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What to Wear Wednesday: Santa Babies

There is something just so darn adorable about babies, especially babies that get all dressed up for the holidays.  My kids are far from this age but sometimes I wish I had a tiny baby to put these adorable outfits on… nope…. wait…. correction…. I would borrow a baby from a family member to dress in these cutie clothes, cause let’s face it, rarely are they sleeping in heavenly peace.  Here are holiday style options for baby boys and girls. Can  you just imagine how precious a baby boy in a sweater with elbow patches and a jeff cap would be?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Heather Grey Elbow Patch Sweater by Gymboree $15

Herringbone Newsboy Cap   $17

Plaid Shirt by Gymboree  $10

Koala Baby Black Corduroy Suspender Pants  $9

Cozy Snow Boots  $35

VWU Baby Thick Cuff Cotton Socks   $14

Fair Isle Print Blanket Sleeper   $10

Down Snowsuit   $60

And for the girls, this plaid dress and faux fur jacket is super stylish. I wish it was socially acceptable for a 39 year old woman to wear sparkly tights, ’cause I so would.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mia and Mimi Plaid Dress Black & Red   $20

Ballet Flats    $15

Elly & Emmy Sequin Bow Headwrap   $5

Cat and Jack Sparkle Tights  $5

Little Wonders Newborn Girls’ Christmas Sleeper Pajamas – Bears   $6

Faux Fur Bolero  $40

 

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Christmas Trees, Themed or Traditional?

I love the look of my eclectic Christmas tree with a mish-mash of ornaments that have either been handed down, gifted or collected from vacations and places we have lived.  Without getting super sentimental, it’s a reflection of our family and the experiences we have had together and I think it’s just perfect!  Does it all coordinate and match? Nope. Not a bit.  Does it look gorgeous enough to grace the pages of a magazine? Unfortunately no, and even as a person that loves beautiful coordinated things, I still think it’s just the perfect tree.  To me, it’s a traditional look because that’s what I grew up with.  Alternatively, when we spend our holiday at our vacation property in the Outer Banks our Christmas tree is a bit more coordinated and themed, naturally, with a beachy look.  The ornaments, store-bought, homemade and found are all in turquoises and sandy champagne colors.   I like both the unique and the coordinated Christmas trees.  Which kind of tree graces your home?  Here are some of the most gorgeous trees from traditional red and green to themed  to totally unique varieties.

Collected and Multicolored Trees

 

Traditional Red Themed

 

 

Silver and Gold

 

 

Coastal Theme

 

 

Blue Trees

 

 

Pink Trees

 

Totally Unique

 

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Highbrow, Low Budget: Holiday Edition

Keeping up with the latest holiday design trends can be expensive, especially if you like a fresh look every few years.  Here we show you two very similar options for upgrading your holiday decor, with some staple items like a good tree and wreath as well as a few decorative accents.  The highbrow version can be yours for the yowza price of $3,525 while the low budget version can deck your halls for just $942!  And the looks are strikingly similar and both on trend for this holiday.

Highbrow

The highbrow version features a Frontgate faux tree with lights, and truth be told they DO make a really nice faux tree, but in reality you could buy a REAL tree of the same size for 30 years before you reach the cost of this tree.   This wreath is gorgeous with apples and varied greenery and rusty jingle bells and adds to the traditional yet natural vibe of this collection.  The most ridiculous item on this list is the large 29″ nutcracker from Crate and Barrel.  It’s price was originally $1200 but if you like a sale and still want to throw away money at the same time you can have it for $940- yikes!  Faux fur, plaid, and velvet keep you totally on trend for this holiday in the pillow, stocking and tree skirt.  Finally, I think this candleholder may be real antlers, ew,  but it is quite a statement piece, and at $575 it had better be!

high-brow-holiday

 

Frontgate Fraser Artificial Pre-lit Christmas Tree 9ft  $1500

Charlestown Decorated Wreath    $200

Natural King Nutcracker   $960 (yikes…that’s the clearance price!)

Tartan Wool Pillow Cover with Fringe, Red  $100

Cuddle Up’ Faux Fur Christmas Stocking   $40

Quilted Velvet Tree Skirt, Chili Pepper $150

Antler Candle Centerpiece  $575

Low Budget

Certainly, there are a few high end tree brands, but in reality, once you get it decorated with all your ornaments, will it really look all that different from one that you spent a fraction of the price on?  This tree, from Home Depot, is also a very full, 9 ft Fraser Fir, still isn’t “cheap”, but looks realistic and is almost a third of the cost of the highbrow version.  This low budget wreath adorned with faux apples and pine cones  has a beautiful natural look.  The over 2 ft tall nutcracker is much more affordable than the highbrow version and looks just as great.  I think I may even pick up this plaid pillow with excellent frayed edge detail, it’ll be a great sofa accent all winter long.  The big shocker of this group is the antler candleholder, which is totally fake, (whew, I feel so much better about that), and is $553 cheaper than the dead deer version!  Truthfully, it IS smaller, but at that price you could buy three of them to create the same scale and still not even be close to the highbrow price.

 

low-budget-holiday

 

9 ft. Feel-Real Jersey Fraser Fir Artificial Christmas Tree with 1500 Clear Lights    $600

Winter Berry Scented Wreath  $90

Father Christmas Santa Claus 3′ Nutcracker   $144

Hamilton Plaid Pillow Cover  $36

Grey and White Faux Fur Stocking  $20

Quilted Velvet Christmas Tree Skirt in Burgundy  $30

Gold Antler Taper Candle Holder Centerpiece  $22

What will you do with all of these holiday savings?  Maybe make a donation or buy a gift for a child in need this season.  Happy Holidays!

 

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Window Wreath How-To

In keeping with my love of classic colonial design, I have for years admired the timeless look of putting a wreath hung by ribbon in each window.  I also am a fan of a candle in each window during the holidays and have been sporting this look for some time now.  This was the year I decided to make the investment in wreaths for each of my 8 front windows, and it was neither as difficult nor as expensive as I thought it would have been.  Here’s how it’s done.  First, a before shot of my house, boring!

windows-before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll need:

  • One evergreen or faux evergreen wreath for each window (most people only do the front of their home). I used 24” diameter wreaths for my windows.
  • Wired ribbon, I used 4 spools that were 10 yards each and at least 2.5” wide
  • Floral wire
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Stapler and staples

The first thing I did (and I bribed my kids to help which made it go SOOO much faster) was remove the screens from my windows and cleaned the glass.  This will allow you to hang the wreaths from the inside and will overall look very neat and clean.

Next, before you hang the wreaths you probably want to put a bow on them.  A bow can either be placed at the top or the bottom of the wreath.  I opted to put my bows at the top.  Making the bow is the most time consuming part of the whole process and I’ll be honest, it can take some practice to get them right.

Cut a length of wire about 5 inches long and place it nearby.  Take a length of ribbon of about 18 inches but don’t cut it off the spool, but pinch it at the 18” mark.  This will leave one of the 2 “tails” of the bow.  Take about 3 to 4 inches (depending on how large you want your bow to be and how big your ribbon is) make a loop and repinch it.

1st-loop-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s going to be a lot of pinching going on for the next few minutes – warning – your fingers will probably cramp up.  Turn the ribbon about a quarter turn and make and pinch another loop.

3rd-loop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat this process several times until you have 5 or 6 loops, just until it looks right.  Brilliantly descriptive, eh?  Take your pre-cut length of wire and wrap it around the area where you are pinching and twist it very tight so that the loops stay intact and are held together.

wire-box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pull the ribbon another 18” from the spool and cut it free from the spool.  Angle cut the end of each tail.  Ta-da! You made a bow.  Once you get the hang of this technique it is such a great skill to have in your repertoire for gift wrapping, floral arranging, it really comes in handy!

Next, it’s on to attaching the ribbon that will actually hang the wreath.  Pull several feet of ribbon from the spool (will depend on the size of your window and the size of the wreath).  I like to hang mine about halfway down the window so about 3.5 feet of ribbon was enough for me.  Again, leave this length of ribbon attached to the spool and wrap it around the “top” of the wreath leaving an overlap of about 4 to 6 inches in the back.  Staple the ribbon where it overlaps.

hanging-ribbon-staple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also like to add a few dots of hot glue between the 2 lengths of ribbon to really hold it.

hanging-ribbon-glue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next attach your premade bow.  You could hot glue it on, but over time, especially if you live in a warm climate, this could come free, so I prefer to wire mine on.

ribbon-attach-to-wreath3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a length of about 5 inches and wire the bow to the wreath.  Since I put my bow at the top of the wreath I wired mine around both the wreath and the top ribbon for extra security.

ribbon-attach-to-wreath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it’s time to hang your wreath!  You could measure out exactly how long you want to hang them but I used the grids on my window and just eyeballed it.  Open the top of your window and dangle the wreath out, holding onto the spool end of the ribbon.  Lower the wreath to the place you want it and close the top window.  Cut your ribbon from the spool with about 5 inches to spare.  Use this excess to tie a knot (depending on how substantial your ribbon is you may want to do this several times over so your wreath stays secure in the window).  If you have wood windows you could also thumbtack them to the frame, but the knot method works for vinyl or wood windows.

knot-in-ribbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut off any excess ribbon hanging inside the window.

close-knot-in-window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat for all of your windows, and once complete be sure to take a trip outside to make sure they all look even and if necessary just pop inside and reknot if a wreath needs to go up or down!

wreath-at-halfway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got both the wreaths and ribbon on sale and spent under $40 for the project.  Besides cleaning the windows it took me about 2 hours to complete and hang all 8 wreaths, though I did have this little helper.

wreaths-lil-helper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Window wreaths: Follow this simple tutorial to add classic holiday charm to your home exterior with window wreaths!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get to decking those halls!

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What to Wear Wednesday: Holiday Parties

It’s that time of the year….yup…the dreaded holiday party time!  Do most people like corporate or other mandatory-fun parties?  I’ve never been a huge fan, but I can imagine that these gatherings may appeal to some social butterfly types (ahem, I think my husband falls in that category).  Whether or not you enjoy these holiday get-togethers you can’t go naked (whoa, awkward) so I’ve compiled a few ensembles fitting for those dressier holiday shindigs.   Each outfit below has a different feel and the main component is available for rent at Rent The Runway so you don’t have to spend a fortune to look super chic!

blue-dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole Miller Blue Branches Jacquard Sheath  Rent $75, Retail $485

BMC Womens Alloy Metal Abstract Stone Cut Hardcase Fashion Clutch Chain Handbag  $27

T&J Emerald Greed Tassle Earrings $22

Click Your Heels Gold Pointed Pumps  $34

comfortable-holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sachin and Babi Rue Jumpsuit    $70 rental, $595 retail

Hoop Sterling Silver Earrings Made with Swarovski Elements $63

Red & Black Clutch   $190

Swarovski Black Crystal and Crystaldust Open Cuff Bracelet  $69

Steven Viienna  $89

party-animal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth and James  Freedom Sheath  $40 Rental, $495 Retail

Gold-Tone Pave Leopard Stud Earrings  $14

Kate Spade Cedar Street iphone Wristlet   $118

Lux Accessories Aztec Pave Textured Mesh Glitter Multi Bangle Glam Set   $10

Michael Kors Marta Pump  $166

And not to alienate any generation from looking fabulous here’s a great getup for the …ahem … more mature ladies.  Think you can’t do a leather skirt if you’re over 50?  Oh you SO can, especially one in a knee-length, A-line with perforated cut-outs.

mature-holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Crown Burgundy Venice Top $30 Rental, $170 Retail

TART Collections Black Faux Leather Skirt  $30 Rental, $148 Retail

Estelle Drop Earrings  $25

Wine Red Velvet Clutch  $31

Nanette Lepore Sabrina  $99

Save

Save

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Christmas Town, USA – Picturesque Places for Visiting and Decorating Inspiration

Welcome back from Thanksgiving! Did everyone rush home to get their holiday decorations up? I didn’t. Maybe over the course of this week it’ll happen. I like pulling holiday inspiration from all over when decking my halls for the holidays. So many different towns across the USA have their own iconic feel and decorate for the holidays in their own special way. Here are a few that make for a fun holiday vacation destination or lend us some picturesque decorating style inspiration.

 
1. Williamsburg, VA. If you’ve never been to Williamsburg, VA during the holidays, you should go. It can definitely get a little touristy, but classic colonial Christmas quaintness abounds. Copy-cat an iconic Williamsburg wreath, which is refined and yet inexpensive to make. Gather a pre-made evergreen wreath and wire on apples, pineapples, oranges, pheasant feathers or other natural elements.

christmas-williamsburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Asheville, NC. Asheville is a classy place year-round and during the holidays they up their game. The famous Biltmore Estate is decorated to the nines and lends a ton of opulent decorating ideas.

christmas-asheville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Nantucket, MA. The annual Nantucket Christmas Stroll is coming this weekend (you can bet it’s too late to find yourself a rental or hotel).  I’d prefer to miss the hub-bub of the stroll and opt for a quieter snowy winter weekend, but no doubt Nantucket does coastal Christmas perfectly.

christmas-nantucket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Charleston, SC. Think that sunshine, palm trees and Santa don’t mix?  Think again.  Mixing the charm of the old South with the nostalgia of the holidays results in whimsical and creative ideas for either coastal or traditional decorating.  To get the Charleston Christmas look, work in magnolia garlands, Spanish moss, and glittered seashells.

christmas-charleston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Santa Fe, NM. “Santa” is in the name for crying out loud, so you know they must do Christmas right!  You won’t find cheesy inflatable Santa’s but instead a combination of adobe, southwest architecture, simple luminarias, chili peppers on wreaths and maybe even a cactus with lights!

christmas-santa-fe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Leavenworth, WA. After living in Germany for a few years I’m a sucker for old-fashioned Bavarian towns and Christmas markets in the streets.  That same feeling is available right here in the U.S. of A.  With the Cascade Mountains in the background, Leavenworth is reminiscent of a perfect little Alpine town.

christmas-leavenworth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Cape May, NJ. Known for its Victorian architecture, Cape May offers an alternative Coastal Christmas.  As if Victorian wasn’t decorative enough these Jersey residents add more lights, more greenery and more bows to their charming gingerbread houses.

christmas-cape-may

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where will you visit for holiday decorating inspiration?

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Haunted Halloween Decor

Halloween is huge! It seems like all major retailers carry Halloween decor items for both indoor and outdoor.  And it’s more than just those wispy cotton spiderwebs that look great for a minute until it rains or the ‘ol standby DIY sheet ghosts.  Halloween decorations today are thoughtful, imaginative, chic, and wonderfully creepy.  Here are a few favorites that will spook up any home.

So, I’m not sure if this first one from Grandin Road is cute or creepy.  Cute because its dogs, but creepy because obviously it’s supposed to be dead dogs,  so there’s THAT… nevertheless it makes for a scene that would garner a lot of looks for your front lawn.

I’m a sucker for black and white, and while this porch scene by Jill at Create.Craft.Love is simple, it also has class.  Even those without a DIY “bone in their body” might create this sophisticated porch.

raven inspired halloween porch

This one would be fantastic all lit up at night, so start scouring sales at the hobby stores for all those funkins and battery operated tea lights.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/72/73/d0/7273d009971aa6ce09c68edb0f36e789.jpg

Martha Stewart is the queen of Halloween (I figured that was nicer than making some witchy remark), but seriously her empire is crazy imaginative when it comes to Halloween and in my opinion nobody does it better. This wreath is so simple and would be so easy to create, such a great idea, I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before.  Duh, it’s because I’m not Martha.

And the indoor version also by Martha, a great contradiction of spiders, flies and snakes with pure white roses.

For a party or special event the ripped cheesecloth  draped over the sofa and bats on the wall is spooky and fun.

The Best Room Ideas for Halloween halloween decoration ideas The Best Halloween Decoration Ideas Room Decor Ideas Room Ideas Room Decoration Halloween Halloween Decoration Ideas Homemade Halloween Decorations 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This foyer idea is genius and so cute.

Our Indoor Decor ~ Withering Heights Inn (New for 2015)-coatrack.jpg:

And a final smart and classy idea from Martha.  You could do a silhouette of just about anything spooky.

What are your great ideas fitting for for a disturbing Halloween decor?