Friday, December 03, 2010

Decorating For the Holidays


Glitter Pine Wreath, at Z Gallerie

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Need to launder your slippers or fuzzy socks? With the colder nights, I've been wearing either my pink slippers or my two pairs of black plush slipper socks for several days now. Both pairs are in dire need of visiting the laundry.

  • Do you use an Advent calendar with your children? Either the paper or wooden kind? Any supplies you need to get for your Advent calendar to be ready? Coins, stickers, chocolates?

  • Know where your snow shovel is? Can you get it out when you need it, in case it snows in your area this month? Do you need to buy rock salt? Do you have an ice scraper in your car for your windshield and windows?

  • How is your family newsletter coming along, if you write one? Holiday card writing and mailing going along schedule?

  • Made a plan for your family's charity contributions and/or charity activities this season?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Decorating for the Holidays


Swirl Ball Ornaments, at Crate & Barrel

Today I am removing the last vestiges of my fall and Thanksgiving decor (purple, green, brown and blue) from my home. I am swapping in my holiday candles, red tablecloths, red beaded coasters, Christmas kitchen towels, and a red vase or two.

In my family room and living room, I'm swapping out brown plush throws and pillows for red throws, white throws, and crimson pillows.

I've hung four stockings by the fire (one for each of my kids and one for each of their girlfriends). I don't think I'm interested in hanging stockings for my two dogs, I think that would be a little silly. I'll definitely sneak them some extra dog treats over the holidays though!

Over the past week I burned up the last of my orange and pumpkin-scented candles and got rid of a couple candle stubs out of my hurricanes. Today I'll spend about fifteen minutes cleaning out candleholders and cleaning wax off my downstairs brick mantel. Then I'll set out my red holiday candles. I can't wait to see my home tonight glowing with festive candlelight and firelight.


Tree Ornaments, at Pier 1

I don't put a lot of kitschy Christmas stuff out around to clutter up the house (It's already cluttered enough with books and magazines!). I wouldn't have a plush Santa or an elf sitting on the mantel, I refuse to get hooked on collectible Christmas villages, and I won't have a wooden or plastic reindeer standing by the front door. I do use some garlands for the mantels (real, not artificial).

But I use holiday colors when I set my table, decorate my couches, set out coasters for drinks to rest on, arrange candles, and choose houseplants and fresh flowers. Our bathrooms now have Target's Method Home "Fresh Currant" hand washes, instead of this fall's lemon verbena.

Tonight I'll go shopping for a wreath made of fresh evergreens and put it on my front door. I'll also start putting up Christmas lights in each window of the house - even the kitchen ones that you can't see from the street. They're there just for our own enjoyment.

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Dream by the Fire Tea


Here's another tasty holiday tea, Republic of Tea's "Dream by the Fire." I am going to pick up a couple of these to give as hostess gifts next time I go to a dinner party. So perfect for the season! Cinnamony and a bit spicy.

LOVELY BLOGS: Bakingdom


Here's a fabulously creative baking blog I think you'll enjoy. Really inventive ideas here: today's steampunk cupcakes, as well as tasty looking Mexican hot chocolate doughnuts and adorable sweet mini pumpkin cheesecakes. The photographs are large and there's a lot of them - I love seeing the recipes completed step-by-step. This is a blog I'll definitely visit several times per week!

http://bakingdom.blogspot.com/

LOVELY GIFTS: Sewing Suitcase


I was just so taken with this adorable suitcase knitting and sewing kit I wanted to share it with you. (Not an affiliate link!) I think someone who actually sews and knits all the time wouldn't benefit from the supplies in this kit - they would already own them - but perhaps someone newly excited about sewing and knitting would find this a very lovely, thoughtful gift.

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Carrot and Fennel Soup (101 Cookbooks)

Christmas Cookies Worth Swapping (Epicurious)

Festival of Lights (Epicurious)

How to Ship Cookies for the Holidays (CHOW)

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