My home for Christmas 2013 and winners!

 A reminder that the last day to place holiday orders for my online shop is this Tuesday, December 17th.

Hi, first things first. I am thrilled to announce the two lucky winners of the HomeGoods gift card giveaways. Congratulations goes to....

 1st winner 

Result: 86  lynnmosher  December 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Your decorations and home are lovely! I'm another classic! :D

2nd winner (from Facebook)            Result: 20 Trudi Rowe
I'm from the Enchanted Home and my style is Socialite with a touch of Classic

Please contact me here to provide your shipping details.......

 All details for a brand new giveaway will be announced on Sunday!

It's hard to believe we are in the thick of the Christmas chaos now, isn't it? I am happy to report my gift buying is in full swing as is my holiday decor. This is early for me and I am thrilled to think I could potentially have it done by this week. My original goal was Dec. 10th so I have added a few days.  I will be posting less in the coming weeks as there are only so many hours in the day (about 2 to 3 times a week) but you can be sure I will post when I can, as blogland is indeed my "happy place" and a refuge of sorts for me to escape the big, crazy world!

I have gotten many requests for "how tos" on decorating and bringing  Christmas cheer into the house. I am by no means an expert but I do love decorating for the holidays and enjoy playing and tweaking all throughout the season.

Funny thing is you will see a lot of red here. And I am not a red person. But I am practical and like to use what I have and realize I have accumulated a truckload of red holiday items!!! I make it work and it happens to look quite good next to blue and white. There are a few tips that I have learned through the years that have become staples in my decorating arsenal and I thought it would make a fun post to share with you  by popular demand.

Some things I always have on hand, guaranteed to make your home feel "Christmas-y"

  • Lots of fresh evergreen (sprigs, scraps or garland that you can cut up) You can get them at not only obvious places like a nursery but your local supermarket and Home Depot for rock bottom prices
  • Faux sprigs of greenery and garland (again need not be expensive, places like Michaels have them)
  • A large empty water bottle filled at all times with fresh water
  • Pinecones, pinecones, can never have too many and they are not only super inexpensive but offer so much for so little (they come in big bags and I have found really big bags of them at Costco and stock up)
  • A few great smelling holiday scented candles (Seda France makes a fabulous and pretty one)
  • A great Christmas CD (Christmas music is a MUST)
  • Pillar candles to put inside hurricanes (battery operated even better)
  • Pretty ribbon for gift buying and adding to vignettes
  • Pick up those little sprays of faux greenery, berries (some have small ornaments or pinecones) They often offer them at 40-50% off, they can be used EVERYWHERE!
  • A holiday scented room spray (I love this for bathroom)
  • Love fresh winter flowers, paperwhites, amaryllis and pointsettas
  • "Investing" in a few faux really good holiday flowering plants like amaryllis, paperwhites and pointsettas more than pays back over the years. They are like the gift that keeps on giving! 
  • Great and inexpensive way to dress up gifts is 1.5" thick satin ribbon (like what florists use) You can get 100 yards spool for under $12.00 and believe me it wraps A LOT of gifts and really makes a beautiful presentation 

OK so with those things beyond what else you like to use for the holidays, you can indeed create a very festive feeling home. I  always like to burn a candle in my kitchen (where we always are) and keep the principle rooms in my home feeling festive. A wreath on a kitchen window is gorgeous, or a center island with a pretty evergreen and pinceone display. I love adding pretty touches to a powder room like a small wreath hanging over a mirror, burning a holiday candle or adding small sprigs of everygreen to an existing display (like soaps or potpourri).

So lets start at my front door! Notice I am not showing it in its entirety the planters are not yet done, but I do love my wreath.  The day I was going to do the planters, it snowed and its been a frozen ever since, so need a thaw before I can attempt to do them again....hopefully soon. Love the way this came out......

I filled it with all kinds of wonderful greens, pinecones and magnolia leave...rustic elegance:)

 I almost didn't use this it shows a half done tree and an undecorated table. Half the lights are on and not nearly all the decorations, no presents yet under there, will be sure to show you a completed shot too!

The side door gets a simple oversized wreath and bow

Wanted to fill my large beautiful antique dough bowl with a festive feeling arrangement but something easy! Start with a few sprigs of greenery and keep a water bottle nearby for weekly "mists"

Fill a container (in this case used my antique dough bowl) with big oversized pinecones

Voila!! So easy.....and so pretty!

 BEFORE  I like adding garlands to tables/consoles, also on top of mirrors. This is a faux garland I bought I believe at Michaels years ago (have many of these). It is pretty but I like to "jazz it up" and it can be done so easily it's not even funny, all I do is add sprigs of fresh greens to the center and sides, add a few pinecones and the makeover s complete!

AFTER easy and the result is just beautiful.

2nd after! And then added a few nutcrackers and a some oversized sugar pinecones....

And in my kitchen added this pretty white hydrangea plant and simple wreath with an ivory bow to the middle window....

The dough bowl found a home on my kitchen island.....

I am admittedly not a huge fan of red but somehow I put that grudge aside during the holidays and actually really develop a temporary affection for the color. I buy these pointsetta topiaries every year, think they are so pretty and definitely very festive. I just find a few pretty empty container and drop them in then add pine cones for  festive touch to the base. The pinceones I buy are also scented so it brings in the wonderful Christmas smell to the room, added them to my island.

(REALLY need to figure out how to use this new camera...somehow the lighting appears off)

And we have a very long hallway that runs the width of the it has several chests and consoles, all of which I do something to.......

Love these little evergreen swags with red velvet ribbon, I add them to each sconce throughout the hallway for an extra little touch

And to my main powder room, I add these pretty topiaries every year and added a gold nutcracker as well....

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And to the back powder room..... 

Tweaked the hall chest with a beautiful giant faux amarylllis that I use every year (such a good investment)! I put it in my beautiful urn from  my shop.....

I really wish I had bought more of this amaryllis plants....they are so real looking!

 And in my family room, added some holiday touches...

 A white pointsettta plant with a base of pinecones and a gorgeous pinceone garland on the console behind sofa

 My two deer plant holders hold two pointsettas and my two Santas on either end, this is not done!

 I have many of these little Santa's so just place them on top of books or wherever I can find a spot:)

 The beautiful pinecone topiaires I found from HomeGoods on the family room coffee table........(and yes the tags will all get cut:)

Changed out the moss balls to lovely pale pinky pointsettas in my urns in the foyer.........(the bottom is a wreath that I placed the urns in the center of)

Have some paperwhites (my favorite holiday flower) here and there......picking up more next week

Other vignettes throughout the house...
 Haven't really done anything in the dining room but this small chest is a work in progress!

 A hallway console

Another hallway console....proof that blue and white really does work with everything!

Even red Santa's

In a guest bedroom I like to add a touch or two... in this case put these pretty pointsettas in these gorgeous planters on the console to bring in a little Christmas for our out of town guests....

Added a simple boxwood ball to the guest powder room but will add a Christmas candle when our guests come

And look at this another wrapped gift......progress is being made!

 My favorite combo, a simple pinecone and small cutting of faux or real evergreen

 That makes two! Many more to come.....

Here are a few pics hot off the presses as of last night, tree almost done and it's starting to shape up...

 This tree at about 11' looked HUGE in the nursery but now it just looks like an average sized tree.....
 I do love this planter.....and orchids of course!

So folks, that's whats been keeping me busy so far! I will probably do a round 2 sometime later next week if time allows just to show you the "final final" result.....I am pleased in that everything I used I already had (with the exception of the HomeGoods things) and I realized I do have a lot (way more than my husband wishes I had...his daily mantra is enough, enough)! Hey, when you have the spirit, you go all the way:)

And just one more thing....I promise!!! You will want to know about this.......

 Christmas Magic Contest

 I also want to announce the start of my final contest for 2013, "Christmas magic". I will be collecting pictures as of today through Jan. 1st. I will hold the contest on Jan. 4-6th and announce the winner(s) on Jan 7th. As the name implies....please send your pictures of anything Christmas related, your decorated front door, a beautifully wrapped gift, a table set with your Christmas finest, your darling kids and pets are always a hit, whatever the name "Christmas magic" means to you! Since my "Hooray for the Holidays" post included some Christmas pictures, if you would like to use the entry you used for that please just email me to let me know and I will be happy to include it. I cannot wait to start getting your entries!! Remember-

  • 2 entries per person (they must be your pictures, not downloaded from internet)
  • Please in subject line when you email me put Christmas Magic (get tons of emails )
Please email your pictures to

    Thanks so much for stopping in, wishing you a fabulous day and weekend!! Be sure to check back on Sunday where I will announce the next TWO fabulous giveaways! The countdown is on.....

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