Saturday, December 27, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

how to make a lush, green Christmas centerpiece





Hello everyone.

Crazy morning around here as we’re packing for our trip up North. But before I head out of town I wanted to show you one more possible idea for your Christmas table.



These days I’m loving the long, fresh green garlands down the table. Very elegant and dramatic don’t you think?

So I originally planned on making one using the classic pairing of magnolia leaves, lemon leaves and seeded eucalyptus.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any locally and ran out of time.



So I had to use what was close.

No, I’m not one of those lucky ones with a Magnolia tree in my yard. But I do drive around with clippers and when I saw these trees at an apartment complex I just got out and ….clip clip clip.

Free magnolia leaves. Done.

In place of the lush, green lemon or bay leaves I simply went in my backyard and clipped my Ficus leaves (a poor man’s version but it worked)

I also purchased a bouquet filled with Christmas greens since I don’t have access to pine or cedar branches or berries….



I used green wire to bunch up my Ficus leaves…


I layered a foundation of Ficus leaves and magnolia leaves down the center of the table. Inserting berries along the way.



And at the center I used the $4.99 bouquet from Trader Joes of Christmas greenery, (they have the best deals during the holidays)

inserting the pieces into the garland around a silver bowl of white carnations


When making your garland …repetition creates a balanced look.

I duplicated the ends of the garland so that both sides had Ficus and magnolia leaves in the same position.

Feel free to clip the magnolia leaves if they protrude in places. You can even insert the individual leaves where you need them.



Once your garland is finished you can add fresh pomegranates or shiny bulbs.

You could even insert fresh flowers.


Sigh, I wish you could see how lovely it is in person.

See how easy? You can do this.





(love these cocktail napkins)

Well I’m off to finish packing. The hubby’s calling me.




Blessings to you all,





Thursday, December 18, 2014

a Christmas cottage kitchen tour-before and after


Hello friends.

I hope you’re all enjoying these last days before Christmas.

The other day my Mom told me that my decorating seems different this year and she’s right. Even though we’ve been in this house since August the truth is, I’m still working on the basics. In fact our entry is still half-painted because I’ve been trying to pace myself.

So Christmas decorating—especially in the kitchen-is lighter this year.

This kitchen is not technically a true “After” because we plan on a total remodel sometime next year (fingers crossed) so I haven’t wanted to throw a lot of money at this space; it feels uncomfortable to add hardware to these beaten up cabinets that are peeling in places and when the appliances are so dated.

So instead we’ve painted, done a few superficial changes and I’ve basically brought my own style into the room.

In the meantime, I’ve been learning lots of lessons about living in the moment and being grateful for what I’ve got (smile)

So on that note, here’s a little update on my kitchen.


The bamboo shades for this window are being installed the first week of January.

On the day we were shown this house I brought my camera. So we got to see how the previous owners used this space.





Removing the broken microwave and cabinet doors and installing some white beadboard helped lighten this dark space up. (Thanks Dad)


DSC_0889 (2)

Apparently this side of the room is designated as a ‘family room’ on the original floor plan (go figure)…But there’s a second master bedroom next door that we’re using as an office/den instead.

So this entire space got painted in BM’s Brilliant White and we’re using this side as the kitchen nook.



I’m using this table from our previous home as the kitchen island for now…to make up for the lack of counter space.

And right now I’m looking for some vintage style stools that can fit underneath to save space.




Remember this tray?


the L shape counter (only counter space)


There’s one thing I reaaaalllly miss in this kitchen and it’s the under the-counter lighting we used to have. Do you have it?

With this granite (not a fan) I can’t see a darn thing without my glasses so I stuck this little lamp (still looking for a bigger one) on the counter and…


Halleluiah I can see!

DSC_0297 (2)





To help with storage I’m using my old office shelves on this wall and it holds our microwave, coffee cups and recipe books over here.


You can see more of my rustic chic table setting HERE.



DSC_0282 (3)

I like using art in the kitchen, do you?




I have plans for this corner.



Well, that’s it for now my friends.


Nothing ‘designer’ here, but I hope you liked seeing the changes

thanks so much for visiting..I’m so grateful for all the kindness and support I get on this little blog of mine.



I’m linking at Feathered Nest Friday, Grace at Home, Wow Us Wednesdays


Sunday, December 14, 2014

easiest Christmas napkin ring ever!




Do you want to make an quick, pretty napkin ring for your Christmas table?

I tied this festive Christmas gift tag on some miniature twig wreaths that I bought at a thrift store.

At the time I’d absolutely no idea what I’d do with a plastic bag filled with these wreaths but for 99 cents I couldn’t resist getting them.


So here it is…the easiest home-made napkin ring ever!


Did I tell you?

We’re using this rustic table my Dad made in the kitchen for now.

(You can see this DIY project here)



But after getting a large sliver in my finger I quickly realized that moving it indoors meant that I needed to sand it down and put a clear coat of polyurethane over it

—there’s only so rustic I want my tables to be.




A lot of you asked about these cork-backed placemats that I got at Home Goods. They are heat resistant and have a clear wipe-able top coat on them…user friendly with a sweet message. I love them.

DSC_0277 (2)





the kitchen nook




As a side note, last night we were floating on a 55 foot boat in the middle of the Long Beach Marina …

watching the parade of boats go by that were decorated with glowing lights, waving Santas and people like us

… who were staying warm with lots of good wine. 


Here we are acting out the famous Titanic moment…


It’s official…

we’re the ‘nerdi-est’ couple you know.

I’m off to do some Christmas shopping.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!




Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas cottage details…



Slowly…. painstakingly slow I might add… I’ve been bringing out the Christmas decorations. But this year will be very simple compared to my typical decorating.

(you can see my last holiday home tour HERE)

To be honest, I’m just now figuring out where things from my old house might fit in around here.



Here’s a perfect example. Remember my big, black vintage looking clock?

I finally pulled off the wrapping and of course..I decided to lighten it up before hanging it in the kitchen.


I’ll admit, I was a little nervous about ruining it… but I had Christmas in Connecticut on in the background and it made me so happy I had to keep going.

Don’t you love Barbara Stanwyck?

Sigh, I could stay in my pajamas and watch old movies all day…



Alright, back on point. The good news is that I didn’t ruin it and actually, I like it so much better painted white in this house.

Funny how some pieces no longer ‘fit’ in our new home. Especially being so close to the ocean. I’m craving more white.




And since this corner needed something bold until I get some open shelving,

here it goes for now.

Right next to the giant Nestle’s girl who used to be in our TV room.


And have you seen these adorable place mats around blog land?  They’re sold in packs of four at Home Goods and I absolutely love the message.

These made me feel so good when I put them on this table that I had to immediately run around and put together a quick place setting to show you.



I saw this ribbon on Cindy’s blog. She’s collected some wonderful gift wrapping ideas that you absolutely should check out HERE and she mentioned that she got the ribbon at Marshalls.

Well I happened to be at one yesterday and I couldn’t believe they still had some.

Doesn’t it look pretty around a white napkin?


Add a pinecone for a place card and you have a very simple and pretty setting.

This afternoon I’m hanging fresh wreaths from my kitchen windows and I’ll be able show you the whole room. Then I’m moving into the living room.


Wouldn’t you know it? No sooner than I get one little section done and it’s time to switcheroo. I’m almost done decorating the living room—we finish the tree tonight-- but remember that ugly, mysterious (weird) living room wall?

Wait to you see how we temporarily ‘fixed’ it.

hint hint: perfectionists do not live in this house.



So how’s your decorating going?  I’m hoping to be done by December 23rd.

Any other slow pokes out there?




Happy December 9th!



linking up at Inspire Me Tuesday

             Elizabeth & Co 

          and The Scoop


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...