Hey, hey! We made it to Friday. We’ve had a pretty good week around here, and we are counting down the days until Winter Break! It’s right around the corner, so we’ll just keep chugging right along until break arrives.
One of my favorite things to do for the holidays is decorate. Even before my blog, I would always take photos of where I put decorations to make the process as easy as possible. The weekend after Thanksgiving is when I do most of my decorating, and it’s typically a one (wo)man job…until I can’t carry something or need Travis to hang the garland. 😉
I saw this meme recently, and, of course, it fits today’s blog topic.
While 90% of my decorations have been used through the years, I do move things around and often can’t help myself from buying a new item or two along the way. #michaelsiswhereitsat
Here’s a little tour around our home:
My kitchen buffet stayed pretty much the same, but I added fresh garland to the top for about a week.
I figured it wouldn’t last long with Homer. He did pull it down a couple of times, but thankfully, he didn’t destroy it.
I love the Christmas dishes that I display this time of the year.
In the cabinet near the buffet, I added in some trees I’ve collected over the years and a cinnamon scented candle. I actually made the burlap trees a few years ago.
Our fire place and mantle remain the same, but I did buy new garland. What I’ve had for the past few years is extra bulky, and I just wanted a more seamless look. Hadley pointed out that the red and the green of the garland match our stockings perfectly. My previous garland was pre-lit, but I had to add lights to this new garland.
I definitely do the love traditional red and green Christmas decor.
This view is definitely a favorite.
One of my friends painted this pallet a few years ago, and it’s one of my favorite holiday pieces.
In the first few years in this house, we never really knew where to put the tree. Once we made this space the office rather than the dining room, the tree fit perfectly in here. I like that you can see the glow of the tree lights from the kitchen and the living room as well as from the street when the shutters are open.
I always put out the picture of the kids under the tree for their first Christmas. They were a month old (and a few days) old on Christmas 2009.
I kept the front hall the same as years past with the light up tree, Christmas card holder, snowman tea light, and Merry and Bright sign.
I love Bath and Body Works and always have a few candles to burn like the peppermint one on this entry table.
The tall Santa was a Home Goods find a few years ago. I kept it simple on the coffee table with the flocked tree and candle. The light up present provides the perfect glow in the morning and night. I added a lantern and Merry Christmas canvas to my regular decor on my antique chest.
I always keep my cream pillows out and add seasonal pillows for fall and Christmas.
This is the first year we’ve put garland out front. I’ve mentioned previously that I was on the hunt for some artificial garland, but never really found any I liked. Then, I saw the real garland at Trader Joe’s and thought I’d give it a try. Travis was kind enough to hang it for me. Now, I have no clue how long it will last, but after a week, it still is looking good. I’ve sprayed it with water a few times. I have no clue if that’s what I’m supposed to do, but that’s what I’ve been doing!
I’ve had the lanterns and poinsettias for years. My cute stocking door hanger was painted by a local Lexington small business. It’s perfectly festive and, again, I love the traditional red and green.
The Rudolph pillow covers are from Etsy, and I’ve had them for years. The trees in the planters light up, and the Merry Christmas garden flag is the final touch outside.
When the garland on the kitchen buffet was starting to look tired, I sprayed it with water and then put little pieces of it in the outside planters.
I’ve shared this room already as it was the first room I decorated for the season. Until this past spring (#thanksquarantine), we didn’t really use the sun room that often. This year, I thought I’d go ahead and decorate it since we are out here so much now. The pillow covers are new (from Amazon) and the basket wreath is a new find from TJ Maxx this year. We’ve had the tree for years as it’s the one we used for a few years before starting to get a real tree for the living room/office area.
I added a few little trees to the tray that’s always on this table, and I burn the Bath and Body Works Winter scented candle when hanging out in the sun room.
A few other faves:
Dinners this week:
It’s no secret that I use Shay’s cookbooks (especially Simmers) quite frequently for meal ideas. Well, last week, she posted about 24 Crazy Easy December Dinners, and I used it as my guide for meals this week. This week, we’ve eaten: Chicken Tortilla Soup, Beefy Mushroom Pasta, Cheesy Ranch Tacos, and King Ranch Joes. (I don’t think KRJ were listed in that post, but here’s the recipe.) This one post was a life saver for me. We eat the soup and KRJs pretty often, but the pasta and tacos were new recipes for me to make. We all loved them.
A neighbor had a few books in her garage to give away. One of the books I brought home was The Outsiders which piqued Hayden’s interest. He started reading it Monday night at bedtime and then was telling me all about it Tuesday evening. I stopped him, mid-summary, because I was shocked he’d already read the entire book. Hadley then said that he was reading some during the day while listening to his teacher on Zoom. Anyway, he loved the book so much. With his summary of the stabbing and teenagers smoking and drinking, I was reminded why this is a classic middle school book! haha
He deemed this the second best book he’s ever read. Hatchet was recommended by my mom and still his fave.
I hope he always loves reading as much as he does now.
Then, Wednesday night, he begged us to watch the movie. Travis and I watched it with him. He really liked it, but said the book was better. A friend of mine shared a @historic_imagery post with me on Instagram. I never knew that Francis Ford Coppola hadn’t planned on making the movie but then did so after receiving a letter from a librarian as well as over 100 of her seventh and eighth graders in Fresno, CA. They also share that fact in the credits of the movie.
Our Southern Lights Horse Park tradition continued this week. We drove through the park on Tuesday night, and loved seeing the upgraded and updated displays. They had the usual displays, but had also added other lights and features. Also, Santa was sitting outside the North Pole waving at the cars. Usually, Santa is inside the pavilion.
Classic Kentucky lights with the horses, Wildcat basketball player, and Keeneland.
The kids’ school had a Winter Drive Thru this week where they handed out fun packs and free books (as well as supplies for the beginning of second semester).
There was a line around the school, and it was so wonderful to see the teachers outside, waving, and so excited to see their students. Teachers and staff were dressed as Elsa, Rudolph, elves, and Santa! To see the hustle and bustle at school as well as the staff and teachers literally brought tears to my eyes. I hope my kids are able to go back to school sooner rather than later.
Books, games and hot chocolate!
Trader Joe’s Snack Mix
It’s the time of the year for Trader Joe’s to have my favorite snack mix. I found out the hard way a couple years ago when I was looking for it in January that it’s seasonal.
Some people are hoarding toilet paper again, and I left TJ with six cans of this mix! Delish!
Favorite Mom Meme:
Y’all, I feel this deeply.
Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday
Facebook memories from 2017 provided this gem. I love this picture from Trav’s work holiday party. It didn’t really dawn on me until seeing this that we are missing out on some fun during this season. There’s always the work party, a neighborhood party as well as a party with some of our friends. Hopefully, those traditions will be back in 2021. Sometimes I do miss the normal chaos that the holidays bring.
And for fun….here’s a 1980’s flashback for you…it’s a classic!
Here are my posts for this week! We sure have been busy!
Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts, and I hope everyone has a great weekend!