Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

(photo: endless)

I can't believe how quickly 2010 flew by.  Wishing you all a wonderful 2011!  Cheers!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cheerful Spaces.

Maybe it's because I am still thawing out from my quick trip to cold Kentucky, but I am really liking the bright and cheerful colors in these rooms.

(all photos: decorpad)

And speaking of inspiring spaces, Megan from Honey We're Home posted an amazing collection of her favorite bloggers' rooms.  Check it out here.  Like her, I love looking at "real" people's rooms and the spaces she compiled are truly inspiring.  (And I am flattered that our master bedroom made her list!  Thanks, Megan!)   

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dylan Brown Foundation.

Good friends of ours, James and Lauren, recently started the Dylan Brown Foundation to raise money to support research for children with brain injuries

Two years ago, they welcomed sweet Dylan into the world.  Dylan was perfectly healthy and such a happy baby.


In October 2009 (when he was 10 months old), Dylan caught a common virus, but for unknown reasons, it attacked his brain stem. Since then, Dylan has been on life support.  He is not able to blink, show facial expressions, speak, or eat without a feeding tube.  I can't even begin to imagine what James and Lauren have gone through over the past year. 

Through the foundation, they are hoping to support research and clinical trials to help children with brain injuries. Their hope is to increase awareness for acquired neurological injuries in children and draw attention to the lack of known methods for repairing damaged areas of the brain.

Check out their website to learn more.  And if you're thinking about making some year-end charitable contributions, consider donating to help support such a wonderful cause.  Please keep Dylan, Lauren and James in your thoughts and prayers.  And keep hoping . . .

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Recap.

What a great Christmas weekend!  We had an amazing time with our friends and family.  But I have to say, I am worn out.  On Friday, we did our Christmas Eve festivities at my mom's house.

Then on Saturday we hosted Christmas dinner at our house.  Justin made a delicious prime rib.  I was so worried about getting pictures of the table before people sat down, I forgot to turn on the lamps, set out the place cards, and put out the knives before snapping the first couple!

The tablecloth is from Target (and fits in perfectly with my silver holiday-decor theme).  I just bought 3 single stem white hydrangeas and some mini-red carnations and made simple arrangements in vintage-looking glasses from Anthropologie.

Justin purchased gorgeous paper from Paper Source to wrap my presents (isn't he the best?), and I used the extra to make simple place cards.  Looking at these now, I should have used a thicker sharpie, but the names were darker in person!     

On Sunday evening, we had some friends over for our annual Christmas party.  I was regretting that decision during my 10:00 a.m. meeting this morning!  But we had a blast.  I'll post the recipes from the party later.  I am headed to Kentucky tomorrow, so I am off to pack (the high there is only going to be 31 - yikes!).

How was your holiday weekend?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

I will leave you with a few inspiring "Christmas-y" spaces:

(photos: Ideal Home)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Decorations.

I typically keep things simple when it comes to decorating for Christmas and this year was no different.  I am a big fan of silver and haven't grown tired of it after several years, which is surprising, given my ever changing taste!

We normally have a smaller tree set up in our entry way, but sadly, it didn't make it up this year.  I wish this area was a little more festive, but oh well.  My mom was so sweet and left that cute framed print for me!  I had seen it on Courtney's blog, A Thoughtful Place, and loved it, but we don't have a color printer (and I am a little too far away from the one at work to feel comfortable printing and trying to dart over there to pick things up before nosey folks walk by and check things out).  I didn't even tell my mom about the print -- she just saw it and thought I would like it.  Well, she was right! 

Now to the second floor.  In our breakfast room, I simply hung felt snowflakes from the chandelier.  The centerpiece on the breakfast room table is just a mercury glass footed bowl with red ornaments in it.

I also jazzed up our bar cabinet area with these fun swizzle (love that word!) sticks.  

The tray in the breakfast room area was adorned with yarn-wrapped trees.  They were so easy to make! 

Next stop . . . the dining room.  Keeping things simple, I just filled some vases with silver ornaments and put out my sweet twig reindeer. 

And because I don't have a color printer, I just printed out the text in the frame below in a very light gray and colored it in with a green fine-tip marker and added a pretty poinsettia sticker that I found while wandering around Michael's

On to the dining room table . . .

Those birds have Christmas carol song sheets decoupaged on them (along with some glitter) and are so cute! 

I bought some thick ric rac this year to display our Christmas cards on the closet door that's between our living room and dining room.  I should have ordered more because they are filling up fast!  I may have to do some rearranging and do more overlapping to make room for the new cards we're receiving.  To attach the cards to the ric rac, I just used paperclips; but you could use decorated clothespins like Megan at Honey We're Home.


And last, but not least, our living room. 

(I should have fixed that pillow on the chair, but hopefully you will be distracted by Riley under the stockings -- he's waiting patiently for Santa.)

Last year we bought the "JOY" stocking holders from Pottery Barn.  Little did we know at that time that we would be adding another member to our family.  With my OCD, the letters being off-centered bothers me, but at least the stockings are centered (and laying nicely).  Overall, I think it looks good, and Zoey is just thankful to have her own stocking (and I'm thankful that PB kids still had a coordinating one!).

And no Christmas decor would be complete without the tree!  It's been up and decorated since the day after Christmas.  It's so sad that we have hardly any presents under the tree (thanks, year-end billable hours).  But the upside is that all of the ones that are under there now are mine that my sweet husband has wrapped.  Don't worry, we are done with shopping . . . I just need to get busy wrapping the presents!  

In addition to the smaller tree in the entry way, we also didn't put up outside lights or our stair garland, which is usually the first thing that goes up.  We had our balcony (where the lights go) fixed and they were working on it up until recently, so we couldn't put the lights out.  And I wasn't going to be that house that puts up lights just a couple days before Christmas!  I'm super bummed about the lights, but at least the balcony is fixed!  (Next year, I will not allow Justin to call contractors so close to Christmas!)  

However, we do have some lighted trees at our front door.

Along with a wreath (and no, I'm not that short, our door is just pretty tall when you're not standing on the step!). 

I hope your shopping, wrapping, baking, and other Christmas preparations are going smoothly.  And I certainly hope that where you live is cooler than the balmy 80 degree temps we had here in Houston today!   

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Traditions.

If all goes as planned (keeping fingers crossed), I will have pictures up tomorrow of the Christmas decorations around our house.  I know, they've been way overdue.  In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to talk about Christmas traditions. 

We always go to Christmas Eve service.  One of my favorite parts is the Christmas music.  I like all Christmas music, but there is just something wonderful about the Christmas carols/hymns sung in church.  After we get home, we eat heavy hors d'oeuvres, drink champagne, and open presents.  Yep, we open all of our presents on Christmas Eve. 

My family has always had the tradition were only one person opens a present at a time.  And it really is one of those things I don't foresee changing.  It takes a lot longer, but I love the anticipation and watching the excitement on people's faces when they open their gifts, and feel like you miss some of that when you're busy opening your presents all at the same time.  My side of the family also does "race-gifts."  It's where two or more people get the same gift, wrapped the same way, and you have a contest to see who can open it up first.  It usually ends up being a full-contact sport to see who can rip it open the fastest, while trying to prevent the others from opening theirs!

Thankfully, Justin's family and my family spend both Christmas Eve and Christmas day together.  It is so nice having both families under one roof and not having the hassle of driving from one side of town to the other.  And they have graciously adopted some of our "crazy" Christmas shenanigans.  (It was hard the first year to convince my brother-in-law (and maybe Justin too) that we like to open presents one at a time.  But they have come around.  Or at least are doing a good job pretending!) 

When I was younger and living at home, Santa would come Christmas morning and fill my stocking and leave more gifts, which were never wrapped.  It was always fun walking into the living room after coming down the stairs and being able to tell right away what Santa had left.  Now, my in-laws bring over our Christmas stockings on Christmas day for us to enjoy.  Even when Justin and I were dating, they were sweet enough to always have a stocking for me. 

Now that I am "grown up" (I am using that term loosely), I like not having to worry about opening presents (especially since it takes us hours!) and cleaning up the wrapping paper mess on Christmas morning.  Instead, I can have a more leisurely morning and focus on getting Christmas dinner ready since we typically host everyone at our house.  But I am sure once we have kids, Santa will visit our home Christmas morning!  

Do you have any holiday traditions that are different?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sarah 101.

The other day I saw that Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe are launching a new series in January in Canada called Sarah 101.  (Side note: how awesome is Tommy and how fabulous are his sister's jackets?)  I am keeping my fingers crossed that HGTV in the US picks it up (and stat).

(photo: Sarah's House Facebook page)  (yep, that's right, I look at her facebook page).

The blurb above describes the series as design classes, "Sarah's style."  Sounds perfect!  Here is some more info about the show.  I may have to move to Canada just so she can redo my house.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Overstock Coupon Code.

Someone from recently contacted me about a couple of coupon codes (say that 10 times fast) that I could share with my readers. Overstock really does carry just about anything, so hopefully it will come in handy as you finish up -- or start, as the case may be -- your Christmas shopping.

I really like several of their chairs.  For example, this one:

and this one:

Check out more of their armchairs here.

And Megan, from Honey We're Home, recently spruced up her home office with a beautiful chandelier that she found at Overstock.   

I've always liked this light fixture also:

Go here to see more of Overstock's lighting.


The first coupon code is 121728 and is good for 10% off all Overstock products.

The other coupon code is 202234 and will get you free shipping on electronics.

If you find anything, let me know!

And for the legal disclaimer . . . per FTC guidelines:  All the ideas and opinions expressed are my own. No monetary compensation was received for doing this post, however, I was provided with a discount code.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Small Changes.

In the midst of all the fun Christmas decorating, I've updated a few things around the house.

First up, remember my vintage finds from our San Diego trip?  I finally remembered to take a picture of the coral print we picked up in Ocean Beach in its new home!   Here it is before:

And here it is after in our powder room:

Next, I changed up my dishwashing soap bottle.  (I know, I live a crazy life!)  I purchased one from ebay (that blogged about here) a while back.  I really liked it, but overtime the little dispenser got clogged and it wasn't fitting as securely in the bottle anymore.   So I went from this


to this:

I found the new dispenser in the bath section at Target and knew it would be a good replacement.  It's not quite as charming, but it makes up for it in function.  And the old bottle will be relocated to the rest of my vintage bottle collection (where all it has to do is look pretty).

And last, we updated the rug in the kitchen sitting room area.  It's the Jute Boucle Rug from West Elm. 

The rug is nice and soft, and I love the color of it (not to yellow; not too brown).  Zoey loved the feel of the rug too.