Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Christmas Time

Last week, Chris was sick with a flu-like virus. He was pretty much down for the count for 6 or 7 days. Last Saturday, we didn't think he was up for our usual Christmas tradition of going to Beckwith's Family Christmas tree farm to cut down our own tree, so we headed over to Chuck Hafner's instead to pick up a pre-cut one. Once we got it home, poor Chris had to rest every so often while we decorated the tree because he was so weak from the virus. Poor baby!

But we managed to get it together and now we have this beautiful scene in our living room.

You can see in the picture above that we used some tin can lights I made to decorate the tree, as well as some pretty colored patio lights, which you can see better in the picture below. These were a bridal shower gift from my maid of honor last year. They look so good that I might have to try to find a few more strands for next year.

This past weekend, Chris was feeling much better (thankfully!) and even went out Christmas shopping. He returned with a giant present that he wrapped before I got a chance to peak at it. The only problem ... the kitties thought it was a present for them. You can see Zoro in the picture below sitting on it.

Well, the next morning, Chris came down into the living room ahead of me and all I heard was "Ah! The kitties unwrapped your present! Don't come in here!" followed by the sound of paper rustling and scotch tape being generously unwound and applied. haha Then we decided it was best to move that present to the front porch where the kitties couldn't get to it before I got to unwrap it for Christmas.

With that crisis averted, Chris and I focused our attention on decorating the outside of the house. We used to always hang icicle lights from the eaves with little hooks that were screwed right into the wood. But if you recall, we recently had ventilated soffits installed over the original wood, so that meant no more hooks.

Instead, we picked up some little S-hooks to dangle over the aluminum flashing around the front windows, and hung the lights from them. Then I lined the bushes with blinking colored lights and we put our fake white tree on the porch. Chris set everything up with timers, so all the lights come on at the same time every evening and shut off at night.

We also wrapped our lamp post in green lights and added this cute little Santa to our mailbox for something new this year. The pole that was included with the metal sign (from Target) was pretty flimsy, so I used some leftover ribbon from all the gift wrapping to secure the sign to the mailbox for added stability.

Lucky for us, we have a Watch Cat to keep an eye on the house whenever we're out around the holidays. haha

Another fun Christmas activity for us this weekend was decorating gingerbread cookies. Chris and I decided to go the easy (and delicious) route this year with store-bought cookies. So then we just added icing to create these adorable little guys.

Chris decided to go the Leonardo da Vinci route and decorate some cookies using both hands at the same time. Such a Renaissance man, my husband.

The results, however, were more surreal than Renaissance. haha

So that's what we've been up to so far this holiday season. We're looking forward to celebrating with friends and family soon!
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chris's Birthday Sword

Some of you may be wondering what we did with the sword I gave to Chris for his birthday. While not everyone would be willing to incorporate it into their decor, I think it looks kinda fun and unexpected in our living room, above Chris's desk. This is Chris's home, too, after all, so I think he should get to be surrounded by things he likes.

The plaque came with the sword and just screws directly into the wall stud for a secure hold.

I like the detail with the lions and castles on the cross section. Yay for medieval kitties.

Plus, if the guys on Big Bang Theory can have a sword in their living room, why can't we? Let's call it geek chic.

Leonard in the guys' apartment from Big Bang Theory with the Game of Thrones sword by the door.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Festive Wreath for Less Than $12

'Tis the season to decorate your house with all sorts of sparkley things. Personally, I love Christmas wreaths, but the pre-made ones can be spendy, whether they are made with real pine and flowers or other materials. So when I was in Christmas Tree Shop the other day and happened upon this fun red wreath for $3.99, I knew I could make something perfect for our house with it. All I needed was a couple of embellishments, namely a pack of green bells and some green ribbon (each less than $4 from Michael's).

The next step was to tie the ribbon and bells in place ... then let the cat make a nest in the middle of the wreath, I guess.

We have a little wire on the top of the front door that we can pull down to hang decorations from, so I just wrapped that around the plastic frame of the wreath and voila! A little Christmas cheer for the front of our house. And doesn't it look so great with that bright green door?

So there you have it. A gorgeous Christmas wreath for less than $12. Can't beat that.

Any one else doing some holiday decorating on the cheap? Any tips or tricks for adding holiday spirit without breaking the bank?