Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hosting a Party When You Are Short on Time

We always host a Christmas party for Wonderful's staff and their spouses. This year I was a little short on time, we are still in the midst of our ranch remodel , but I would much rather everyone gather in a home than a room at the church or somewhere else. It is just so much more personal and intimate. So the hubby tackled not one, but two major projects just a week before the date (more on that later) and I just tried to get the house cleaned, decorated for Christmas and get things like drapes hung and stuff like that.

The entree is purchased and everyone brings a dish or two, therefore food is basically covered. I shop for the paper products, decorations and all of the other party stuff. Well I started on Monday, yes the party was the following Sunday! I grabbed my notes that I had from the past few years and went from there. Now I am not suggesting that when you are expecting 40 plus people over you start 6 days before, but that is just how it worked out. Because I kept detailed notes, it made everything fairly easy, even though we were hosting in a different house.

I chose to go very simple, I never do things very complicated, focusing on our guests and not on decorations and details. The dining room was decorated to match the tree in that room with a mossy green and silver. The dining room table was left bare other than a simple mossy green ribbon down the center. The centerpiece was mercury glass candle sticks and greenery with a few ornaments and pinecones for contrast. I started with artificial greenery and then added in fresh magnolia leaves, bleached pinecones from my yard and fresh pine branches. Very inexpensive, easy and pretty.

All other tables were covered with a white tablecloth and two red ribbons down the center, the same greenery and candles. The napkins were white as well, I told you I went plain and simple.

We had a great time visiting with everyone, delicious food and lots of good fellowship exchanging white elephant gifts!

Keep detailed notes for any party that you have, you never know when they will come in handy. Always go easy and simple and keep the focus on your friends and not your decor. Accept offers of help and most importantly enjoy yourself!

Linking with:  Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Fake a Lush, Full Tree

This was not the plan this year for our tree. We were going to purchase a real tree for only the third time. Being a ministry family this is a super busy time for us. The first two weeks of December we have something to attend more days than not, so we didn't have the time to pick out a tree and get all the things needed. Finally Darling Daughter said I just want a tree, let's just stick with our artificial tree.

Our tree is a few years old and is not expensive, but I always get comments on how full and lush it looks. Well I have a secret! My tree is prelit, although this year we have a section that is not working! (Maybe I'll go shopping after Christmas.) After assembling the tree and shaping it I add greenery pieces. They are just a branch with pine cones meant to use in arrangements.

I bend the ends to make a slight hook and shape the branch adding to areas in my tree that are lacking. I use the hook to attach it to the pole of the tree. They end up being mostly on the interior of the tree and hide not only the pole, but any gaping holes. I purchase them after Christmas and usually get them for around 50 cents or less, I must be the only one using them because I always have plenty to choose from, I probably have 30. I purchase ones that are similar so that the tree has a unified look. After adding in the greenery, I use another strand of lights or two to cover any green spots with no lights or this year nonworking,  sections. Then decorate as usual. If you have any heavy ornaments, make sure to hang them on branches that are apart of the original tree, but the lighter ones can be hung on the added greens.

This is how I give the illusion of a more expensive full tree! It is a super easy and budget friendly!

Remembering that it is Christ we celebrate this Christmas Season!

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Monday, December 8, 2014

My Christmas Home


This year I tried to keep things simple for Christmas decor, but once I get started I keep thinking just one more thing! Does anyone else do that? Except for the dining room the colors are traditional. Although I don't have a theme, the word "Joy" appears in several places.

I don't know why, but I love this picture that is slightly out of focus!  Strange I know.

Last year I found ice skates thanks to my friend Amanda, this year I found my sled while visiting the Businessman at Thanksgiving!

The tree in the dining room is a 4ft tree elevated on a table. I prefer a smaller tree in this room, I love the glow it gives.

You are greeted with a collection of nativity snow globes when you enter the front door!

I still hang stockings for my kids and yes they still get suprises in them!

I love the simplicity of this wreath hanging on the door that leads to my laundry room.

Our home at night, we didn't even hang our outdoor lights. There is just something about the simplicity this year that I am enjoying!

Every good home tour should include food!

Thanks for stopping by and visiting, I pray that you find Joy in Christ this Christmas Season. Merry Christmas.

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Over the River and Through the Woods

We traveled the week of Thanksgiving and I have been trying to play catch up ever since! It is a 15 hour drive going and coming. My view for most of it is the back of my eyelids!

We did get to see just a bit of snow and it was so beautiful! I miss the seaons!

I did not start decorating until we returned, I also had not been shopping along as usual. So I have been a little frazzled! I am hoping to post my Christmas house tour later this week!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

JOY Christmas Decor

I am really thinking Joy might just be my Christmas theme this year. More about that later. I love a good easy peasy project that ends up being super cute, don't you?

I found these frames at Michael's on sale with an additional 15% off coupon and decided to pick them up, I had a project in mind and these would be perfect. They are a shadow box style with a white frame in a 5x7 size.

Can I just say I love my Cricut! It makes projects so easy and fast. I cut out the joy on red vinyl and applied to the outside of the frame being careful to keep it centered. The next step was to take the back off and cover. This could be covered with fabric, paper, or even filled with fake snow would be too cute. I went with paper because I already had several from which to choose. I tried wrapping paper and although I liked the pattern, the paper was a little on the cheap side and didn't have any body and I thought it looked cheap in the frame, so scrapbook paper it is!

So here it is in all of it's undecorated glory. I am really pleased with how it turned out and although I have it currently sitting on a shelf, ultimately it will hang in the guest bath.

So have you completed any projects? Are you already decorated for Christmas? Boy I was tempted this year to get a jump start, but it will be after Thanksgiving before it all goes up!

Linking with:  The Dedicated HouseInspire Me Tuesday