Monday, November 27, 2023

Christmas house tour 2023

This year after our indulgent Thanksgiving meal, we did what we always do, put the Thanksgiving decorations away the same night and start tidying up. We know that Black Friday will bring 18 bins, several large bags, wreath boxes, etc. for unpacking. This year we kind of sighed at the shear amount of decorations we've managed to collect over the years.  I always give some away, but apparently not enough.  These post covid years are leaving us feeling still tired. Or maybe we're just getting older. We managed to put out every decoration and get every single outdoor light put up. I think we will try to slow down time and enjoy the last full December with our high school senior and our quickly growing up other teenagers.  Soak in all the details and savor this time together. Each holiday that comes and goes I am reminded of how the time is quickly fading to be all together as a family. I am grateful we have created so many fun holiday traditions for the kids that they will hopefully cherish forever.  My hope for them is to look back at this blog and be reminded of the home we have created for them. 

Our Vintage Whippet statue adorned with vintage gold foil garland.

The China hutch gets a dose of vintage glass Christmas ornaments so they are nicely protected. My grandmother's Americana calendar from 1978 gets displayed.

The vintage painted sideboard displays wooden trees, a butter dish and salt and pepper shakers from Anthropologie.

In the loft we use the silver tree with pink ornaments and top if off with a light up Zelda tree topper.

Our kitchen island tree gets 1980's hand painted wooden ornaments I found thrifting.

At a recent estate sale I found so many European Christmas items, including this four tier nativity candle spinner from Germany. My Paper White bulbs are starting to grow.

I used vintage tablecloths on my tables this year. They aren't necessarily for Christmas but they seem to work anyway. The green candle lantern is from World Market.

I had fun setting the dining room table with my new to me Villeroy & Boch Naif Christmas plates.

The eat in kitchen displays one of my Christmas cactuses and dessert plates and cups from Anthropolgie's Nathalie Lete collection.

My mom's hand painted stocking holder moves around every year but this year I have a vintage stocking to hang on it as well.

My German Smoker guy will be ready for my new incense by Knox that is a blend of Christmas spices. My house will smell like Grandpa is here smoking his pipe.

I saw a lady in BH&G's put ribbon and ornaments on her chandelier so I had to copy it. I just used some gold and champagne bulbs with burnt orange velvet ribbon.

Our upstairs tree looks a little sparse. My hope is that I will slowly find vintage ornaments to fill it up. The candle lights make it look very Little Women.

The little golden tree makes an entrance this year with gold glass ornaments and an orange bow. 

A banner I found at the estate sale with God Jul and little elves hand painted. Couldn't resist. 

The bottle brush trees are right at home with the light up Swedish wooden decoration.

Winter Peppermint tea and Starbucks coffee always at the ready in our elf and Santa mugs.

Our knitted reindeer looks right at home every year with it's black white pattern.

The entry table gets cinnamon scented pinecones this year.

I just love our paper stars and lanterns from World Market. They are probably my favorite decorations besides my new German things.

The window wreaths have pretty pink ribbons. 

Every year we say we're going to just put up our faux tree and then every year we realize it's not the same as a real tree. A big shout out to Jordan Christmas Tree Farm who let us in without a reservation. This year we splurged on a 9 footer, which also means our star is sitting parallel with the roof.

We moved one of the living room chairs to our dining room and I think it gives this space cozy vibes.

Swedish throw blankets complete the living room chairs.

The office is adorned with flocked wreaths and pink bows. 

Hope you enjoyed our Christmas tour and are inspired to decorate a bit. It sure does make the winter months less dreary! 


Monday, October 23, 2023

Firepit Updates

It's Smores' and cozy blanket season around here and I'm so happy I sprung for new Adirondack chairs from Highwood USA.  Our old wooden chairs held up for about seven years, but these recycled plastic adirondack chairs should last for about 20 years.  And hopefully they can be recycled again!   I decided to go with white chairs to change it up a bit from the dark blue ones. I think they look very classic. The style chairs are called The Essential Adirondack Chair and can be found here.     So far they seem very easy to clean and won't splinter or need repainting/sealing/staining at all. 

The cozy fleece throws are from Pendleton

This photo shows the new pansies, petunias, broccoli, and cabbage that I recently planted. In November I will add tulip and Allium bulbs and in the Spring it will be gorgeous.

Our Breeo Smokeless Firepit is going on two years of use. It is developing a nice patina on the outside because we chose the X Series in Size 24 with a Corten Steel finish.  We wanted it to look a little rustic and aged.  We also bought the lid for the firepit that keeps it from rusting on the inside.  The absolute best part of the firepit is that it's made right here in the U.S. of American Steel.   Other similiar firepits like the Solo Stove come from China. We are very picky when it comes to where products are made. 

Looking forward to many roasted marshmallows, ghost stories, and family time.

Happy Fall and almost Halloween!


Monday, October 2, 2023

Halloween Outdoor Tour 2023 🕸

This is my absolute favorite time of the year. I was never a summer person. Don't like swimming, don't like bathing suits, being hot, bugs, etc.  I enjoy cooler temps, flannel shirts, gardening outside and not sweating profusely.  Decorating for the holidays. All of the things that come along with Fall. Pumpkin Spice coffee, apple picking, Fall leaf peeping, etc. etc.  In July and August I was so bored with summer that I started making gravestones out of foam board and we had a lot left over so we made some pillars too.   Joe cut out the designs for me with his saw and I took on the painting and design on the computer and using a Dremel to etch in the letters. I had a lot of fun seeing how professional they ended up looking. Much better than hand lettering words.   I am still tweaking a few things outside and have yet to add pumpkins but here is how it looks on Oct. 2nd.  🕸

I will say we did not invent the wheel when it came down to the technique. Sure we tweaked a few things here and there but for the most part we followed this guy on Youtube.  I changed the gray paint for example because I couldn't find what he used in the store.  I also added white plastic urn pots to the top of our pillars with glamorous skulls and faux Halloween flowers to the pots. Gives it a classy look!  I found black plastic chain from Lowes and two hooks to create a little gate. 

On either side of the pillars I added Shepard Hooks from the garden center at Lowes with two hanging solar lanterns.   We sprinkled bits of moss everywhere.

We still have the full size wooden coffin and wooden stakes we made from old pallets from last year. Added some faux moss to the front flower pots and of course classic Fall Mums. 

My favorite tombstone is the Bram Stoker one. It's size and shape and are so classic.

These were the only two tombstones that we have left from year's past.  The others suffered splitting over the years so we finally discarded them.

Geneva Oedlia Hilliker Ellroy's grave.  She is the mother of famous crime novelist James Ellroy, murdered while on a date when he was just a little boy.  Weird story -she lived in my Grandparent's rental house and my grandparent's had to identify her body down at the local morgue!  

Cliff Burton's grave.  He was a former member of Metallica, died in a bus accident in Sweden while they were on tour. 

Joey Jordison's grave.  Former member of Slipknot. 

Thomas Midgley Jr. - "had more adverse impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth's history." RIP

Don't google this guy, H.H. Holmes if you don't want to be mortified! He is claimed to be America's first serial killer. 

Sarah Good, you all know her from the Salem Witch trials.

This flower bed was redone this year so it has a smaller footprint than last year, but I was able to still fit the circle of Orange C9 lights just fine. I added some flickering lights to the outside. 

New this year is the Halloween doormat.  I think I have a thing for Spider's.

Our hanging lanterns have LED flame bulbs in them and they add the right amount of spookiness to the porch.

I found some purple and yellow mums at the the nursery and the fountain grass adds a nice fall touch.  New this year too are corn husks added to the pots in the backrow. Still need pumpkins to round out this area.

One of my favorite new touches this year are the curtains that I hung from the porch. Instead of buying muslin fabric or Halloween specific curtains I went to the At Home store and found six sheer gray 95" curtains. I cut up the bottoms and added some tears. My kid had fun splattering red paint to a few of them and some bloody handprints.  We bought small PVP pipe that we cut to fit exactly between each porch pillar and hung them on hooks that we leave up year round for our Christmas lights. When the wind blows they sure do look creepy!

👀 If you notice we have a new garden flag -an Etsy splurge with a cool early 1900's Hill House font. 

Our Dead and Breakfast sign still holding up after all these years.  One of my favorite past decorations.

Obviously I need to do a few touch ups, light straightening out the these lights, but I was so excited to post pics! Our Hydrangeas are drying out nicely and turning brown. Will leave for the creepy factor. 

My terminator Skeleton as I like to call him is chillin' on the porch now, but I move him around a few times a month. Can you spot Chucky in the window?

I left my hanging ferns because they remind me of the Haunted Mansion at Disney. 

Here's the yard, pretty much all lit up at night!  I added lots of solar lights because it really helps at night for the Trick Or Treaters to see the decorations.  I think my neighbor's at this point think we're pretty obnoxious.  😁

In the backyard we have a more peaceful vibe -a metal pumpkin lantern, cute Sanderson Sister Hocus Pocus throw pillows and cozy Pendleton blankets.  But don't wander out into the yard, you might run into a ghost or two!

 Happy October and Happy Halloween....!


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