Archive for December, 2010

Decking the Halls

This is our first holiday season in our new house and I am beyond thrilled about it!  We never had much space to decorate in our townhouse because our main living area functioned as our living room, media room, play room and entertaining space.  It was jam-packed with furniture which left little room for holiday decor, though we did manage to squeeze a real live tree in there every year!

Anyway, with a whole house to decorate this year, I was in my glory.   I tried not to go overboard in hopes to keep it simple and not break the bank.  I am beyond happy with how it has all turned out.  It’s cheery, bright, and most importantly, kid friendly!  It all feels so festive and celebrating the holidays feels extra special this year.

Here is a glimpse into our home all decked out for the holidays.

These oversized ornaments are hanging in our bow window in the living room.

And here is our mantel all dressed up.

After some hesitation, I bit the bullet on the Potter Barn embroidered stockings.  They were offering free embroidery and shipping so I couldn’t resist.  They first ones they sent I had to send back because the stitching was horrible and one of the stockings had a different color thread.  I’m very happy with them now, the second time around.

My favorite part of the mantel is the little gold light up trees that I found at the Christmas Tree Shop for $2.99 each.  They’re so simple yet so pretty.

And last, but certainly not least, is our tree!

We’ve started a new family tradition of cutting down our own at a tree farm.  I’ve had a real tree all my life and I vow to never have an artificial one.  Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without the smell of a fresh tree in the house and tiny pine needles all over the place!  I really love our tree this year.  It stands high, goes right up to the ceiling and is just a beauty.  It’s full of white lights and colorful ornaments.  There is no theme to it.  The ornaments are all shapes and sizes, some home made and some store bought.  The girls helped us decorate it and I like them to feel like it’s their tree too, not just a decoration.

I’d love to see (or hear) how you’ve decorated hour home for the holidays.  Do you have any special traditions in decorating?  Do you prefer a real or artificial tree?

Holiday Gift Giving, Part 3

This post is coming to you a bit after the fact.  You see, I’ve already purchased all of my girls’ Christmas presents (and damn does it feel good!).  But, I will still share with you what will be under the tree this year for my four year old.  I admit, I went a bit overboard.  It was just too easy!  In case you missed the previous posts, my girls will be getting some joint gifts this year and Nora will also be getting her own loot.  Oh and did I mention that I’m DONE shopping for them?!

Anyway, without further ado, here is what Brinley will be getting this year…

First, and really the only thing she has asked for, the Leapster Exploerer

I had been scouring the Black Friday ad leaks for weeks hoping for a good deal on this.  The retail price is $69.99.  I’m always hunting for bargains but since this is the first year of the Leaspter Explorer I figured there was a slim chance I’d get a fantastic price.  I also wanted the pink one but its a Toys R Us or exclusive.  I ended up buying the green one on Black Friday because Target had a $10 off coupon in their flyer and I had the $10 off coupon from specially marked boxes of Cheerios.  So, I got it for $49.99 which I think was pretty good.  I’m also really glad that I didn’t wait because it’s now out of stock almost everywhere!  There are so many accessories and games that go along with this but I tried to be good and only bought her 3 games – Disney’s Tangled, Disney Princesses, and Ni Hao Ki-lan.  Hopefully those will keep her busy for a while.

I also got her a few games.  Elefun, which she has played at a friends house and loved (and I think it’s fun too), Don’t Spill the Beans, which I remember from my childhood, and Hi Ho Cherry-O.

Next I got her a Spriograph.  Remember these?  It’s that drawing thing where you have the little gears and you put a pen in it and spin it around and make cool designs.  Brinley LOVES to draw and I know she’ll get a kick out of this if she can get the hang of it.  If not, I’m sure I’ll have fun with it!

I honestly can’t even remember what else I bought.  It’s hidden away for now until I wrap it.  I did get each of the girls one of those Sing-a-Ma-Jig things.  At first I thought they were a little scary but after playing with one in the store for a few minutes it started to grow on me.  And Kohl’s had them on super sale on Black Friday.  So I picked up two.

Well, there you have it folks.  I’m sure I left something out but you get the general idea.  My girls are a bit spoiled but we don’t really buy for anyone else so it’s not so bad.  And since we just got a new furnace, humidifier, air purifier and central air coil installed last month, Scott and I certainly won’t be exchanging gifts this year. (But my birthday is on December 23rd and I better be getting something for that!  What?  I AM turning 30!)

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