12.18.2014

Oh Pretty Christmas Tree

I have seen lots of pretty Christmas trees posted on Pinterest and on blogs since Thanksgiving (and even before!). I am pretty sure I have posted pictures of our tree on this blog and on Instagram in the past but it looks the same every year.


You know what? That's perfectly great - in fact - it is awesome. Our tree is a memory keeper. It includes ornaments we have purchased on trips or for momentous events (our wedding, the year 2000, etc.). We hang little crafts the kids have made and pictures of them as well. Some of the ornaments were gifts from others. When we hang them, we think and talk about all of these things. The kids love to ask questions about where things came from. Since my brain is filled with useless junk then I can often drag out the answer without much thought. I love that my kids also like to buy ornaments when we are on trips. I try to write their names on them if I remember so that down the road, I can pass them along to them when they have dingy apartments that need some Christmas cheer.  My mom did this for many years and that's how my brother and I got our collection started.

In other Christmas news, we have been able to pack in a lot of fun this season.  I took the kids to the Meadowlark Gardens Winter Walk of Lights while a friend was visiting with her daughter a few weeks ago. It is a lot of fun even in the pouring rain (almost no one was there!) - definitely recommend it if you live in the DC area.




We also made our first ever trip to the American Girl store in Tysons Corner which I LOVED. OMG - If I was 7 years old today, I would have to have everything in that store. My daughter, however, is not at all interested in dolls (never has been) although she was fascinated by the store (it's hard not to be!). And they have a doll hair salon and ear piercing station!


Jim and I also took the kids to the Nutcracker at Warner Theater. This is a special production by the Washington Ballet with a DC theme - cherry blossoms, George Washington nutcracker, etc. It is a lot of fun but long for 5 year old boys (and 43 year old husbands), but we rewarded everyone with a nice downtown dinner afterwards.



This weekend or next week while my family is visiting, we plan to visit the National Christmas Tree at the White House and maybe go to Mount Vernon which is always beautiful during the holidays. We are definitely making the most of the season!

Here's our holiday card this year. We send out about 160 now which seems insane but I love getting them in return! Photos this year are by Wendy of Blue Lily Photography. I cannot say enough good things about her - creative, fun, and relatively affordable.



Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!
Happy New Year! 


11.21.2014

New Front Door! And New Colors!

I absolutely loved our original wood front door. It was pretty and let light in without giving up too much privacy. But our beloved Angus destroyed it due to his absolute hatred for our mailman. Sadly, Angus died about a year ago, but that meant that we could get our new door that we needed desperately.  We had it installed by a contractor who worked on our addition - we loved his finish work so we knew he was the right one for the job.

Handy Hubby then did a bunch of coats of paint on the front - we ended up with Sherwin Williams Loyal Blue (after a brief stint with SW Bosphorous which I did not like at all).  And here she is looking all pretty for fall. I love how the orange and gold pop against the blue. So pretty!





But on the inside, I decided to jump on the painted door train. Wow. I'm glad I did!


It's the perfect way to introduce a bit more gray into our living room.  The color is Sherwin Williams Serious Gray (which we also used in my son's room). Also, that entry rug is from HomeGoods! 


10.21.2014

Cabinet Air Returns Revised {Kitchen}

At some point these air returns under our cabinets were really bothering me.  They looked like little black holes under the cabinets and I hated them.


I have no idea why these were brown but they were definitely not a top priority punch list item when we moved into our house post-renovation with a 3 year old and 2 month old!  Although replacing them with white was probably the best option, I decided to go with the quick option and use up a can of white spray paint I had hanging around in the basement.



So much better and blendy.  [I know that's not a word but I think it should be.]





















Happy, happy.

10.16.2014

Chandelier Takes One for the Team {Kitchen}

At one point I loved our kitchen chandelier.  It was one of my favorite deals that I found for our "new" house.  As my style has evolved a bit over the last few years I started finding a lot of replacement contenders.


I was coveting a wood and iron chandelier (similar to this) from the Lucketts Design House for months.  Then ultimately decided that I did not really want to spend $500 for something that I might want to change again in 5 years.  #Iknowmyself

So I decided to remove the shades from my chandelier and see if that helped.  The bell shaped shades are being evicted from all over my house.


I lived with it like that for a few weeks.  Still...no. I ultimately decided that it was just too busy with the ornate painting.  This is a problem I am finding throughout my house. Trying to de-clutter and de-decorate in a lot of areas.  So hard. #Ilikestuff

So out came the chalk paint. Again, no sanding or prep.  Just started laying it on there with 2 coats.  The kids were a bit surprised because although they had seen me attack furniture, never a light fixture.  I let it dry for a day and then experimented with a light coat of dark wax I had picked up on my second trip to Lucketts.  It gave it the right amount of dirt age.  Here's the final result.  



Happy to say that I love it and it really didn't cost me anything since I already had the paint as evidenced here.  I like that the color is carrying through to multiple rooms.





The dining room could really use a dose of this… Handy Hubby is going to be so mad. Do you spy any other changes in my family room?

10.14.2014

My Eclectic Powder Room

My powder room post pictures are probably "pinned" more than any other on my blog.  The ceiling is awesome and I still love it.


The floor needed to balance that ceiling.  We had a sisal rug in there that survived potty training two kids.  Now that the spillage years are behind us (I hope!), it was time to upgrade the rug.  I had been looking for the perfect rug for over a year.  For me "looking" means searching for a great deal on the best possible option.  

Then one day I'm in HomeGoods (shocking, I know) and I find this little baby!  Yeah!  Tribal rugs are really hot right now but I was not shelling out hundreds for anything authentic or even a good reproduction.  After all, I have a son who uses this bathroom daily.  $29.99 later, this guy (and his blue cousin) came home with me.


It looks so awesome with the navy walls (Sherwin Williams Naval) and dark vanity.


And here's my attempt to take a picture of the rug and ceiling in a 8x3 room.


I'm still looking for some art for next to the sink.  Maybe next year!