, and picked up a few new canvases, wall hooks, shower curtain, and a few other essentials and then J and I spent about thirty minutes putting it all together. This was the result:

Bathroom Update Bathroom Update IMG_0538 Bathroom Update Bathroom Update Bathroom UpdateSuper simple updates that make the bathroom a little more grown-up, but doesn’t lose the whimsy from before. While it’s not shown, I also put in a fresh toy holder that is less intrusive, and instead of a yuck bath mat, I put in permanent bath clear adhesive stickers.

Here’s a catch-all of the new stuff:

Bathroom UpdateYou can find it all at Target or Amazon!


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Online shopping on a sick day…

This poor baby took a turn for the worse with his cold at the beginning of the week:Sick JSo B and I had to take shifts staying home with him while he recuperated from his double ear infection and fever (and no I didn’t ask him to hold his ear in that picture…that’s his typical “Mom stop taking my picture” stare). J and I sat together and watched various Winnie the Pooh movies, while I lesson planned and answered e-mails. However mid-afternoon online shopping got the best of me and I did a little holiday decoration list making…

Holiday DecorationsIf you’re thinking…seriously? A Christmas dinosaur? I’m telling you right now…I already bought that. That’s right. He goes perfectly with a certain penguin that has graced our fireplace hearth since 2006. Hopefully he won’t eat the penguin. That would be tragic. Anyway, all the decorations come from Target, H&M, and Pier 1. So go do a little Christmas decoration brainstorming of your own. And then go shopping before it all sells out. It’s almost the middle of November, people! Times a-wasting! HA!

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Halloween Extravaganza

This past weekend myself and two of my friends hosted a Halloween extravaganza for A’s class and his BFF’s class. They did the bulk of the decorating and work, I was mainly in charge of cupcakes and games, so I felt like I had the much easier end of the hosting responsibilities! Here are all the great decorations and some of the fun!

A quick pic of the hostesses and A’s wonderful teacher:

Halloween extravaganzaB and I were Where’s Waldo and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego:

Halloween ExtravaganzaI originally borrowed a terrific red coat (because Carmen Sandiego is usually in red), but it was so hot, I had to go with my thinner black coat. Almost 80 in October!

So on to the decor:

Halloween Extravaganza Halloween Extravaganza Halloween Extravaganza Halloween Extravaganza Halloween ExtravaganzaAnd now some of the party game set-up…

Halloween ExtravaganzaHalloween Extravaganza Halloween ExtravaganzaWe did a pin the spider on the web, a candy corn guessing game, a ring toss, and a pumpkin run with spoons. I learned some things if we ever do another party (number the spiders, get smaller pumpkins for the spoons, and make sure the kids don’t pick all the same number for guessing the candy corn). The kids had a lot of fun, but the saving grace of the games was three tubes of glow bracelets that one of the hostesses brought. Genius!

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A little fall…a little Halloween…

Fall and Halloween DecorWe don’t do a lot of Halloween decorations, but of what we do have I require that they be friendly or goofy. I’m not interested in having a lot of ghoulish skeletons hanging about. We add just a few decorations each year and this year we added a silly monster, little spiders garland, and a spooky sign. A new orange throw and autumn wreath completed our fall decor. The monster was a hit with the boys…it is too hilarious not to have hanging about the fireplace!

**All of the items above are from Target…I’m not endorsed by Target, I just don’t have time to shop other places…hahaha!”

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