Friday, December 18, 2015

Countdown to Christmas Blog Hop and Giveaway with Balsam Hill

Welcome to the Balsam Hill Countdown to Christmas blog hop!

For those of you who have come over from Christine's at the DIY Dreamer, or if you're new here, Welcome!

Can you believe we are down to one week before the big day? One week until Christmas!

Time has flown by so fast but it has been so much fun counting down with my North Pole Musical Advent Calendar from Balsam Hill.

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This is a beautiful advent calendar displaying a scene of Santa at the North Pole. It is made to sit on your table top or mantel which allows everyone to easily enjoy it.

This one comes with one of Santa's elves too!

Each door is numbered 1-24 and we put treats inside so that each day you open your door and get a little surprise!

Oh and this is a musical advent calendar so each door plays a different Christmas carol whenever its opened.

Mr. Chaos and I leave each other notes and candy and we plan on leaving each other a small gift on the 24th, so you can get as creative as you want with it.

Of course down at the bottom there is Santa on Christmas Eve.

Our anticipation for Christmas grows each day as we open another door. What will be behind it? How many more days until Christmas? LOL

To me, Christmas means a time to focus on family and friends. We often times are so busy living our lives that we don't stop to make a lot of time for each other during the rest of the year, so I enjoy counting down day by day as I look forward to all of the holiday festivities!

One of my favorite Christmas memories is making a gingerbread house with my Grandma. Every year about two weeks before Christmas I would go visit her on a Sunday afternoon and we would spend time together decorating our gingerbread house. Each year we would try a new decorating idea or color scheme with our gingerbread house, and now that she is gone I miss making our gingerbread house but I am thankful to say that I have a ton of memories of with her. 
Christmas is a time to be surrounded by those you love and making life long memories together.

I am very involved with my family and friends and look forward to lots of Christmas parties, dinners, gift exchanges, shopping, and baking, so each day I enjoy waking the anticipation of seeing what is behind my door on the advent calendar.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about what Christmas means to me.

The blog hop continues over at Cottage at the Crossroads with Jane where she will tell you what Christmas means to her.....
AND there is more.....over at Balsam Hill they are giving away 25 gift cards worth a $100 each, so you can hop on over there to enter the giveaway too!

(Click on picture to be directed to Balsam Hill's giveaway)

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*I was provided an advent calendar by Balsam Hill but all ideas are my own.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Power Shopping-How I Roll

Well, we're down to about two weeks left before the big day and I feel the need to pick up the pace on my Christmas shopping.

It is hard to get all of my shopping done on the weekends so I try to squeeze some in on my lunch hours and evenings after work.

So to maximize my time I have a list of a few things I have learned along the way that help me stay focused and power shop successfully.

Here are my tips for getting it done:

1. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes:

If you are like me and shopping at odd times like on your lunch hour or in between picking up kids from school and running them to practice, you probably find yourself in the same clothes you wore to work. So before you get your groove on power shopping make sure to bring a change of clothes so that you can wear something comfortable and not fussy. You don't want to waste time with wardrobe issues or sore feet from work shoes.

I usually wear something like these yoga pants with a sweatshirt and tennis shoes.  

And be careful to not wear a large coat that you have to lug around.

2. Stay hydrated:

This next tip is a must for me. Nothing can be more distracting than thirst or hunger hitting you in the  middle of power shopping.  
Chances are you will be waiting in long lines and not have time to stop and get something to eat......or worse case scenario you will be stuck in check out lines stocked with gum and candy that you will be tempted to buy because you are hungry!

So always make it part of your routine to grab a bottled water and/or granola bar before you head out.

3. Make sure your phone is charged:

So you are power shopping and knocking out your long Christmas list but you have a concern about your brother's girlfriend's gift.

No problem, just take a picture of the item and text it to your brother to get his feedback........only to go for your phone and find your battery is dead!
So now you have to put the item back and continue shopping OR buy it and take the risk. 

This scenario has happened to me on several occasions so I always make sure my phone is charged because you never know when you will need it!

You might need to use it to help you with your shopping and downloading coupons. So you don't want to be in the middle of landing that perfect gift and realize your phone is dead!

4. Clean out your trunk:

Ok, this last tip is one that a lot of you might not think about before heading out for power shopping. If you have a lot of "junk in your trunk" be sure to clean it out before you head out.

You will need a place to store and hide your shopping bags so clean out that trunk before you go. I never suggest leaving your bags in the backseat for the world to see!

So those are my tips for maximizing your time while you power shop.

We only have about two weeks left to get everything done so before you head out, I hope you follow these tips to save yourself some time and hassle.

*I was compensated or this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have fun shopping!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cottage Christmas Mantel

Every year I decorate my mantel for Christmas.

This mantel of mine has been the victim of my indecisiveness! LOL The poor thing has adorned several different Christmas décor themes over the years...I swear I have almost every type of Christmas décor one could imagine!

There is the collection of snowmen, reindeer, Santa, red, white, green, silver, and gold......and the list goes on and on.

I have always loved decorating for Christmas, even before I was a homeowner living in an apartment; I would still put up a tree and decorate.

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Sometimes I purchased new things and other times I made my own décor like this JOY sign above but I never missed a Christmas.

Back then I had a much smaller space to manage so I would put up a tree and decorate every room including the bathroom and kitchen.

I had special flannel sheets for the winter, and I would carry my Christmas décor into every room with cinnamon apple candles so that Christmas was all around me.

Fast forward to current day even though I am a home décor blogger, I have to admit I have slacked in some areas. Now that I have a dog, a house, and more space to manage I have cut back some of the things I used to do.

I still decorate no matter what but it seems like the season goes by so fast and by the time I put it up it is time to take it down so I stick to decorating my main living spaces, which is where I spend most of my time anyway.

So this year I went a much simpler route.....

I adorned my mantel with this red berries and garland.

I kept it simple with a Cottage Christmas theme.

The star of course is the star of the show, but she is not alone.

The two large mercury glass hurricanes turned into vases hold branches of frosted pine, and the reindeer proudly holds his spot for all to see.

The lighted rustic monogram shines brightly alongside the warm vanilla candle in a red glass lantern.

And while you're feeling festive you can relax and cuddle up by the fire.

The simple joys of Christmas like entertaining family and friends while we light a fire and sip hot cocoa.

Nothing fussy just the pleasures of a cozy cottage Christmas.

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Have a wonderful week!


Linking Up to These Great Parties:

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Repurposed Ceiling Medallion Wreath

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I found this ceiling medallion about a year ago at my local Restore for four dollars.

As I was brainstorming on new Christmas décor I remembered I had this ceiling medallion and knew it would make a great wreath.

After all, the filigree designs were PERFECT for the look of leaves or flowers so I decided instead of buying another wreath I would use what I have and up cycle this ceiling medallion into a new wreath.

In an effort to use what I already have on hand, I decided to go with a traditional green wreath and painted it with DecoArt chalk paint in a green color called Enchanted.

{LOVE} this color!


Due to all the grooves and little nooks I had to paint, I simply used a cheap sponge brush to get into all those tiny spaces.

I brushed it on then dabbed it into those tricky spots in order to get full coverage.


Once it was dry I added a plaid bow and voila!

Instant charm!

..And oh so unique.

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And because this is plastic it can be painted with exterior paint and be put OUTSIDE on your front door too.
Woot woot!

Chances are you too have gorgeous holiday décor right under your fingertips.

So with a little imagination and almost no money spent, I now have a new Christmas wreath.

Coming up soon I will be revealing my Christmas mantel, but I couldn't wait to share this project with you first!

I hope you liked it!


*I received free paint from DecoArt for this project.

Linking Up to These Great Parties:

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