christmas decor 2017.

Friday, December 8, 2017

So, I was just looking at my post history from 2017 and all I can say is... sad.  This is only my 6th post for the year.  It's been a rough one, with being pregnant with our second baby, taking care of our first baby (who, sadly, isn't a baby anymore, but instead a 3.5 year old who suddenly has opinions on everything?!), having a fairly demanding job, and just generally being exhausted all the time.  I'm 32 weeks prego (hoorayyyy!) so the finish line is in sight.

Anyway, I thought I'd at least pop in and show you our Christmas tree and mantel!  I love looking back on my Christmas posts to see my trees from each year, and I have to say, I'm kind of in love with this year's tree.

Remember when I posted about the greatest post-Christmas deal of all time?  Well, here's the 10.5' tree in all her glory!  In case you don't remember, I paid $80 for this pre-lit tree, a huge box full of ornaments and the tree topper. #youcanbejealousnow :)

As I was taking these photos, it was snowing outside.  Snowing!!  In North Carolina!!  In December!!  I mean, this never happens.  It was so exciting, leaving work early, coming home and snuggling in our PJs, drinking apple cider and watching it snow.  If days and nights like these don't make it feel like Christmas, I don't know what does.

We haven't gotten to pull out our Polar Express train since S2's first Christmas, so it was so fun setting it up this year.

Our elf, Jack, is up to his daily antics, riding the reindeer on the mantel.  S2 loves finding him every morning!

See, snow!!!

One of my resolutions for the new year is to break out the "real" camera more often.  After all, we'll have a sweet baby that we need to capture alllll the photos of.  This is just a start because I love Christmas bokeh (and this chick).

I hope to stop by again before the year is through, but in case I don't, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

it won't be like this for long.

Monday, August 21, 2017

I think 4 months is the longest I've ever gone without blogging since I started back in 2010.  But I tend to go radio silent when I'm just trying to survive.

But I thought I'd pop in real quick because S2 has something to announce...

Oh, by trying to survive, I meant morning/all day sickness.  There were a few weeks where it was touch-and-go but I'm mostly on the other side now thank goodness!  I've been more of a slacker about taking weekly pics this time (because I've had a 3-year-old to chase around in between trips to the toilet... not a lot of time left for pics).  But I am going to try to get better about it now that I'm feeling better.  

We find out the gender in 2 weeks (my gut feeling says girl, but as time goes on, I've been getting a little less sure of that), so we're definitely looking forward to knowing!

This is how I announced it on social media:

Sigh. That video gets me every time.  It's hard to believe that come February, we'll have another little baby to love.

I do have a lot of fun things to share - our deck got a little makeover in the spring, S2 got a new big girl bed, and our foyer has gotten a little decorating love lately.  I'll try to get back here before another 4 months passes by... :)

craft room curtains.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Remember back in August when I posted my craft room mood board? Here's a refresher:

I finally made a little progress and got the curtains hung! Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of a window? This is the best I could do. You get the idea.

In person, they make such a big impact and go a long way to making the room feel more finished, especially considering that the window was totally naked before.  I had to get the longest length - 108" - which is no small chunk of change ($218 + $50 for this curtain rod), but they are really nice quality and are blackout (not that I need blackout drapes in the craft room, but it opens up options of where I can use them in the future).  I'm still looking for a nicer table and need to get the Disney art finished - I have all the supplies, just need to make time to get it done.  

Progress, people, progress.

s2's room: gallery walls

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hi friends!

Recently, I've done some decorating in S2's room and I have to say, I'm so pleased with it.  It was one of my goals for 2017 to hang some stuff on her walls, so yay, mission accomplished!

We're starting to think about transitioning her to a "big girl" bed, but haven't quite pulled the trigger on that yet.  When we do, all this will have to change again, but it's cute for the time being.

View from the doorway:

I found the pennant letters at Hobby Lobby, and the city prints hung in her nursery at our old house.

Originally, I had the growth chart hung in the middle of this wall between her closet and bathroom, but I moved it to one side so I could hang some art and photos around it for a little gallery wall.  I think it's so cute!

"Sweet Beautiful Girl" canvas found at HobLob. "S" from TJMaxx.

The wall kind of has a Disney-theme going on, and I kinda like it. :)  T-minus 9 days until we see Mickey again!!

When she does move into a twin bed, I have NO idea how we'll arrange her room.  That big window on the back of the house is great, but it really cramps my style as far as figuring out the best layout for her furniture.  I'm trying to talk S1 into converting our dining room/office into a playroom, so that her play kitchen could go in there and free up some wall space in her room.  We'll see what happens  when the time comes. :)

a toddler's cinderella birthday party.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hi and happy APRIL to you.  Sorry guys, didn't mean to just fall off the face of the earth there.  February and March were so CRAZY BUSY with work and life and sickness (we all took turns with strep, general colds, and the stomach bug - yuck) and I'm just now coming up for air.  Although apparently allergies are kicking my butt this year?  I've never really dealt with seasonal allergies before but my luck has run out and I'm living on allergy meds.  Getting old sucks, you guys. ha.

So back in February we threw S2 a Cinderella-themed third birthday party.  It was kind of a last minute decision (both deciding to have a big party and then deciding on the theme) so I kept it pretty simple.  S2 has loved Cinderella since our Disney trip back in September so it made sense to make her the star of the show...

My friend Crystal is a master cake baker so I enlisted her help with the Cinderella doll cake and it turned out SO WELL.  Everyone loved it.  I also had her do some cupcakes too because I was afraid the doll cake wouldn't feed everyone but I was mistaken - the cake fed all 30+ people and then some.  Just a note if you're thinking about doing something similar.

Our girl loves playing outside more than anything in the world so we turned the kids loose on the deck and they ran around playing - no set activities planned.

I put some popcorn in some paper cups and called it Bibbidi Bobbidi Popcorn because why not?

Funny story, on her actual birthday, a few days before her party, I was putting her to bed and she got upset because she thought we forgot about her Cinderella party that we'd been hyping up for weeks.  We had to explain that today was her actual birthday but that her party wasn't until the weekend!  Poor thing was so confused, haha.

The one thing I "cooked" for the party - pretzel rods + blue candy melts + white nonpareils = Magic Wands!  They were delicious too!  I'm still finding nonpareils on the floor 2 months later, I kid you not.

I did two craft projects.  The first one was a big number 3 in the party colors.  Here's the tutorial:  grab a piece of white foam core, draw a big 3 on it, cut it out with an Xacto, crumple up some tissue paper squares and hot glue them on the number randomly.  Hang with fishing line.  Instant cuteness!!

Second craft: a banner with the party theme emblazoned on it.  I used a circle cutter but you could also use your Silhouette (or trace around a bowl).  I did use the Silhouette for the letters and connected them all with yarn.

I will say one thing, Amazon and Oriental Trading are lifesavers when planning a party.  Everything in these photos came from one of those two places.

Midnight Kisses, of course!

This sums up our girl, for the most part. :)

She was not interested in blowing out the candles at ALL, but that's okay because this photo of me blowing them out for her makes me look like I have some KILLER cheekbones so I'll take it.  #thankyoucontouring

She is so happy and full of energy and just the absolute light of our lives.  I have no idea what life was like before she was in it.

We don't take nearly enough family photos so every one that we get is just priceless.  Even if a certain 3-year-old refused to smile.

Overall, the party was a big success and our girl was loved and spoiled, as she should be.  Speaking of which, we're taking her BACK to see Cinderella's Castle in a couple of weeks!  She asks almost everyday if we're going to see Cinderella's castle today and we have to tell her not yet, but soon!  It will be a quick trip but so fun - I can never stay away from the Mouse for long, I get withdrawals.

Photography by Nicole Ansalvish.  I wish I had thought of hiring a photographer to capture her first and second birthdays because MAN it was worth every penny!!  And I actually have photos to mark the occasion instead of running around crazy and trying to remember to snap one every now and then.  Do it, hire the photographer, she'll only turn 3 once. :)

craft room progress.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hello and happy new year to you!  So far, 2017 has proven busy.  We've been overbooked every weekend (lots of birthdays in January, including mine!) and my house is in dire need of some cleaning, not to mention getting all the Christmas Crap organized.  Why does that take so long?

Speaking of Christmas Crap, before I get into today's post, I have to tell you about my Deal of the Century.  I'm apparently into capitalizing random words today.  ANYWAY. :)  So, S1 and I decided that after Christmas this year, we would look into getting an artificial tree to use next year.  Not only would it be so much easier, but we think having a real tree was causing us to have allergy problems which we don't really have any other time of the year.  So, the day after Christmas, I started scouring stores and the internet for some super-mega-clearance sale on trees.  We needed a 10'-12' tree, which, apparently, costs a literal arm and a leg.  Like, you have to sell a kidney in order to afford one.  Like, over a thousand dollars.  For a tree.  Mmmmmnothanks.  We found one at Lowes for a measly price of $400 (comparatively) and considered it for a minute, but after opening the box (because it was no longer on display) and inspecting it, it just looked cheap.  I couldn't get down with it.  I remembered that I had seen a 10.5' tree at Target during the holidays so I went by there to see if they still had any in the store (they weren't for sale online) and my Target was sold out.  Bummer.  At this point, I was giving up, like whatever, we would just have to figure something out next year.  A couple days later, during my lunch break, I thought, I'll just run back over to Target and see if, by chance, they would sell me their display tree.  It wouldn't have a box, it might not even work, but it's worth a shot.  So I walk back there and all the display trees have been taken down and there was only one aisle of Christmas Crap left (for 75% off), but lo and behold, my 10.5' tree was there, in the corner, still fully decorated, with no signage or anything on it.  So I found an employee and asked him if they were selling this display tree.  He radios back to the manager and she said that if someone was there and would take it on the spot, she'd sell it ornaments and ALL for $80.  ORNAMENTS, TREE TOPPER, 10.5' PRE-LIT TREE AND ALL.  I started undecorating it right there, with help from a couple employees, and they hauled it to the front for me and I felt like I was stealing it.  We're talking a huge tree full of beautiful ornaments, plus the tree itself.  I've been telling everyone about my Deal of the Century ever since.  Stuff like this just doesn't happen everyday!  I'm already SO looking forward to next Christmas!

Okay, now onto today's post.  (Sorry for the sub-par photos - this room is hard to photograph, plus I wasn't paying attention and had my ISO up too high... grr)

I spent the day after New Year's finally unpacking and organizing my craft room.  In case you forgot, here's where my craft room is in our basement.

Remember what it looked like for an entire year?

And now I've got all my craft supplies out of boxes and on the shelves!

Here's the view before from the other direction:

And now - much better!

I haven't done any actual decorating, although my plan is still the same.  I do have the curtains and just ordered a curtain rod today, so yay progress!

The worst part of this whole room was the closet.  All the boxes of craft supplies were stuffed in there and it was chaos.

Now, there are still boxes, but it's much more organized!  I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with all my fabric so I just left it in the box, and the other boxes are decor/frames that I had in my old craft room that I probably won't use in here.  I got those little bins to organize like items (for 75 cents each at Target at the same time as my Deal of the Century) and labeled them all and the angels sang hallelujah.

There's definitely still work to be done, but all of my stuff is finally out and I know where it is and I can use it, and really, that's all I can ask for. :)

We had this wood drop-leaf table in our storage room in the basement so I drug it in here to add a natural element and a place to set the TV and I'm loving it.  The yellow trash can will go bye-bye, but it's serving a purpose for now.

Okay, so that's my craft room all organized!  Sometimes I just stand in here and look around because it's so glorious.

new dining chairs.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hey hey!  Remember a few weeks ago when I was searching for dining chairs?  Well, we finally pulled the trigger and ordered some!

I really had my heart and mind set on a bench, which narrowed down the options considerably.  I also really liked the idea of a natural woven look, and I thought the muted beige/gray tones of the Kubu Dining Chair from Pier1 (as seen in Option 5 in my chair-hunting post) would tie in the colors of the nearby sofa, flooring and table.  I liked the armchair version that I listed in the post but after measuring, realized that they would be too deep on either side of the table.  So, we ended up going with the armless version and the matching bench.

After having all 5 items in my online shopping cart for weeks, they finally went on sale (the chairs down to $99 and the bench down to $153), plus an extra 15% off and free ship-to-store.  I ordered them last Monday and they arrived at the store on Thursday!  I was so impressed with how quickly they came in.  Oh, and everything fit in the back of my Mom Van, so bonus points there, ha!

I love the colors and think they go really well with everything, but I've already noticed that they're a little delicate.  We have to train S2 not to get up in them with her knees and to sit on her bottom when she's in them.  Kind of a bummer, but she doesn't really sit here much anyway, so I don't think it's that big of a deal.

I think having the bench on one side is going to be so great!  I love it.

Oh and a close up of the material - this is pretty true to color.

If I don't pop in here again before Christmas, I wish you all the very happiest of holidays.  We have a jam-packed few days (really, you should see my spreadsheet), but by Monday we should have a little time to relax before heading back to work on Tuesday.  S2 is going to be so thrilled with what Santa brought her (an American Girl Bitty Baby... shhh... don't spill the beans ;)) and I can't wait to see her reaction.

Oh, I also wanted to mention to go follow me on Instagram @jenna_lovelakeliving and on my NEW graphic design account @typographicallyjp for all my holiday updates. :)

Merry Christmas y'all!