here's to 2011.

 I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. I promise I'll be back in 2011 with lots of cool stuff.
Enjoy your New Year's (I'll be tending to a sick baby).

stay tuned.


the christmas card that wasn't.

Attempting to get the perfect Christmas card photo with an 8 month old who is always on the move is a tough feat. I snapped some great shots of her in November on a warm day but by the time I changed her into her Christmas tutu (yes a Christmas tutu!) she had had enough.
Fast forward to a few weeks later I wanted to try and capture that great shot again..so I set up shop inside and attempted to get the baby and the dog together...boy was that a silly idea!

The key is to snap a lot and I mean a lot of pictures! I had quite a few blurry ones because she kept crawling out of the frame. The end result nothing Christmas card worthy but a lot of silly memories!

 I gave her something to keep her still...she ending up getting gold sparkles all over her face and in her mouth...opps!

Stringing lights around a dog...not my brightest moment. He kept trying to get up and walk away.

One of my favorites. I had Riley hop up into the chair and I wanted (key word wanted) Avery to stand next to him but trying to get an 8 month old to do as you say, not really in her deck of cards. I still love the end result!


diy garland.

Our tree is filled with ornaments that all have a story. Every year it is fun opening up the boxes and hanging them because it brings you back to who gave it to you, what it means and why. This year, after all the ornaments were hung our tree was still missing something...garland! So I decided to make some. A bit unusual but I wouldn't have it any other way now would I!

I remember when I was little we always put tinsel on our Christmas tree...do they still even make tinsel? I think garland has come a long way from shiny string and popcorn. I really love trees that fit a person's home. The go with the decor and add interest.

So here is what I did. I grabbed some twine and remember Avery's Shel Silverstein wall I had some leftover pages from the book....can you see where this is going?

I tore out some pages and ripped them into smaller rectangles (4 per page)


 Remember those Chinese fortunes you used to make in school with the numbers and colors...that's what this reminded me of. I took the paper and just haphazardly folded it together, it kind of looked like a flower.

Here are a few of them grouped together.

I took my paper crumples and knotted them with the twine...I spaced them a few inches apart.

Once completed I strung it around the tree! I love the mix of the paper and twine with the real tree...all natural things!

If this isn't your cup of tea, there are plenty of other things you can make your own garland with; ribbon, shells, branches, beads...virtually anything just look around your house and I'm sure you'll find something unique.


decorating for the holidays.

 When decorating for Christmas try to think outside of red + green. Any color combination can be festive with the right touches and you want your holiday decor to go with your house not fight against it! Personally I really like using natural materials such as burlap, birch bark, fresh greens and of course some sparkle!

Our yard is surrounded by evergreens. Last year I had the bright idea of clipping a bunch of branches and putting the above the kitchen cabinets with white lights and some holiday accessories. It looked great until it was time to de-Christmas the house...man did I have needles everywhere and I mean everywhere it was scary! This year I decided to put them around the chandelier..I can switch them out easy when they start to dry out.


We have the Bellora Chandelier from Potterybarn and I love how it looks with the greens (like little glass ornaments!) I hung a star ornament from the bottom finial too!

I like getting a real wreath for the holidays. I think next year I'm going to try and make one. I used burlap and made a bow and with a twisty tie I added a gold, sparkly woven ball and a starfish. All natural elements.
Did you know that having the visual weight of something (in this instance the bow & accessories) on the bottom right is most appealing to the eye.

Sadly we do not have a fireplace in this house (definitely on my must haves for our next place!) so we hang out stockings on the railing.
{Katie over at Bower Power recently did a post about places to put stockings if you don't have a fireplace...check it our for other ideas}

Vana White..I mean Avery is modeling off the stalking display. I swagged some pre-lite garland around the banister and ties the stalkings around the railing with some ribbon. I then used my burlap and wrapped that around the greenery.

The finishing touches included placing some rattan and gold sparkly decorative spheres (you know how I love my spheres) amongst the greenery. I also added in some starfish.

A few other holiday decor ideas that I don't have pictures of; silver glass ball ornaments hung from the curtain rods with clear fishing line at staggered lengths. Another idea, pick up some clear glass ornaments at your local craft store and fill them with something fun and unexpected. I have some filled with white feathers!
Do you have any unique + creative holiday decor ideas, I'd love to hear about them!


attempting a christmas card.

This year I am really excited to be sending out our very first Christmas card! Trying to get the ideal shot for it was another story. I had a vision of what I wanted but Avery had other plans. We headed to the beach on a warm November day and I just started shooting...

 We started on the boardwalk where we would be safe from trying to eat sand!

Hello baby mommy is over here with the camera stop looking at daddy...

look at those little legs and cute shoes!

Still doesn't want to look at me...but isn't she cute!

Next we headed down to the beach so Jeff could get some pictures of the two of us since I'm always the one behind the camera. I did a lot of bossing around telling him what I wanted...and like a good hubby he took a bunch of pictures and didn't even complain!


I decided I look better in Black & White :)

I love Avery face in this one, such a cute little smirk!

I had to have a shot of the shoes! These were the first things I bought for her...you gotta start a girls shoe collection off right!

Next we went to a different location and had a costume change. My mom had bought her a cute "1st Christmas" onesie with matching tutu! I wanted her to sit and look at me and pose pretty for a picture...

She had other plans...

She was like a bull out of the gate. Jeff would put her down and I'd try to grab a shot of her before she went on the move, but she sure is quick!

And she's off...

 Here I know she is thinking I'll show you! That face looks like it is up to no good!

We had fun and got some great action shots! I'll be sure to post the winning shot once I receive the cards in the mail!
Make sure to check back tomorrow for some fun, unconventional ways to decorate for the holidays! Really, tomorrow I promise!
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