Tag Archives: Christmas

A Merry Christmas + Around the House

I’ve been baking cookies today, the Prime Rib is ready for tomorrow and only a few presents left to wrap.  Christmas Eve is only hours away.  Sometimes I wish I still had a small child.  Their excitement is so contagious.  I still remember 15 years ago when we moved into our house just days before Christmas.  Our son was just 6 and truly afraid if we didn’t have the house totally decorated and lights up outside that Santa wouldn’t find him.  We’d been to an Aunt’s house for Christmas Eve and and just as we got home a small plane flew overhead.  You could see a red light and we convinced our son it was Rudolph’s nose.  He flew to his bed and fell fast asleep so Santa would stop.  It’s one of many memories I cherish.

May you all have a wonderful holiday with family and friends resting, laughing, reminiscing, just what ever you want to do that fulfills you.  I’ve not take the time yet to show you our home decorated for the holidays so if you have a minute please join me.  These are just a few that I’ve taken.  You can find many of the details in previous posts or in my Project Gallery.

The Loft…

Loft 1

Loft Collage


Den Collage

Living Room…

Full TreeClose up 3

C-H side

Spray Paint Pinecones 2

Wrap 1Wrap 3

Family Rom…

Full TreeBookshelf 2Close up 3

white vase

bookshelf red-green


Cinnamon Close UpFloor Ornament Vase Fam Rm

and my very favorite, my Blue vignette…

Vase 1Vase 2

Ornaments 3

Have a blessed time during the holidays with your loved ones.


My After Christmas "Pretty Good" Decoration Purchases

It doesn’t take me much to get me to smile and go Yeah Baby!  Just give me a clearance aisle and a 5 minute look and I’m  happy and content.  And the great thing about it I wasn’t even looking. Breathe and smile!  And like I told my husband, “Honey, I need this stuff for next year.  Really.  I promise you.”  Sound familiar for any of you?

I am providing  a disclaimer.  I have a sucky camera and it was a dismal day and I was tired.  Anyway, even with Picassa, the pictures are bad, but I’m sharing anyway.

The three of us (hubby, young son home from college on break) and I ran down to Burlington Coat Factory looking for some new T-shirts for my son(hate calling them wife-beaters; it’s the HR brain in me).  They went towards men’s underwear and I headed over to the decor side of the store.  And there they were in gold, eggplant and green and packaged in a handy plastic container.  Marked at $9.99 and on sale for $2.50 each, I got two containers.   Don’t ya love them?

003 004

Then son and I wanted to get out of the house one day and I bribed him to go to Marshals where I found this vase for $6.00.  SCORE!!!


If that wasn’t enough I ran to ACE Hardware yesterday for some black spray paint and they there and behold I found these for $2.00 a pick.  Probably still a bit pricey but I really really liked them and they look good in the vase!

016 015


I’m pretty happy with myself.  All this for $21.00.  Have you scored any good deals in the after Christmas sales?


Storage Ideas for Holiday Decorations & a Few Additional Tips


Happy first day of 2012 friends! 

For me,  and I’m thinking for many of you, today I start boxing up the holiday decor.  Since I still have a splint on my shattered wrist I’ll be enlisting the help of my son and hubby to pull down and pack up the Rubbermaid totes. I keep all the totes in a corner of the garage and over the years I’ve developed some pretty good foolproof packing/storage ideas and today I wanted to share those with you.  Some of these I shared in my 31 Days To Clutter Free series but I think they are worth repeating.


  1. Easily Identifiable – Use storage totes that are a color for that season.  I use red and green totes for Christmas decorations, brown totes for Autumn/Halloween decor, etc. 
  2. Artificial Trees – I use a 6 foot artificial tree that came in three connectable pieces.  I don’t take it apart.  I learned this from my sis-in-law.  I fold up all the branches, tie a ribbon on the front side of the tree (helpful info when you bring out next year) and pack it up in one of the large red tree bags.  It sits perfectly on my stack of double triple wide storage bins.  I also have a couple of small artificial trees I display throughout the house.  I do take these apart and store in separate bins with their ornaments wrapped in tissue. 
  3. Room by Room – Store Christmas decor in bins by room.  For example, I have  totes marked Family Room Decorations, Living Room, and Den.  This is actually very helpful because I use these totes to store the everyday decorations that I took down from that room in prep for the holiday decorating
  4. Formal Tree Ornaments – I do have several bins of Christmas tree ornaments for the formal tree.  One bin is for a flocked tree; white lights and blue glass ornaments and the other all gold ornaments.
  5. Ornament Care – Use containers such as egg cartons, leftover Christmas card boxes or shoeboxes to wrap and store ornaments in before putting in the larger bin.  I’m a bit anal and have to admit I wrap each ornament separately in tissue paper.
  6. Specialty Items – I have a Dickens Village (2 bins worth) that I don’t bring out every year, but I am keeping it as it came from hubby’s mom who passed away in 1994.  It’s just one of those things I need to hold on to.
  7. Misc. Totes – I’m telling you I have way to much stuff.  I have a totes for all the snowmen and Santa’s.  I’m sure you will find decorative items that don;t necessarily stay in the same place every year.  This is what I call miscellaneous.
  8. Labels – I use the 8X11 Avery Labels to identify what’s in the totes.  I actually divide a one page into 4 equal pieces, mark them with an indelible marker and label all 4 sides of the tote
  9. Seasonal Linens and Towels – I keep two “seasonal” baskets in my linen closet.  In one I keep seasonal linens; tablecloths, table runners, and place mats.  In the other I keep seasonal bathroom towels, nightlights, etc. 
  10. Purge as you pack.  If you have the time, set aside those items you don’t want anymore.  I’m kind of wishy-washy when it comes to giving up decorations.  If you have the same issue just create a “not sure” bin and make it the last one you look at it next year when you are decorating.
  11. Paper Stuff – I keep all my gift wrap regardless of the season in a small newly-bought garbage can.  I keep all my ribbon in a basket, also regardless of type.  Christmas cards that are still good to use and gift tags are kept separately and stored in a closet.  Label everything!
  12. Dishes – I don’t have room in my china hutch so I keep my Christmas dishes and glasses in a storage box in my hall closet.
  13. Incoming Christmas Cards – This is a good time to update your address books.  You also might consider cutting up the cards you received.  Use the decorative piece as a gift tag next year.  If you do this, make sure you store them with the other gift tags.  Also, are there any outstanding Christmas cards that may look good framed next year?
  14. Candles – I picked this tip up reading Better Homes and Gardens.  Candles last longer if you can store them in a cool place, preferably the refrigerator.  A second option is to wrap each candle separately in cellophane before storing in a cool place like a garage.
  15. Outside Decorations – Toss out lights that are not working anymore.  Wrap light strings around old magazines or leftover gift boxes that would get recycled anyway.
  16. Welcome signs – I store all my signs in one container that I keep in the hall closet.  I just cycle through them month by month.
  17. Outdoor Seasonal Mats – Make sure that you sweep them clean on both sides before storing away 
  18. Take Pictures – I try to take pictures and take notes about my decorations.  I think I’m going to remember how I did it before but I don’t. 
  19. Recipes – Make sure all your Christmas recipes are stored appropriately.  It’s easy to lose a single piece of paper that’s been ripped from a magazine.
  20. Impromptu Buys – It never fails.  I always seem to find Christmas decorative items for a good price at a store AFTER all the decorations are put away.  I keep one large basket in my spare room closet just for this reason.

I hope these ideas help you.  I’d love to hear what your best storing tips are.  Please share!

Happy New Year!


Christmas Crafts That Didn’t Get Done

I think everyone must get to a point that says It is what it is, mo more.  That’s where I’m at now.  My last day of work for 2011 was yesterday.  While I was in the office slaving away my hubby and son finished the little bit of shopping that was left.

Today I thought I would share some of the crafts ideas that I never found time to do.  That’s okay as there always next year!  I’ve captured the pictures and ideas from Pinterest.  If your curious about Pinterest just click into it from the side column on this page.  Here we go!

Oh my gosh, button love

Pinned Image

Vintage brooch wreath

Pinned Image

Blue and white = love

Blue & White Christmas

Adorable both in and out of the house

Pinned Image

Pinned Image Pinned Image

Hope you have a relaxing day.  Don’t do too much!


Craft – Making Holiday Gift Tags

I spent the entire Saturday last week watching sappy Lifetime and Hallmark holiday movies and making gift tags.  I try to make them every year.  I just enjoy it.  This year because I broke my wrist and was totally out of commission for awhile,  my hubby went out and bought the wrap, ribbon and bows.  It’s probably not what I would choose but hey, I’m not complaining.  I love the fact that he took the initiative and did it and the color is great!

Okay, back to making gift tags.  I rounded up all my paint chips, seasonal scrapbook paper and stickers, craft ribbon, glitter glue, scissors and away I went.  Here’s a few already added to packages. 



Here’s a bunch of loose tags not yet added…

 Christmas Craft Gift Tags 007-2

Christmas Craft Gift Tags 003

Christmas Craft Gift Tags 009-1

Christmas Craft Gift Tags 011-1

Christmas Craft Gift Tags 008-1

Can you believe the base of these tags is a paint chip?  Thank you Martha, and Behr!  LOL!  Did you make your gift tags or Christmas cards this year?


latte Renee

Crafts – Holiday Before and After Pics

Happy Saturday!  Just finished some Christmas shopping.  Are you all done yet?  Hubby and I spent 3 hours wrapping presents last night and now we have more.

I shared a Holiday Tour of our home yesterday.  I thought it would be good to take a moment and share with you some before and after pics of a couple of items you saw.  Oh, the wonder of spray paint!

First, the 3 reindeer in my Living room.  I picked these cuties up for $2.00 each at Rite Aid.  Didn’t they turn out cute?  I love the little curly ribbon I added around their necks.


and I like them so much in this setting…


I also found 3 silver fleck candle stands on a clearance shelf at Ace hardware.  Add a $5.00 coupon and they were pretty much free.  I spray painted them a soft blue to match the living room decor and added some white scented candles.

005-1 Tree Den 011-2

Have you changed up anything up with a little spray paint lately?


latte Renee`

Your Invited: Holiday Decor Walk @ My House

Ho Ho Ho!  I wanted to share just what you can do with Holiday decorating when you are limited with broken bones and one hand.  It’s minimal, but comfortable and to be honest, I don’t really miss all the stuff that didn’t come out of storage.  Well, maybe the formal tree, but I can get over that.  Thank you to my sis-in-law and niece for helping me get in the Christmas spirit.  I truly love them so very much!

Here we go!

My favorite vignette is in the Living Room…read more about it here, but this picture is worth a whole post for me.  I love the way this turned out.  It’s one of my favorite decorations in my house this year.


and some additional decor on the end tables…

CHRISTMAS CRAFTS 016-1 Tree Den 011-1

Read about my Dining Room (cheap and simple) centerpiece and see other pics here


On the hutch fresh sprigs of boxwood and rosemary, a reindeer and pictures of my Grandparents.


In the den…

Tree Den 001 009-1



Read about my bathroom bling here


Additional updates and pics on the mantle in the family room here


Other pics from family room…


Tree Den 020 CHRISTMAS CRAFTS 008-1

Happy holidays everyone!

Linking to The Nesters Home Tour here 


latte Lattenene

Oh Christmas Trees, Wee Little Christmas Trees

I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts we decided to not put up our large formal tree.  That’s due to me breaking my wrist and it was just too much to think about.  My sis-in-law and niece came up a couple of Sundays ago and we put up two small trees.  The first one in the Den with old fashioned Santa’s and Snowmen.

Tree Den 001-1 Tree Den 003



The second tree is in the Family room, small but pretty with red and green balls.

Tree Family Room 007-1   Tree Family Room 008

Tree Family Room 010-1 Tree Family Room 009-1

Better late then never.  Linking up to a couple Christmas parties…

Thrifty Decor Chick


latte Lattenene

Living Room Holiday Decor

A short while ago I shared a post where I turned a plastic vase and some branches leftover from a windstorm into a Drab to Fab Centerpiece.  Since my wrist was broken, we decided to not put up the big Christmas tree in the living room.  I still wanted some color so here’s what I did with the vase and branches, plus a few spray painted reindeer.




005-1 006-1 007-1


I love this, so natural.  Enjoy!  TTYL,

latte Lattenene

Craft – Holiday Coasters

Making drink coasters from tiles has been floating around the blogsphere and Pinterest for awhile now.  Well, I made some too, but I cheated a tiny little bit.  Instead of buying felt or corkboard and adhesive spray to cover the back of the tiles I just bought pre-made coasters (backs complete) for a buck each at the Dollar Store.  The only other items you need are a small paint brush, Mod Podge glue, scrapbook paper, acrylic spray and time. 


This is so simple.  Just cut squares from your favorite holiday paper.  Adhere them to the tile squares using the Mod Podge.  Add 3 – 4 layers of Mod Podge to the tiles, allowing dry time between layers.  Spray with acrylic to be heat resistant.  Voila!  Holiday Coasters. 


Here are some I gave to my sis-in-law.  I added a large tile to look like a package.

Poinsetta Trivets-1

And here’s some I did over the weekend still drying…



latte Lattenene

P.S. Linking up to the craft party at Centsational Girl, Motivated Monday, Home Stories A2Z