Monday, November 29, 2010

They've come to play~

Well, it's official...the Elves have arrived!  And, with them comes mischief and whimsy and tons of fun!!

Yes, it's a three ring circus on the kitchen chandelier!

Counting down the days, keeping watch on the bar, and guarding the cabinet (what's in there anyhow?)

Keeping a watchful eye on the "list"?  Looks more like naptime to me!

As you can see, these little guys add quite a bit of holiday charm (and trouble) to our kitchen.  Funny thing happened last niece, then 8 came for Christmas day and wanted to know why the elves got to stay at Aunt Lauren's house.  You see, her elf has to go back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve!  I told her, "Emma, as you can see...Aunt Lauren's Elves aren't the behaving kind!"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Outdoor Christmas Decor and Front Staircase~

It has been non-stop Christmas decorating around here!  I am happy to say that the front staircase and the outdoor decorations are done!!  Of course, every other weekend it has been an unseasonably warm 70 degrees...well, not today!  It was cold and windy!!  Happens every year.  I really think someone with a really bad sense of humor throws a switch the Friday night after Thanksgiving because they know all us Southerners will be out in force decorating our homes for the impending holiday season!  By the time we were done, I couldn't feel my fingers and toes!!

The staircase first.  We are really going for a more natural feel/look this year.  I am over the plastic and faux!  Although, I did use faux greens as real just doesn't last long enough.

Large pinecones along with burlap ribbon bows set the stage for this year!  I ordered a box of these big babies a couple years ago from Washington state.  I love them!  Hubby says he wants to see the trees they came from because they have to be pretty impressive.  These babies are HUGE! (about a foot long each)
The burlap ribbon came from Pottery Barn.  I made the bows myself.  I fringed the ends of each, very easy to do...just pull a few horizontal strands out.

You can see that we swag our garland.  The garland is lit with white lights as well.  It is soooo pretty at night.  You can catch a glimpse of one of our photo walls upstairs in this picture.  It is a series we had done when our oldest  was a senior.  The cheerleader versus the volleyball player!!  For one picture we actually had the girls "switch" uniforms!  We also have the injury series...this was the year our oldest blew out her foot tumbling and our youngest had shoulder surgery.  The photographer captured our year of injuries in a really funny way!

There are two of on each french door leading into our study.

Front door with lighted garland and wreath.  Our daughters were both competitive figure skaters at one point. The skates were our oldest daughter's first pair.

Each window on our house is adorned with a wreath like this one.

View of the front porch.  The porch is adorned with lighted garland around the doorway, a wreath, wreaths on the windows, lighted topiaries, lanterns, as well as lighted snowflakes.

Overall view of the front.

I am still working on the interior decor.  The vintage tree is up in the living room, the staircase done, and  the elves have officially made their debut (pictures to come).  During the course of next week, the dining room table will be set, the family room decor put in place and the "big" tree chosen and decorated. 

Did I mention, shopping, baking, shopping some more...  I am hosting my bunco group on the 21st, so I am really ready to get things done this year so I can sit back and enjoy the festivities!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Youngest's New Room (finally)~

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  Praying everyone has a day filled with blessings, family, yummy food and special memories.

I finally managed to snap a few pictures of our youngest daughter's new room the other day.  It was a bit overcast the day we took them, so I apologize for the not so great lighting ahead of time!

We still need to add a few finishing touches, such as art and a rug for the winter months (she has allergies, like me, so we don't typically use rugs/drapes in our house...shutters are on mom's wish list!).

Looking toward her entry, all of her furniture is painted semi-gloss black.  The long dresser and desk in her room were originally white and in her "little" girl room, the tall chest was a flea market find at $100 and with a little elbow grease and a coat of the black paint turned out to be one of our favorite pieces in her room.

Close up of her bedding, color scheme is white, black, silver, and a sagey blue (is that really a color?).

Close-ups of flea market dresser.  Globe lamp is from Ikea (it is so pretty when lit at night).

Her long dresser refinished.  The lamp is from Target, and the frame from Ikea.

Close up of the Ikea frame.  We found a great shiny silver paper at Hobby Lobby, kinda has a mirror effect.  We added her monogram.  The letters are cut out of card stock.  I found a font I liked, printed it out on plain paper, traced around them, then cut out on the colored paper to match her room.  The wall color is North Star by Sherwin Williams.  It is a really pretty gray, with a touch of blue.

 We added a bookcase from Ikea to store her yearbooks, Bibles, Magazines, Books and such.  The pictures on the wall are from her high school volleyball seasons.  Team and Individual pictures from each season (3 years of Varsity), her Varsity Letter Certificates, and her Scholar Athlete Certificates.  This is also where she displays the many mini-balls she has collected at various tournmaments she has played in.  As you can see, volleyball is a HUGE part of her life!

This originally was a solid wall when we first bought the house, as was the space where you see both closets.  We added the closets ourselves, and the cubby you see originally housed a big screen tv on a stand when it was the girls' playroom.  When her older sister moved in the room, we added the front with a hinged top, turning the cubby into a reading nook with much needed storage underneath.  We added the beadboard front when she moved into the room (it was plain before).  Both girls have enjoyed the spot!  And, when she has extra friends spend the night...they fight over who gets to sleep there!!

A closer look at the reading nook!  And the bear...both girls each received an FAO Schwartz bear for their 5th birthday from their dad.  The tales of how each got home riding in the front seat of dad's car are quite funny (picture a grown man riding around town with a HUGE bear in the passenger seat!)

The study area.  Her desk was repurposed from her little girl room.  We added a sisal rug from Ikea to protect her floors from her FAVORITE rolly chair from PB Kids (it is in serious need of a paint job, but I've yet to pry her butt out of it long enough to get it done).  Yes, she is a very good student!!  The expedite bookcase is a new addition.  She loves it!  We added some Itso storage bins along with some boxes and magazine holders from Ikea to house her markers, colored pencils and such.  This is where she keeps everything she needs to study and do her homework with.  The bulletin boards above her desk are magnetic and from Ikea as well.

Expedite up close.

View of the infamous Chalkboard Wall!  We added the magnetic strips at the top after the magnetic paint didn't work.  She keeps her notes, cards and such from friends up there.  She loves being able to write things on the wall (they often include scriptures, homework reminders, practice schedules and holiday greetings).  The little stool was a find at Home Goods for $29.  It functions as many things, step stool, side table and foot rest!

When not doing homework or playing volleyball, this is usually where you will find her.  Her fav chair from Ikea.  It moves around the room quite a bit, but can usually be found parked in front of her bed so she can watch tv (flat screen mounted above her reading nook). The hardwood floors...yes, we installed them ourselves (the entire upstairs).  They are Bruce prefinished 3/4" hardwood in Gunstock. 

Well, that wraps up the tour of her new room!  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Jump Start~

Although we are hosting Thanksgiving...I was REALLY in the mood to start decorating tonight.  So, the vintage tree went up along with the village in the library.  It's just a start, but it really helped set  the mood for the rest of the week.  Here's a sneak peak...

This tree is very special to my sweet hubby, as it is decorated with vintage ornaments that have been passed down through his family.
I am really looking forward to decorating the rest of the house, but it will wait until Friday as I will be cooking tomorrow in preparation for Thursday!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Guess Who's Coming...

So, hubby and I were out doing a little shopping at our local outdoor mall (a mile from our home).  The center has tons of great shops and the atmosphere is fantastic.  They go all out with the landscaping, especially this time of year!  We had just been in Belk, shopping for mil's traditional Alfred Dunner sweater gift for Christmas...we walk out, and hubby goes asks "what's Home Goods?"

Yes, HOME GOODS is coming to a neighborhood near us!!  2 miles from my home to be exact!!!  I am soooo excited.  We have several near the malls (20-30 minutes away), but this one I could walk to!!!!!!  Hubby, upon my excitement, senses his bank account is now in serious trouble.  I simply stated, "well, it might keep me out of Pottery Barn more."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Last of Fall and a Sneak Peek~

First, I apologize for lack of posts.  We've had a couple of busy/rough weeks here at our house.  Our youngest had been sick (migraines and sinus/flu), now dad has it, and I am praying I don't get it as I am now in charge of uniforms for 120+ volleyball players at the club.  We also managed to get her room almost complete (we are still working on art/rug?) so I  will show you that soon.  We also redid our Master Closet.  We weeded out and added some great storage from Ikea.  I promise to post pictures of that as well.  But, in the meantime here's a couple fall/Thanksgiving pics and a sneak peek at Christmas (these are from last year).

The last of the fall leaves~

Our Thanksgiving Chalkboard (Hubby says the turkey looks more like the NBC Peacock!)  I never claimed to be an artist!

And, a sneak peek.  Some of the touches in our dining room last year.

Dining Room Chandelier Adorned

Glass Hurricane Filled with Ornaments and Pinecones (the pinecones were dipped in white paint to get the snow covered effect)

Dining Room Tablescape

I am super excited to start decorating the end of next week.  We will be changing some things up this year, as I am going for a  more "natural" look.  Think vines, pinecones, cinnamon sticks, burlap ribbon...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

23 Days Until the Invasion!

And, I can't hardly stand it!!!  Word has it they are already plotting down in their little underground world (ie.  our basement).  We do Christmas in a BIG way around here.
So, are you getting excited? or dreading the chaos?  I hope to post some pictures from last year for a little inspiration in the coming weeks.  Christmas decor comes out on Black Friday at our house, the crowded stores I CANNOT deal with!

Steal of the Day~

First, let me thank everyone for their get well wishes.  Our daughter is feeling much better and went back to school today.  Having been couped up in the house for most of the last week keeping a watch on her, I was itching to get out today despite the rainy weather we are having.  So, a trip to Home Goods was in order!

I actually went hoping to find a lamp to put on top of her new expedite bookcase from IKEA, but found this steal instead...

Yesiree...only $14.99!!!
It was perfect for her given what she's currently going through with the migraine headaches, and it was the perfect compliment to her new bedding and room (as you can see a sneak peek behind the pillow).  I hope to have the big reveal soon!

Hope everyone is having a great day!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Weekend 2010~

The weather couldn't have been more perfect for Halloween Celebrations.  We had a very busy weekend!  Here's a look at what we did...
Hubby and I took a trip here-
and here-

Purchased a few pieces for the girls new rooms at IKEA, including an expedite those!  And, then we purchased the remaining pieces to complete our new all white dinnerware set at the Pottery Barn Outlet.  Love that store!!  I was amazed that they had the same Christmas items we saw at the store at our local mall discounted already.  Picked up a couple really pretty topiaries for our Christmas mantle.  Yes, I am already thinking Christmas!

After returning home we made homemade pizza on the grill!  We are having a blast choosing different toppings to create something new each time.  This time it was tomato sauce, mozzarella, sweet onion, a few sweet peppers, a few hot peppers, pepperoni, genoa salami all on a thin crust...YUM!  Some of our past have included a Hawaiin Chicken and a Taco pizza.

Sunday found us at church in the morning.  Home to tackle laundry, then our youngest helped with Fun Day back at the church in the afternoon.  Hence why our poor pumpkin only got the polka dot treatment this year.  It didn't get carved until 6pm!!  We didn't have as many trick or treators this year as in years past.  I guess it being a school night and all thinned the crowds.  I am glad I didn't over buy on the candy!

Of course, all of our fun came to an end when we headed to the E.R. this morning around 3am!  Poor kid had the worst migraine headache.  She is doing much better now. Fortunately, she'll get an extra day to rest since they have no school tomorrow due to the elections.