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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nutcracker Mantel

Greetings!  And, thank you all SO much for your thoughtful comments about my whimsical Christmas kitchen decor!  I really appreciate it ... your sweet notes are the reason why I blog.  Again, thank you!   

Since we're all in (or getting in or need to be in) the holiday spirit, and the blog Christmas par-tays are beginning, I thought I'd share my great room mantel today.  Like last year, I chose to embellish it with nutcrackers.  However, this year, I added a few more ornaments, snowflakes and beads:

These pretty green, red and gold shatterproof ornaments are from Wal-Mart ($5 for a box of 18)!  Love.

Last year, I had one simple row of gold beads (from Old Time Pottery).  This year, I added more ... fun:

I added the gold, glittery snowflakes this year, as well (from a local Christmas shop):

I also decided it might be fun to add a couple of canisters of the traditional Christmas nuts.  Of course, I just *had* to perch a mini nutcracker right on top.

Up above, the wreath is adorned with a few Christmas gold, red and green balls:

And, what fireplace would be complete without fresh cookies and cold milk waiting for Santa!

I leave you with a nighttime shot, with the mantel all aglow! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Come on over and visit the following blogs who are having fun gatherings:

The Lettered Cottage/Holiday Home Linky Party

Savvy Southern Style/Boring to Better Party

Southern Hospitality/Vignette Party

French Country Cottage/Feathered Nest Friday

Southern in My Heart/Inspiration Friday

Bargain Hunting with Laurie/Favorite Things

The Tablescaper/Seasonal Sundays


Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas in the Kitchen

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I had such a great time with my family and friends!  The last few days have been nothing but eating, laughing, shopping ... repeat ... eating, laughing, shopping ... repeat!  I was more than sad to say goodbye to everyone as they headed back to Virginia. :(

Soooo, to take my mind off of missing my family, I kept busy adding a few last touches of Christmas around the house.  I thought I'd share a little bit of my kitchen, decked out for the holidays.  My goal was to keep it fun, festive and filled with whimsy.  Hope I succeeded!

As you enter through our mudroom, you're greeted by this whimsical tree, filled with cookies, candies, cookie cutters and other fun ornaments (click on pic to enlarge if you'd like):

Mr. and Mrs. Claus have fresh, gingerbread cookies all ready for you:

And, for those of you who remember my love for these cute cards from KariCraft during the Fall, I loved adding a few to this tree, as well:

I found these sweet, festive lollipops at Cracker Barrel ... thought they'd be fun tucked in the tree:

My wonderful elves are perched on top ... they are busy stringing gumdrops, which then cascade around the tree.  They are such wonderful helpers:

I filled my kitchen canisters with calorie-filled yummies, except for the middle one, which I filled with fake snow, ivy and ornaments, topped with an elf:

The other counters have festive touches, as well.  A polka dot bowl of *faux* fresh bread:

A Christmas cookbook tempting you to make something yummy:

This little vignette has a tiered tray of *faux* goodies sitting next to the sweetest picture of my little fella taking his first walk with Santa a few years ago:

Lastly, I topped my kitchen cabinets with garland, snowflakes and red and white ornaments.  Annnnd, I added a "Holly Jolly" note to my chalkboard:

The only thing missing from my kitchen is the smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven, which I hope Jax will help me with this weekend!

Thanks so much for stopping by ... I'm off to see everyone else's touches of Christmas!

Be sure and stop by these truly wonderful blogs to join the fun!

Dittle Dattle for Amaze Me Monday

BTOTP for Metamorphosis Monday

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Two Minutes of Fame ...

or less than that, if you're a quick reader! 

Yes, folks, my sincere apologies as I'm starting my week off with a shameless shout out ... 

Last week, a local magazine, Coastal Carolina Home & Lifestyle, did a  big ol' spread on the homes that were on the "Christmas Tour of Homes" last year ... our humble abode being one of them.  They included several pictures and an article for each house.  *Thare* she is, in all her Christmas glory (feel free to click on pics to enlarge):

I love how the writer *outed* me right off the bat by referring to my self-prescribed "ADD" (Attention Decorating Disorder)!  LOL.

It truly was an honor to have been asked to be part of the tour, as proceeds from the ticket sales benefited many organizations. (And, okay, to see your home in a magazine is pretty neat, too)!

And, speaking of Christmas ... I was really super flattered and humbled to have been hired by a local business, Marine Service Center, to decorate their store for Christmas.  It's a super fun place (owned by a great couple, Mickey and Kayla Thompson) that sells all kinds of boats in every size you can imagine and other outdoor fun "toys."  (If you're ever near Longs, SC, you should pay them a visit!)

While I don't have a picture of what it looked like last year, it was done in a nautical look with red, blue and gold ornaments.  The owners wanted it to still coastal/nautical feel as it did last year, but to change it up a bit.  Sooo, I traded out their gold ornaments for silver ... added more blue and red and white ornaments and hoped for the best:

To keep it not so "froo froo" (since mostly men frequent this store), I decided to add nautical rope and burlap as garland (adding the red ribbon for a fun pop of color).  I carried that to the top, as well, by adding two large bows made from burlap, red ribbon and a white (with silver) ribbon.  Too, considering that there are mounted deer heads all around (who watched my every move ... scary), I thought the brown burlap might tie in with the mounted creatures. 

I wrapped the presents in coordinating blue background paper and chose burlap for the ribbon/bows, adding a snowflake on a few packages to tie in with the tree.  I also added plain white boxes (with red ribbon) as well for contrast:

And, as for those mounted deer ... well, of course they needed some Christmas cheer, too!  HowEVER, I've never come close (by choice) to a mounted deer head.  It was a funny (no, make that pa-THETIC) sight to see me tossing the garland around their necks to form a wreath, praying every.step.of.the.way that: a) the deer head didn't fall on me; b) it didn't all of sudden yell "boo," sending me to the floor; or 10) I didn't have a panic attack.  Seriously, folks, I was sweating!  When it was time to add the Santa hats ... well, forget it!  I couldn't do it ... I couldn't get *that* close.  Thankfully, Kayla and her receptionist, Melissa, did that for me.  I'm so ashamed!

After I was done, I decided to have some fun on the toys.  I think I can get to Home Goods SUPER fast on either one of these!  Watch out, here I come! Vrrrrrroooooommmm!

Well, I'm off to tackle more Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by and humoring me, today!

I'm  linking up with some fun par-tays ... come join the fun at these awesome blogs:

DIY Show Off

Boring to Better at Savvy Southern Style

Southern in My Heart for Inspiration Friday

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Buh bye, Mr. Pumpkin ...

Happy Sunday.  Brrr, it's cold outside!

Well, considering I've had my Fall decor up since the latter part of August, I've decided it's time to start adding Christmas! I spent most of yesterday taking all of the leaves and pumpkins down (and confusing my 4 year old son who asked why I'm putting Christmas up when it's not even Thanskgiving yet ... he'll learn, right?  lol)! 

In the meantime, Beth over at her fabulous blog, The Stories of A to Z, is having a last year's Christmas Mantel linky party to get everyone in the mood for Christmas decor.  So, I thought I'd join the fun and share just a couple of pics of my mantel back then, which was dressed with a big ol' garland ... glittery nutcrackers and festive finials. 

A closer look (my apologies for the poor photo quality):

I love the nutcrackers ... and will probably be placing them on my mantle again this year.  However, I'd love to switch it up a bit, so we'll see.

And, since there is no way I will be *over*decking the halls like I did last year (when our home was on the local Christmas Tour of Homes Parade), I thought I'd share a link to my home from last year.  Just click here: Part 1 of my holiday home tour from last year if you feel like seeing Christmas on overload!

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Monkeys Have Been Set Free ....

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween !!  We had a weekend full of fun festivities.  And, yes, we decided to "rock" the Snooki/The Situation look (from MTV's Jersey Shore).  Yo!  Actually, it was fun to wear a wig that is my natural hair color (almost makes me miss being a dark, dark brunette).

Annn-eeee-way ... so, recently, I decided it was time to free the monkeys from our mudroom so that they could go back into their natural habitat (lol). 

BEFORE:  I really did love the red monkey wallpaper that was in there for about 4 years, but, honestly, it always made the room appear a bit dark, and it really limited me in my decorative accessories.

I was greatly inspired by incredibly talented Kim at The Twice Remembered Cottage ... she added beadboard to her dining room (fabulous), and I knew that this was the look I wanted in our mudroom.   And, as many of you know I've been on a lighten and brighten kick lately, so you shouldn't be surprised that I "attacked" this room and turned it into this:

We (meaning our neighbor) added beadboard and 4" wide pine molding (both chair and base) to mimick more of a "farmhouse" look.  I then painted  the walls SW Antique White. 

BEFORE:  Monkey and palms!

AFTER:  Yay(!), lighter and brighter:

In keeping with the farmhouse feel I was going for, our friend removed the basic door casings and added the wider 4" pine molding ... love it:

I found this fun vintage sign at Michaels and placed a plain black frame around it.  I am waiting on a few oversized, metal wall laundry pins from Ballard's to go on this wall, too.

The area beside my washer/dryer remains my little grand central station, as far as calendar, invites, etc., goes.  We had the black granite (that once sat on our kitchen island) cut down and placed here instead:

Above the cabinets, I placed a few fall pretties:

On the wall by the door leading to the garage, I placed this fun chalkboard (from Home Goods) that has cute little knobs ... love how rustic it is.  And, of course, I couldn't wait to break out my chalk paint markers:

On the wall opposite the washer/dryer, I added a coat rack (from Lowes), a picture ledge from Home Goods (that I painted white), along with some fun black picture frames!  Actually, I found the frames as part of a boxed set at Belk's (50% off ... score)!  They are super lightweight, and you simply hang them on the wall with Command Post Strips (that were also included):

I opted to place a few frames on the picture ledge since I love the layered look:

A coupla "Fall" pillows sit on the black bench below, which also serves as perfect storage for stinky shoes (lol):

And, lastly, no mudroom is complete without a clothes bin embellished with a little chalkboard (which I couldn't help but to add a goofy title to ... yes, I'm a doof), along with some ca-ute Spiderman pj's hanging out:

We're still tweaking this room.  I really am enjoying the change!
Thanks for stopping by,