December 20, 2011
Oh my, I think I’ve eaten enough cheese, wine and sweet treats in the past few days to last me all year! Was your weekend as busy as ours? I love this time of year and all of the socializing involved but can’t help but wish for a few more lazy pajama days in the days leading up to Christmas. I’m just thankful that the kids get two weeks off…there will definitely be some quiet mornings around here next week! We had a great time with Rachel’s family on Saturday night (although we ended up staying up just a wee bit late) and we’re treasuring our visits with them even more these days so it was definitely worth the sleepy eyes the next morning. And I’m so in love with the adorable raccoon candle holder that Rachel gifted me from Anthropologie…he’s too cute for words!
On Sunday night, we had our 4th annual progressive dinner with our great friends the Carson’s and the Ferrario’s and our combined 8 kids. It’s become a tradition that we all look forward to and it’s so great to watch our kids all grow up together! It’s also a great way to see each of our homes decorated for the holidays and I thought I’d share a few photos of our night…
We started here at our house for appetizers and a craft for the kids. This year, I decided to finally attempt Martha Stewart’s snow globes in a jar and they turned out great! I bought jars in various sizes at a local thrift store (for 5 cents apiece!) and stocked up on miniature figurines, fake snow and glitter, all of which just happen to be 50% off at this time of year. The day before our guests arrived, I spray painted each of the jar lids gold and used a rubber silicone sealant to attach figurines and trees to each lid, allowing the glue to cure overnight. After the adults had munched away on the Cheddar + Onion Galette, cheese plate and arugula beet salad that I’d made, it was time to get the snow globe party started. Each child picked a jar and added scoops of fake snow, diamond dust and glitter to their jar. We added a drop of glycerin and filled them up with distilled water, gave them a good shake and…voila!
Next stop, was dinner for the kids at Rick + Jody Carson’s house where the kiddos got to make their own mini pizzas…it’s always fun to get them involved with cooking! Jody is known for her spectacular table settings and her nutcracker table was simply amazing and perfectly festive. They’ve just finished some painting and renos of their own and I love the contrast of the smoky grey walls with the vintage white table and shield-back chairs, which you can see a tiny glimpse of below…
And our 3rd and final stop of the night was at Randy and Aprille Ferrario’s beautiful home. This year Aprille chose glamorous black and silver for the table setting and I love how moody and sparkly the grown-up table looked. The kids got to make their own ice cream sundaes and opened a third round of presents before snuggling in for some movies. Randy made the most delicious meal, starting with chestnut soup drizzled in truffle oil (made from scratch!) and a main course of chicken cordon bleu (also from scratch!)…so divine! As usual, no one had much room for dessert so we just visited and enjoyed our family time together before bringing our sleepy and over-stimulated kidlets home to rest their little heads. It’s become such a treasured tradition for us all to share together and we look forward to many years of memories to come!
Do you have any traditions, old or new, that you share with family or friends? Please share! I also wanted to share with you some of the not-too-complicated DIY projects that Rachel and I put together for Fieldstone Vintage Market earlier this month. They all would make perfect gifts and are affordable projects that you could even get older children involved with. The snow globes were such a hit on Sunday that I think we’ll have to make a few more to give as gifts to family and here are the ones made by my brood…
Snow Globe Tutorial: Martha Stewart
The handmade ornaments that we sold at Fieldstone were mostly sold out by the end of the day and we wished we’d made more! The chalkboard ornaments were inspired by ones that we’d seen floating around on Pinterest and we simply bought round plastic ornaments, painted them with 3 coats of chalkboard paint (the spray variety might be easier than brushing it on like we did) and strung them with twine. For the yarn decorations, we bought different sized star ornaments from the dollar store and wrapped them with wool yarn until they were completely covered. You’ll need a hot glue gun for the star tips. The round ones were a bit trickier and you’ll need to glue the yarn in several places to the styrofoam balls for the first few layers. We love terrariums and they made the perfect home for some vintage ornaments that we collected last season. And one of our advent calendars, inspired by one over at The Feminist Housewife, is now hanging happily in my hall way. It was much more time consuming than our other projects and Rachel and I were very happy that neither of the two that we made sold. Now we each have one and they’ll be a great new tradition for each of our families every December!
I sprayed a few old canning jars with gold spray paint last week too…so fast and easy!…and have been using them as vases throughout my house. I think the’d also make great gifts, as do these chalkboard painted wine glasses. Goodbye tacky charms!
Since I’m in a sharing mood, I thought I’d finally show you the amazing map that Colleen Sawatzky‘s husband, Bob, so kindly found and delivered to us at Fieldstone! It’s the larger of two that he picked for us and I think it fits perfectly between my new sconces…what do you think? We plan on making X’s in chalk where family and friends live (like Florida for example, sniff sniff!) and it will be fun to map out future vacations and road trips to the States…
And here’s another little glimpse of my tree this year. It’s covered with lots of bronze, gold and white ornaments with some little hits of red here and there. What are your plans over the next few days? I’ve still got three last gifts to hunt for but the majority of our entertaining is over until Christmas Eve here with my extended family. I still need to figure out our menu for lunch that day but I’m thinking I’ll try out this Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops just because my mouth waters every time I think about it! Happy shopping!
December 19, 2011
It’s crunch time now with just six days left until Christmas! Thankfully, I’m mostly ready. I’ve got a few odds and ends to knock off my list and the house needs to be cleaned but nothing too big to handle. We had a very full weekend. A gingerbread house decorating party at my sister in laws with tonnes of candy and seven little girls! They ate so much candy they weren’t hungry for their dinner…go figure. Lily and her family joined us for dinner and then eventually for crêpes. We exchanged gifts, the kids watched The Polar Express, bounced off the walls and we ended up chatting into the wee hours of the morning. We also somehow fit in a birthday party, grocery shopping, Christmas shopping, a family gathering and a house inspection. Phew.
My house isn’t looking so pretty these days with all the dumping and running so a big clean is at the top of my list. It’s crazy how fast clutter accumulates and I wonder sometimes if the stunning homes I see in blogland get as messed up as mine. Like this home for instance. This is the home of Nina Holst of Stylizimo. It’s a wonderful mix of old and new and it feels so fresh, calm and serene to me. Lovely, right? Where does she hide her junk?
All images are from Stylizimo.
Speaking of house inspection, after finding a few issues, that in our opinion are inexpensive and simple to fix, the people who put an offer on our house are backing away. I’m wondering if they got cold feet and needed an excuse to bail. To be honest, I’m not that concerned. There was plenty of interest before them and the right buyer will come along.
Good luck with last minute Christmas prep this week! Be sure to slow down so you can enjoy yourself.
December 16, 2011
Oh my, it’s the last weekend before Christmas! So much to do but so little time, right? We’ll be spending Saturday evening with Rachel and her family, then we have a photo shoot with Jayme Lang and my extended family on Sunday morning followed by our 4th annual progressive dinner with 2 other couples and our combined families later that night. Busy days ahead! At least it’s all fun and games on the horizon now that our home improvement projects are behind us…for now! I’ll be sure to share a couple glimpses of my space next week but here are a few simply festive interiors to get you through the weekend…
How are you feeling in the midst of all of the festivities, gatherings and down-to-the-wire shopping? Organized? Frazzled? Spiking your hot cocoa to get through the day? I’m feeling pretty on top of things and am so happy that the kids are finished school today so we can spend some quality time at home baking and making Christmas gifts for family and friends. That’s what Christmas is really all about anyway, right? Have a wonderful weekend!
December 15, 2011
Today I have a funny story for you. Yesterday, we had a showing scheduled for our house at 8:30am. It was kind of early but doable. My husband and I have coffee together after the girls are off to school during this time but loved the excuse to go pick up a Starbucks. The thing is somewhere between bedtime and 8:30am, my alarm was somehow turned off. It must have been my jet lagged subconscious begging for more sleep. Thankfully, our realtor shouted out a hello before showing the prospective buyers through our house. We were all sound asleep and snoring. We scrambled to get all four us dressed and out the door in 10 minutes flat. Slightly embarrassing but very funny. I guess we made an impression because that same couple came back with an offer in the evening. After going back and forth for a couple hours, we have accepted their offer and now we just wait for the subjects to be removed. Our Christmas is bitter sweet this year and I’m so glad that I put up a proper tree for our last Christmas in our first home. I was tempted to go with an alternative to make things easier but decided I didn’t want to break any traditions just yet especially for the girls. There is a time and place for alternative Christmas trees. If you’ve found your home without a tree for whatever reason, here are several options to bring in that festive cheer even in the last 10 days!
If all the t’s were crossed and the i’s dotted, we’ll be in Florida by February. I can’t even wrap my head around that today. I just need to take things one step at a time.
December 14, 2011
Well, as predicted, I bit off a wee bit more than I could chew when I started painting my dining table yesterday! With the last month being full of home renos and Fieldstone Vintage Market (not to mention family life and daily chores!) I’m feeling like I’ll be very happy not to take on any more big projects until well into the New Year. Not that I’m complaining…I’m loving how our house has come together in a few short weeks…but I am definitely ready to put my feet up and enjoy some holiday good cheer!
I hauled out our faux evergreen garland last week to decorate our mantle with but quickly put it right back into it’s Christmas box. Next to our beautiful fresh cut tree, the fake stuff just wasn’t cutting it. So, I took my scissors out to our cedar hedging and snipped off enough of fresh greenery to fill our mantle and I am absolutely loving the scent that hits me every time I walk in the door! Here are a few other great examples of how to use fresh greens in your holiday decor…
I also snipped some sprigs of lavender and rosemary that were still green-as-could-be in my garden and put them in jars around my house. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh herbs and they’re perfect scents for the kitchen and bathroom. I love the idea of using small sprigs on cards and gifts too, don’t they look sweet? Boxwood is another perfect evergreen to clip year ’round…
Fresh clippings can be used anywhere in your home, inside and out, over Christmas and throughout the entire year. You’ll be surprised by how many plants from your own backyard and garden look great when displayed in vases or jars and many, like Boxwood, will last far longer than cut flowers will. And they’re free!