Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas at Our House

I kept Christmas pretty low-key at our house this year. For some reason, I was fixated on the trouble it is to unstring the lights from a real tree, and I just couldn't get excited about doing so just days from my due date. When I spotted three-foot-tall Frasier Firs at Whole Foods, I was sold.

I've admired tabletop trees for a couple of years (last year, and the year before) so this was a great chance to try it in our house. I think it was quite adorable! And it only required one string of lights and two small boxes of ornaments.

I intended to make my own wreaths and garland again (see it from last year here), but after three trips to Lowe's and Home Depot and only a handful of free tree scraps, I broke down and bought 30 feet of White Pine garland for just $10 (at Home Depot), and then another 20 feet for $6 (at Lowe's).

I kind of missed the big, fluffy fir garland over the door, but this was cute too with the big, old-fashioned lights.

My glitter trees (the only decorations I own that aren't lights or ornaments!) went in the dining room with some tree scraps and my pewter bowl full of pinecones.

Christmas over all was pretty low-key actually, but it was also the best one in recent memory. There is just so much to be thankful for and to look forward to that fussy decorations and spending a fortune on gifts seemed silly. Not to mention we actually had a white Christmas! In Alabama! Unbelievable!

And now, we wait ...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alternative Christmas Greenery

Christmas trees are great, but I think I love a pretty wreath or a long string of garland just as much. And the fresher, the better! I usually stick with traditional firs and pines, but how pretty are these seeded eucalyptus wreaths and garlands from MyHomeIdeas?

Locally, my wholesale florist usually has seeded eucalyptus (you should probably call ahead for this much). As a bonus, it looks great as it dries and smells fantastic. You can find directions for the garland here.

And directions for the wreath, here.

Photos by Jean Allsopp.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Busy, Busy Bees

To say that the past few weeks have flown by would be an understatement. It has been a non-stop parade of meals, parties, traveling adventures and house projects. Here is a sample of what we have been up to.

We celebrated one Thanksgiving at the lake, and then one on the farm. I definitely take up more space in the kayak 8 months pregnant!

Don't worry, had I fallen in, this girl would have pulled me to safety.

We took at little road trip to Western North Carolina. We saw the Biltmore all decked out for Christmas (I counted 32 trees!) and ate in as many restaurants in Asheville as we could.

Once home, we continued wrapping up little projects all over the house, like in our bedroom, which has finally come together.

And of course, there has been much to do as we count down to Baby Bonds' arrival (give or take five weeks!). We've painted furniture.

And hung light fixtures.

And sorted tiny and precious baby things (and perhaps done a little daydreaming about who will be wearing them soon). Today I'm determined to finish decorating for Christmas - more on that to come!

PS. We also watched Auburn beat Alabama and rout South Carolina to earn a trip to the BCS National Championship Game. WAR EAGLE!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lakeside Thanksgiving Table

Wes's family is getting together this weekend at my family's lake cabin to celebrate Thanksgiving. Which makes me kind of the hostess? Everyone's pitching in on the food, and though it will be very low-key, I'd still like to make it special. (Photo via Southern Exposure)

I haven't quite worked out the table yet, but it will be very rustic and simple. I'm taking my fairytale pumpkin, a couple of baby boos, and am going to gather pine cones, leaves, and acorns when we get there.

I originally hoped to carve the pumpkin and use it as a vase as Eddie did at an event in Philadelphia (photos via High Street Market), but that just isn't happening.

To add to the natural elements, I've got burlap, copper, pewter and linen. Now here's to hoping that the dishwasher will be working and we won't have to ruin the whole thing with paper plates!

And by the way, this holiday hostess business is no joke. Remind me to thank my aunts and grandmothers next time I see them ...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall Color Inspiration

Fall color in our neck of the woods has been a bit lacking, probably thanks to our end-of-summer drought. But I still love the muted grays, greens, and browns of the leaf litter constantly falling onto our deck (and everywhere else in our yard).

There are plenty of ways to use the colors when decorating for fall, which is great for our house, where an orange pumpkin stands out like a sore thumb.

Photos: top three are mine, Colin Cooke, bottom three from Saipua.

The Plan for Baby's Room

When we found out Baby Bonds was on his or her way in May I thought that surely by November the nursery would be nearly complete. Ahahahahahahaha. We are, unfortunately, not even close with t-minus ten weeks to go, give or take (take being more likely as Wes and I were born 5 and 3 weeks early, respectively). I could offer a host of excuses, but why bother? The good news is that we're getting there (that halleluiah chorus you hear is our mothers).

Here's the plan (by the way, we won't know the baby's gender until D-Day):

The walls will stay the same color (see it here), Blue Shamrock by Olympic. A vintage chest and new Jenny Lind crib (which should arrive by this weekend!) will get a fresh coat of Pumpkin Seed by Martha Stewart for Home Depot. The chest's old hardware will get a good scrub. The white Ikea curtains will be trimmed with green ball fringe from JoAnn's and will be hung from the brass-look rod above (from Home Depot). The pink chair will be covered in flax linen from Lewis & Sheron. The crib bedding is simple, with white linen bumpers from Pom Pom at Home and a flax linen skirt (made my yours truly following this method). The green and white striped fabric is from my stash, and might become a pillow or perhaps a cover for the changing pad that will sit on the chest. The light fixture is similar to this one, and I bought it for $7 at a prop sale two years ago. I have some ideas for "art" that I need to price, and we still need a rug, at least a lamp or two, and a small side table to go with the chair (though the garden stool I already have will do just fine).

So, it's kind of a hodge-podge, but I like it, and let's be honest, the baby will not care! And don't worry, if she's a she, I'm sure I'll find a way to add some pink here or there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Inspiring Ranch Re-do

I think the nesting urges are starting to kick in because I've been cleaning out even the most random corners of the house. Last week I went through my old magazines. I only managed to get rid of four or five and a couple of duplicates, but they are now all organized nicely. In the process, I re-fell in love with a few old favorites, including this Atlanta house published in Cottage Living.

His-and-hers desks in the living room are hidden behind louvered doors on tracks. And I'm kind of obsessed with the buffalo-checked slipcovers on the chairs.

The front entrance, before.

The much more charming entrance, after.

Photos by Megan Thompson.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween Weekend!

We aren't doing much in the way of Halloweening this year. But I did fill one bowl in my house with Baby Boo pumpkins and another with $10 worth of candy for the neighborhood kiddos (minus a few mini bags of Skittles that I had to, you know, sample for safety). Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fallish Feeling and Other Thoughts

I have not meant to be so absent lately, but I suppose I haven't had much to say.

We are moving along on our little kitchen floor project, and I have sat down to share about it a couple of times, but just can't bring myself do that yet.

The house is in complete shambles around it, and really, no one wants to see that! I'm getting a little weary of it myself. But trying to be patient because I know it will be worth the effort when it is finished!

The chaos should be wrapping up (for the most part) by next weekend, so in the meantime, let's just enjoy the quiet serenity of these photos.

And hopefully soon I can make some progress on another little project we have going. Ahem, the nursery.

Once I can walk in there again, that is ...

Happy Weekend!

Photos: via Design*Sponge, via Desire to Inspire, via Mary Ruffle, Eddie Ross, Revival via Kayce Hughes, and Tim Clarke.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 1203's pretty

Fall has been coming and going around here, and for this weekend, it's here. We are in the middle of some projects around the house that desperately need attention, but here's to hoping we can get out and enjoy it at least a little bit!

Happy Weekend!

Photo: Peggy Wong via Ruby Press.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dressing the Dresser

My dresser in our bedroom is tall, and has always kind of perplexed me. Right now, the small television set I had in college is sitting on it and since we never really use it, Wes is getting his wish and the TV is getting the boot. Now that some space is free, I'm thinking about what else I can do with the top (right now I have a tray that holds my jewelry and an alabaster urn). These three in particular are inspiring me.

This one is especially appropriate since Wes bought this crewel bedspread (for my birthday in February) from Kelly's fabulous shop!

Photos: Jordan Ferney, Lonny, High Street Market.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Painting the Kitchen Floor

Making Room for Baby has turned into Starting a Million Projects. Well, really it's starting a couple of projects, which have led to other projects. Case in point: High on Wes's list of priorities has been moving our washer and dryer from the middle of the kitchen into a closet in the breakfast room.

But to accomodate them, the closet had to get bigger. So the entire wall had to come out. I am getting a pantry out of the deal (HOORAY!) but now we have to deal with the floors in both rooms. The peel-and-stick linoleum tiles have been doing more peeling than sticking lately so I was not sad to see them go. I was a little sad though, to see more linoleum and then lovely vinyl tile underneath.

Since we aren't yet ready for a full-on remodel, we've decided to paint the subfloor. Now, do I want a big checkerboard, stripes, or solid?

Photos: Cottage Living.