Merry Christmas!

I only made a few changes to our Christmas decorations this year.  I think the biggest impact change was to the exterior of our house.  I purchased some bows for our window wreaths and it really made them pop on the house this year.

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I also added a few new porch decorations.  There was a vintage sled that we got from Bradley’s grandparents and a bucket with “snowballs” in it.  I added two golden resin deer next to the door as well.

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On our dining table, I added a simple red and white table runner that I had picked up at the end of the season last year.  My thanksgiving cactus is blooming like crazy for me this year.

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On the mantle, I used the Willow Tree nativity from Bradley’s grandparents again, but to help everything feel less washed out, I added a cute Merry Christmas banner that Target was carrying this year.

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Our biggest change inside was moving the tree from the foyer to the front window in the living room.  I bought new floral picks to use as the tree topper this year.

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I got to go to the aquarium this month and do the penguin and sea otter experiences, so I picked up this ornament while I was there.
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Dining Room Chairs

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For my birthday, Bradley bought me new dining room chairs.  We purchased our current dining room table and chairs second-hand when we moved into our first house.  They are very solid, but the chairs are not comfortable for guests to sit and visit after the meal is over.  I’ve had my eye on this type of upholstered chairs for years now – they are just quite pricey.  I happened upon a deal at Home Decorators and sent it to Bradley.  He jumped on the site and bought me six immediately, for at least half the price I’d seen them in the past.  The finish on the legs is darker than our table, but it doesn’t bother me at all.  I’m just glad to offer comfortable seating to our dinner guests!

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Before:

Dining 04.06a

 

Harry Potter Baby Shower

My cousin and his wife are having a baby boy later this year and are decorating the nursery with a Harry Potter theme.  My other cousins and I threw them a baby shower last weekend using the same theme.  I dug out some halloween decorations I already had and made a few new things specifically for the theme.

At the front door, I created a brick wall using an XL twin sheet and a large sponge.  I hung it from a photo backdrop stand and cut it down the middle so that guests could enter the party through the “wall”.  I made the Platform 9 3/4 sign using a chalkboard sign I found in Target’s dollar spot and numbers cut out using my Silhouette machine.

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On the breakfast table, I created a Defense against the Dark Arts vignette.

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Our version of a Patronus next to the Dark Arts table.

patronus I made a mobile with flying skeleton keys.  The keys and mobile came from Amazon and the wings were cut using my Silhouette. key-mobile flying-keys

A welcome banner over the fireplace in Ravenclaw colors.hp-banner

Potion bottles filled the mantle.  I found the labels on Groopdealz and the bottles came from various stores – Target, Hobby Lobby and Goodwill.potions

The owl lamp and cage were borrowed from the nursery.owl-cage

A plush owl perched on the mantle.hp-owl

The food table full of Harry Potter-inspired snacks.hp-food-table basilisk-eggsfelix-felicisquidditch-quiche sprouts-veggies butterbeer-cupcakes

Chocolate Frogschocolate-frogs

Our family loves these cream puffs, so I put an edible gold dust on them to turn them into snitches.  The wings aren’t pretty, but they are made from melted white chocolate bark.

snitches wandsBertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans
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The Sorting Hat gift area.gift-sorting My cousin made the most awesome Hogwarts Express diaper cake with black and red onesies.
hogwarts-express The Dementor’s Kiss-away goodie bags next to the front door for guests.dementors-kiss

The mom-to-be opening gifts.  I put together a baseball themed gift, with a Braves onesie, a crocheted baseball cap, and little navy shoes with baseball patterned toes.  I used a baseball easter basket as the gift bag.  hp-gift

Exterior Update

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Over the past two weeks, I have been slowly working on changing the paint color of the shutters on our house.  The previous owner had the door and shutters painted hunter green.  They also painted the siding and trim the same uniform tan color, which I hope to address at some point.  Right after we moved in, I tackled the front door with a can of Sherwin Williams Resilience paint color-matched to Burning Bush by Olympic.

Before:
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Before the Before:
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Now – two years later – it was time to address the shutters.  I chose December’s Eve by Behr – color-matched at Sherwin Williams.  My ultimate goal is to not only add contrast between the siding and the trim, but to also paint the window sashes a midnight blue-black to really make them pop.  Inspiration found here and here.  Maybe in two more years…

Exterior Comparison

Small Group Baby Shower

We ended our current small group with a baby shower celebration for one of the couples.  Decorations started at the front door with a chalkboard sign.  I just free-handed the greeting and the buck head silhouette.

Door Sign

In the living room, I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut paper chevron arrows that I sewed into a garland.  The colors were inspired by fabric from the baby’s nursery.Paper Garland

I reused a mustache game I had made for a previous “Little Man” shower.  Everyone guessed the celebrity who’s mustache appears on each picture.  There were 12 photos and the winner went home with a Starbucks gift card.Mustache Game

In the dining room, we hung baby clothes and burp cloths from a clothesline above the drink table.  Per the mother-to-be’s request, we used the gifts as decor so that she didn’t have to open gifts in front of everyone.  I stacked paper accordion balls under the table to add some color.  I also picked up one large gift bag that all the gifts went into at the end of the night.Clothesline

The hydrangeas came out of my own garden!  They seem very happy this year.

This super-cute clothesline was made from the popular baby toy Lots of Links by Bright Starts and some fun boyish onesies.
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For the food table centerpiece, I made a diaper cake with a plush deer topper in honor of the father-to-be.  I placed it on a slab of birch and used a burlap table runner for a rustic feel.
Diaper Cake

Each group member brought a dish.  We had veggies with hummus, buffalo chicken dip, baked brie cups, and baby-shower-themed cupcakes.
Food Table
Food The night was a fun way to close out two years of doing life together.  Now, to divide and multiply!