Just popping in quickly to say hi! So...its all over already...Christmas, 2009:( Wow, that went by fast, huh?!

How was everyone's holiday? P and I had a blast hanging out at home at my parents for Christmas with my family (hopefully we are getting together with his this weekend). I got some great home related gifts...some that I asked for, a few that were fun surprises (I'll try to share them soon). What about you guys, any favorite gifts?

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year's Eve tonight!!! And a great first day of 2010 tomorrow! (Here's a question...do you think you are going to pronounce 2010 like "two thousand ten" or like "twenty ten"?)

Thank you so much for hanging out with me these last 7 or 8 months!!! I had no idea at the start of '09 that I would end up blogging, never mind meet so many kind and generous and talented people.

Look for some real posts soon...an announcement about the next Mood Board Monday, my first custom baby shower invitation, the start of a mini-makeover in our foyer using one of my Christmas gifts, a list of some projects I'd like to get done this year:)

Happy Holidays!!!



Well, it's almost/practically/finally here...Christmas 2009!!! Paul and I are headed out in just a minute for the 6 hour drive to Pa. We alternate whose family we will spend Christmas with each year, and this year it's my turn:) Yay! This means a second Christmas when we get back with his family....and more presents!

Happy holidays and best wishes for a joyful, peaceful and awesome new year! Thank you so much to all of you for your support and friendship over these past 6 months. Enjoy these next few days with your family and friends!

I'll leave you with these pics of Christmas past. Oh, maybe 25 years ago or so. Here's my sister and I in our adorable matching pajamas about half-way through the morning (do not look at the paneling):

And here we are after we opened our new leotards, leg warmers and apparently, new boots that we really, really must have wanted. That is my happy dance:)

Merry Christmas!

midnight + ice



The DIY Show Off

Hey! Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments about the custom holiday card I made for Allison and Dan and our holiday home tour!! I haven't had a chance to visit everyone individually and thank them (or check out that many of the 1,000 homes that are on tour with the Nester), so I sincerely apologize...but hopefully slowly and surely I'll get there.

So, wow! Only a few days until Christmas!!! I can't wait. But still got a lot to get done before then. What about you, guys? Are you ready? I finished up writing out our Christmas cards today, so thought I'd share them with you. And since they were totally DIY, I'm hooking up with Roeshel's DIY Show Off Holiday Highlights Head on over to the DIY Show Off to check out tons of DIY holiday projects:)

***Updated 12/22/09: And now its Tuesday, which means its DIY Day over at Kimba's A Soft Place to Land. I'm going to link up to that party too, if no one minds:)

Like Allison and Dan, Paul and I don't do the photo holiday cards since we don't have any kids. Some years I splurge on letterpress Christmas cards from Paper Source. Some years I make my own. This year I decided to go green and not spend any money (except on stamps, of course!) by using paper I already had left over from invitation projects.

The deciding factor on what color and size direction I would head in was dictated by how many of the same envelopes I had lying around. I found enough long (9 1/4" x 4 1/8") soft blue envelopes to make it through my list. This meant I would be making a tea-length card, or a very tall and skinny or short and wide card...with some shade of blue in it as I like my envelopes to coordinate with the card. Then I found some leftover dark blue cardstock and figured that a monochromatic blue color scheme could make a slightly untraditional but still very wintery and festive Christmas palette. Here's what we ended up with:

When we send cards we like to write out a personal message to each family or friend. So this year I decided to just incorporate our sentiment into the card (that way I wouldn't have to write it out 45 times)...the whole card became about the text. And you can tell its from us because it has the word "awesome" in it!! Using different fonts and sizes but keeping all the words inside this very tall and skinny invisible rectanglular border, you get a very modern and fun composition.

I left room after "Dear" and "lots of love" so that P and I can still put that personal spin on each card. Here we just hand-write in the names of each of the individuals we're sending them to. And we can sign our names at the bottom with whatever version of ourselves these particular family/friends are familiar with.

For visual interest (all text woulda been pretty boring), I drew some seasonal graphics to fit into a few of the empty spaces. Now I just gotta get the rest of these puppies into the mail!!

Thanks for hosting, Roeshel! And Kimba!!!

Hope you guys enjoy this last week leading up to Christmas...hopefully you'll get some time to relax and savor the season amongst all the last-minute rush. Good luck!!

silver + gold + evergreen



Hi! Got another paper project to share with you...this one is related to the holidays and not weddings:)

One of my readers, Allison (hi, Allie!), got in touch asking if I do other things besides just wedding invites. Of course I answered "For sure!" and then "Thanks so much!". She was wondering if I'd make her and her husband some custom holiday cards. As its just her and him (no kids yet), they don't do the photo card thing (P and I either) and she thought something hand-crafted and unique would be a special way to send warm wishes to their family and friends.

I was super excited to take on this project...I've only done custom wedding paper stuff the last few years, but I've always wanted to branch out into other celebratory life events, babies, birthdays, Christmas! I sincerely want to thank Allison for seeing the potential in my work and trusting me with the opportunity to try something new. Plus, now I've got a brand new internet friend:)P

Allison told me a bit about her holiday style...she loves silver and white with touches of gold, is drawn to snowmen, wreaths and trees, and was looking for something "a bit unexpected and slightly nontraditional, but not too modern". After chatting a bit more, I discovered that Allison and Dan live very close to the shore...he surfs and fishes, she has a side business creating hand-painted nautical infant apparel. It was obvious that the water played a big part in their lives, so why not go for a coastal Christmas?!

After a first round of card concepts, we settled on the idea of sea shell ornaments - in a classic, hanging on the tree, naturally elegant sort of way. A wide border of silver metallic card stock (along with a matching silver metallic envelope) added that holiday shimmer that Allie was looking for. We brought in a touch of seasonal color to the metallic mix by making the tree branch a subtle green.

What do you think? Did we nail a sophisticated nautical Christmas? Would you mind terribly getting this in the mail, with a hand-written note in silver pen from Allie? I sure didn't:)

PS. For some more silver, gold, and green holiday inspiration, go check out this gorgeous holiday dinner soiree photo shoot that Kathryn over at Snippet and Ink posted today...so beautiful!

Holiday Home Tour: Part II



Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

Hi! Happy Holidays!!! Today I'm psyched to be joining in on the Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes 2009. This is going to be big, people (last year when Boo Mama hosted there were over 900 participants!!)...head over and check it out, then settle in for some great holiday cheer, you could spend all day looking at these wonderful links.

On Friday I posted the first part of our Christmas decorating...spots like the foyer and kitchen. Today I'll show you around the rest of the place...and I'll try not to talk too much:)

******living room*******

{I hung this square wreath from Target over the mirrors above the sofa}

{I love mercury glass for the holidays}

{gotta display the Christmas books...that's The Polar Express on the bottom}

{the mantel}

******family room*******

{the black ledge shelves above the couch}

{more empty boxes wrapped up as presents}

{branches from the yard in a mercury glass vase, DIY art}

{love my new mercury glass ornaments I received from nestie wade-n-maria in the thenest.com Decorating & Renovating Ornament Exchange}

{real pine and white cedar garland on the entertainment center}

{my Willow Tree Nativity Set that I cherish...I love putting these guys up every year, I talk to them as I arrange them!}

******dining room*******

{real 14" pine wreaths on the french doors...I love having fresh greenery around}

{more ornaments and fresh greens}

******downstairs bath*******

{star ornaments from Target hung on the shower...nobody showers down here!}

{fresh winter berries}

Thanks so much for stopping by! (And for having me over.) Lots of thanks to the Nester for hosting us, its been a lot of fun. Hope everyone has a great holiday:)

Ps. Urgghhh...what is up with my centering? I have everything set to centered and its all off - text, photos - its been like this for awhile. Anyone know what could be going on?

Holiday Home Tour: Part I



Hello! Happy Friday! Christmas is 2 weeks from today!!! Wow, hard to believe. About the only thing I have done is our holiday decorating:)

Julia is having her Hooked on Holiday House Tours over at Hooked on Houses today, so thought I'd join in with some pics of our foyer and kitchen. Can't wait to spend some time peaking in at everyone else's place.

On Monday the Nester is having her Christmas Tour of Homes so I'll post some more pics for that (like our living and family rooms, etc.). I was not part of blog land this time last year, so it's so fun to see how much everyone around here gets in the spirit.

Well, come on in!

{these are the huge lanterns I snagged at HomeGoods last year. Usually they're inside, but I put them outside and lit the candles for our party this weekend and they were beautiful...got lots of compliments}

Don't be a hater, but I just buy my wreaths instead of making them! (What? This is a skill too!) I can't help it, I love fresh greenery. And there's something about boxwood that I am just drawn to...so I treat myself to a fresh circular wreath from the local nursery for our front door every year.

And it goes on our silver engraved wreath hanger from Pottery Barn. (I asked for it one year for Christmas!)

Mini pumpkins came down from the transom window above the front door and up went these silver ornaments on green grosgrain ribbon.

I did a kind of green, brown, silver color theme for the bookcase in the foyer.

My somewhat small but still lovable collection of mini-trees goes on top.

My best friend from college gave me the one on the left. He's got little tin cookie cutter ornaments hanging on him. My mom gave me the Christmas weeping willow (with stars) and the burlap guy with spots of snow.

One of my favorite easy holiday decorating projects to do is to wrap up random boxes as gifts with pretty paper that matches my color scheme. (I love paper and pattern and have a ton of it hanging around, so its free too.)

{I swapped out the fall colored books on the bottom shelf for green and brown ones.}

I've got this garland on the bannister going up the stairs.

I don't really do much in the kitchen, but it took just a second to put some more of my wrapped boxes from last year onto the ledge shelves.

It's become tradition that while I'm at the nursery getting the boxwood, I buy a few real pine wreaths (these are 14") for our inside doors too. I just use wide satin ribbon and a small nail in the top of the door to hold them. Here's the door in our kitchen that leads down to the garage.

Thanks for stopping by!! Check out our holiday mantel here or the centerpieces for our holiday open house last weekend here. I love this time of year:)

Ps. Duh, its Friday. That means its Holiday Linky Friday over at the Inspired Room...I'm linking up to that too. Thanks, Melissa!

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