Christmas decor pt. 3 ~ Stockings




I needed somewhere to put our stockings that looked good and could support the weight, since the stocking hooks on the shelf would not hold up when the stockings had anything in them.

I saw a commercial for 3M Command hooks, which made me wonder why I hadn’t thought of that myself a long time ago – I use those things all the time! So, I headed to Target and got three of them for about $4.50 each.  Done!

They no longer sell the monogram stockings I got at Target for my boyfriend and me, but I wanted a stocking for our doggie, Ella.

Luckily last week Pottery Barn was having a free shipping/free monogramming sale on some stockings, so I got her this Channel Quilted Velvet Stocking.




Christmas decor, pt. 1 ~ “NOEL” banner

Hello everyone! I hope your holiday season has been carrying on merrily.  We have these target stocking hooks that we put on our shelf/mantle every year, but unfortunately, they don’t really seem to hold any weight.  They work fine for empty stockings, but if you try to put anything in the stockings, they flip right off the shelf.  No good.  Anyway, I came up with another spot to hang the stockings, but I figured the hooks would work perfectly for hanging a banner on the shelf.

I enjoyed making my Thanksgiving banner, and with all the crafty materials I had laying around, including a lot of leftover twine from the last banner, I figured I’d try my hand at a christmas banner.  I might try something more involved in the coming Christmases, but for this year I thought I’d start with something short and simple – “NOEL”.  We also got a printer recently, so instead of stenciling letters, I took a much easier route…I made the banner on Adobe Illustrator and printed them on card stock.

(Sidenote:  Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator can be prohibitively expensive, at several hundred dollars a piece, but once you learn how to use them they are seemingly invaluable.  Luckily now you can get these programs and a bunch of others for a monthly subscription rate rather than paying the full amour for creative suite which is like, a couple thousand bucks….totally worth it in my opinion!).


I didn’t want the outline to show through so I did a mirror image of the text.  I chose Gill Sans Ultra Bold as my font – I was trying to keep it simple with some thick, block letter text.


My cutting mat is nowhere to be found so I used a stack of newspaper.  I cut out the letters with an X-acto knife.  Scissors would work, too, but the X-acto knife is MUCH easier.  BAM – there you have it…NOEL! 🙂


Then, yes, I cannot seem to get away from glitter – I decided to try my hand at glitter once again.  I sprayed each letter with spray adhesive, let the adhesive get tacky for exactly 2 minutes, and then i covered the letter with glitter.  I tapped the bottom of the tray all over the place until the letter was evenly coated with glitter.  DO NOT touch it! It will totally make it smudged and horrible looking.  I learned this the hard way.


After they dried, I flipped the letters over on some newspaper and lined them evenly with the twine.


Then, I took a glue gun and put glue around the entirely of the twine to hold it on…


IMG_3417There you have it!! I think the letters could use some dimension, and maybe next year I will do a different word/words, different font, or add some extra layers or other trim, but for now, this is a good first try! 🙂

Christmas decor

I hope everyone had a great week and a good Thanksgiving!  I’ve eaten way too much, that’s for sure. I think I finished decorating for Christmas this week…I never got any glass jars/hurricanes for luminaries, but I am mostly finished otherwise.

We painted the living/dining/entry area in August.  It was so nice to replace that pink-beige/baby blue flat paint combo with a satin grey.  We got this Threshold Criss Cross Fleece Rug at Target.  I love the pretty grey and cream pattern and it’s really soft.  I REALLY wanted the Moroccan Souk Rug from West Elm (or a similar style as you can get this style in many places right now), but it was definitely price prohibitive!  The Target rug was $130.  The West Elm rug of similar size is much flimsier and $500.  NO THANKS!  The Target rug sort of reminded me of that pattern and was a great price.

I got the live cedar/white pine garland from Lowe’s.  It was $11 for 20 feet.  I only needed two spools, so that was a pretty good price. I went last night and they had TONS of it left, and only a couple of the Fraser Fir garland left.  That one was $5 for 15 feet, but I just dont think it is as pretty.  Well, it is more traditional I guess, and I thought the cedar worked better with more modern decor. I don’t know why the fraser fir garland is so much more popular! I’m wondering how well the cedar/white pine will hold up through Christmas. I guess we’ll see!

We got the lack shelf at Ikea a few weeks ago.  We don’t have a fireplace, so it’s as close as we’ll have to a fireplace mantel for awhile!  We TRY to stay away from Ikea stuff, but I swear it’s so hard.  Every time I want something, I see what I like at Crate and Barrel, West Elm, Target, etc., and nine times out of ten, there’s a very cheap same or similar option at Ikea. We looked at the same white shelves at those other stores for $50-100+, and then they have the same darn thing at ikea for $20. How can I say no to that?   And just for fun, check out this cute doggie….a blue heeler by a blue tree 🙂

happy Friday ~ the holidays are here !!!

Long time no see! I cannot believe it’s November already.  This time last year we were putting the deposit down on the new apartment.  It really doesn’t feel like we’ve been there  for a 10 full months.  This has been a very crazy, busy, and difficult year, but the past couple months have been quite enjoyable.  I haven’t had any free time unfortunately, but overall, things are going smoothly and guess what…FIVE more classes and I am FINISHED with law school!!! I cannot believe it.  I started August 4, 2008. It’s been a long road.  I feel like I’ve aged ten years in the past 4.5.  I am not complaining, though.  I have no regrets as of yet and am just so thrilled to have my life back.  I am sure I’ll find plenty to worry about soon enough with studying for the bar exam and finding a job, but really, the worst of it’s behind me.

With all that said, I did not get to enjoy my beloved Halloween “season” because I’ve been really cramming in all my work early.  It all flew by in a blur – not one pumpkin or costume or spiced cider to be had by me. But with that over and my homework all but finished for the semester, I am definitely getting into the holiday spirit IMMEDIATELY!!!

At my old apartment, the living room was too small for our full-sized Christmas tree, so with a larger living/dining area at the new place, I am eager to go all out with the Christmas decor this season. I have an artificial tree…and I am also thinking of decorating with some live cedar garland.  It’s so pretty, but it only lasts about 3-4 weeks and I may have a bit of an allergy issue…have you ever used live garland in your house?




I am also thinking of decorating with some luminaries – I love the lighting of the candles and it’s a cheap and easy way to decorate….



There are just too many pretty holiday decor pictures on the internet!!






Just Checking In…..



Hello everyone!  Long time no see.  I’ve been bogged down with school work the past few weeks.   Unfortunately, I’ve got a couple exams this week and a paper that is due also, but fortunately, I will be finished in just a for more days.  After that, it’s time to start packing! We’re moving! I will be sad to leave this apartment, but we definitely needed a little more space.

I wasn’t going to decorate for Christmas too much since we will be moving just a couple days later, but I couldn’t resist setting up our little Christmas tree for the last time in this apartment.  Well, wish me luck and happy holidays! 🙂


happy friday ~

Happy Friday, everyone!  And happy 11-11-11, if you’re into that sort of thing.  I have not been around much….it’s been a busy couple of weeks!  Between pro bono hours I am doing for school, work, homework, etc., I read Mindy Kaling’s new book.  I LOVED it!!  I spent a particularly long time in the waiting room for a doctor’s appointment last week, and I am pretty sure it was the only thing that kept me sane.

I am loving the cooler weather lately, except for the days it’s windy and rainy.  Fall wind+rain is the WORST.  The best?  Fog.  The first picture is my backyard a couple Saturdays ago.  We live close to the Ohio RIver, so on occasion it will get super foggy in the mornings.  I find it really peaceful and beautiful.

Halloween was fun! I made a last minute decision to dress as the black swan.  45 feet of black mesh and 2 hours later, I had a makeshift tutu to wear with my costume.  I got the idea for the no-sew tutu here.  That, plus some feathers from Michael’s, some makeup from the local costume shop, and my old pointe shoes and leotard, I was good to go.  I had everything but the schizophrenic delusions.

Keeping with the ballet theme, I also took my boyfriend to his first ballet, Giselle performed at Music Hall by the Cincinnati Ballet.  My hair was feeling gross and not fitting for a nice night out, so I was super pumped when a french-twist-y thing along the crown, plus a low side bun, turned out pretty good.  My earrings are Banana Republic earrings I got last winter.

Following my usual routine, I went to Starbucks before class last week and was super excited to see the start of the holiday cups!  I know this is not particularly thrilling to most, but it marks the beginning of a happy season for me.  I have always enjoyed the holidays, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the few days that I can relax and avoid things like homework and house chores guilt-free.  A lot of people seem annoyed by the fact that the season deemed “the holidays”/”Christmas season”/etc. seems to start earlier and earlier every year.  When I was little, I could not have imagined Christmas decorations being put out before Thanksgiving, let alone Halloween.  I am NOT one of those complainers.  The earlier, the better!  The other day I was feeling very grouchy because I had an abundance of laundry to take up to the laundromat.  They were playing a local radio station that had an “all holiday music” Sunday.  It really got me in a great mood! Next up?  Time to order the Nieman Marcus “Christmas Book”.  As a kid, the Sears Holiday Catalog was an integral part of every holiday season, so the whole holiday catalog thing really brings back some good memories.  Enjoy your weekend!