Wednesday, December 28, 2016

34 Our Holiday Home: 2016

This week is always one of my most favorite weeks of the year. I love that calm between Christmas and New Year's Eve when the kids are home on break and everything feels relaxed and cozy. The decorations are still up and we do a fair amount of baking, cocoa drinking, sledding, game playing, movie watching, pajama lounging and reading. We take a break from heavy lifting and household chores and just soak up time with friends and family. Truly THE BEST.

For the past couple of years I have pulled out our Christmas bins the first week or two of December, and then just pluck away at a few areas of our home over the course of a few days. I love the warmth that a layer of Christmas decor spreads; extra candlelight, cozy blankets, mantel decor, wreaths, and trees, but it doesn't take long before I feel a little clutter induced panic.

We will host a New Year's Party and then all of the decor will come down the following day. Before it is all packed up, I thought I would share some photos of our colorful and simple holiday decorations from this year.


Our front planters were filled with some pines, and we hung a few wreaths on the door and windows. The wreaths are faux, while the pines are real.


I found the wreath for the front door at Home Depot and adorned it with a golden "J" from Target.


To add a little Christmas color on the other end of the porch, a couple of $3 (faux) poinsettias were placed inside some planters.


We have always done a real tree and planned to do so again this year. But then I found a narrow pencil option that allowed us to squeeze in a tree without the need to find a new home for any of our existing furniture. #hugewin


I started out by bringing in some real cedar garland to decorate our mantel, and it gave us that fresh pine smell we crave each year, but it quickly dried out from the fireplace and looked sad and messy within a week. Out it went and I replaced it with some eucalyptus branches I purchased from Trader Joe's. I went through a process of cutting, smashing and soaking the stems to keep them as hydrated as possible on the mantle, and even as they slowly dried out, they still looked simple and pretty.



The stockings for the boys were hung with clear Command Hooks, and a couple of faux white poinsettias were placed in the center of the mantel with some ornaments sprinkled throughout.




We reused the poinsettias from last year's tree; initially, I wrapped the tree like garland, but it felt a little busy so I ended up removing a quarter of them and placed them randomly around the tree instead.


Our narrow sideboard area in the dining room served us well this season, and will hopefully be the hot spot at our upcoming New Year's bash as well. First, we used it for a small holiday themed happy hour...


And it nicely transitioned into a long-term cocoa station for the boys and their friends.



My boys absolutely LOVE making hot cocoa, and they also love serving it up for friends and family that stop by as well. Of course, we try to limit their sugar intake, so they don't drink it every day, but we love having the setup available when the mood strikes. (I just cover the fixings in between cocoa making sessions to keep them fresh.)




We use this frother for our coffee, but it also works really well for cocoa. Just pour in the milk, and after it is started, slowly add the cocoa powder through the lid opening. It mixes in the powder as it heats everything up, creating a yummy treat. The best part it that it is fun and easy for the kiddos.


The tree upstairs added some nice Christmas cheer and nightly ambiance, while the tree in our lower level family room was where the real magic happened.


Parker helped me decorate both trees, but the entire family pitched in on this one. This is the one where every random ornament and decoration gets hung and displayed, and where all of our reminiscing takes place.



Around the corner is my office, and because I spend so many hours facing that beautiful teal blue hutch, I thought it would nice to give it a little holiday bling.


This is also where I stored our gift wrapping supplies for the season. I have a closet around the opposite side of our stairs where I store many of my gift wrapping items, but to make things quick and easy this year, I placed them out on a tray in my office. It was convenient to take the tray wherever I needed to spread out for wrapping, while simply keeping all of the essentials corralled together (my essentials were my address book, tissue, ribbon, bows, mini-ornaments for embellishments, gift tags, our Christmas cards, gift boxes/bags, tape, and scissors).


In this room, I also displayed many of the photo greetings I received from fellow friends and family. You may recognize a few of the faces, many of my fellow blogging buddies were smiling at me while I worked each day (is that weird? that sounded weird...).


I ordered a customized pinboard from Minted, and it is beautiful. I selected my favorite Minted frame, which I have used for a couple of art pieces in our home, as well as a flowing blue fabric pattern. Such a nice office addition, and a great way to pin up our cards as they trickled in over the course of the month.


And now you have seen a few glimpses of our Christmas card, which I also ordered from Minted this year. It was my first card order from them, and I was pleasantly surprised. The cards are high quality, and I had the hardest time narrowing down a design from the hundreds of choices. I also appreciated that they offered a service to address all of our envelopes and that I could add a sweet little envelope lining detail.


I was originally going to just use some photos I took of the boys this summer for our card but decided on a whim that it would be nice to get the entire family in a photo. Of course, we picked one of the coldest days of the year, ran into our favorite photoshoot spot, set up the tripod, shot a couple of photos and then hopped right back into the warm car. I crossed my fingers I got one of all of us looking, and lucky for me, we did! Although my eyes were watering and my nose hairs were frozen, I was pretty proud we pulled something off. Next year I am thinking a selfie stick in November will be the way to go.


We generally only decorate the main living areas of our home for the holidays, but this year I swapped out our sunburst mirror for a berry embellished wreath in our bedroom.


And the younger two boys both received a little bedroom door decor (from Target).


Parker also strung Christmas lights around his entire room, but most of the Command Strips had fallen off of the wall by Christmas day.


And that is it! Sprinkles of Christmas in a few of our jolly spaces.


From our family to yours, we wish you all full hearts as you head into the new year. I am so grateful to have you all as readers, and for your endless excitement and support of what we have going on around here. Cheers my friends! I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas and that 2017 rings in with an abundance of happiness and joy.

Oh! And before I forget, I receive a lot of questions about how we store our Christmas decorations. I updated our system last year, and it was AMAZING this year as we unpacked everything.



34 comments:

  1. Those little touches all through the house are so lovely!

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  2. Wow your house looks simply beautiful and you have such a serious talent for taking such wonderful pictures of it! Stunning post.
    The Pale Tails
    - Beckie x

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  3. Will you be doing an updated home tour?? It looks like you've got a lot of new stuff going on!

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    1. Hello,
      I will be, I am aiming to re-shoot the house within the next few months. Just trying to figure out if I want to keep the same style home tour layout on the blog and how I want to document the changes, both big and small. :)

      xo!

      Delete
  4. Hello!

    I was wondering what size pin board you ordered from Minted?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kadisha! The pinboard is 24" x 24". :)

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  5. Your house is absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to see the new pics in the next few months.

    I do have to ask if there is any chance you will be doing a 2017 calendar. I've found others but nothing as cute as yours! :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Heidi!

      I released my 2017 printables into my shop a couple of weeks ago, you can find them here:
      https://www.etsy.com/shop/IHeartOrganizing?ref=seller_info&section_id=20647538

      and here:
      https://www.etsy.com/shop/iheartorganizing?section_id=20674435

      xo!

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  6. Everything looks so beautiful! Thanks for sharing it all : ). I love that 9 drawer white cabinet you have next to your tree and couch. Where is that from?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Regina! I purchased it a few years ago from Joss & Main (it's now on Wayfair here: http://bit.ly/2ids7g3).

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    2. Thanks for responding back!! : )

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  7. Thank you for the lovely tour. My favorite part is the hot chocolate station -- so family friendly!

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  8. Hi. Just wondering what you had on your menu for your New Years eve party?

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    1. Hi Jane,
      We are doing tacos, both pulled pork and chicken, with sides, dips, dessert and margaritas. Not a traditional NYE meal, but it was so convenient last year we are sticking with it. Almost anyone can put together a dish they enjoy with all of the options we set out.

      Happy 2017 to you!

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  9. I also really enjoy the week between Christmas and New Year. I think it's so sad when I see trees outside on the curb the day after Christmas. The Christmas season extends until Jan. 6th and we as a society really miss a great time of year to relax and enjoy our families and friends. Thanks for posting the beautiful pictures of your home. Happy Holidays!

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  10. Love the simple but stunning decorations! Where did you get your bedspread from?

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    1. Thanks so much! On our bed I use a plain white duvet cover paired with a blue blanket from Target: http://www.target.com/p/yarn-dye-stripe-ringspun-cotton-blanket-threshold/-/A-50343159

      Delete
  11. I LOVE your star on the top of the tree in your living room. Where did you get it? Love your blog! Thanks for all you share!

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    1. Thank you! The star is a capiz beauty I found at Home Depot! And now it's on sale for a great price: http://m.homedepot.com/p/GE-Clear-Capiz-Bethlehem-Star-Tree-Topper-71401HD/205147048

      Happy New Year!

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  12. Thank you for a lovely post. Beautiful home, beautiful family.

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  13. Lovely as usual! I am aiming to do better with my Christmas decor storage this year! Where is the wood and glass covered pastry tray from? I love it!

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    1. Thanks so much, Chele! The pastry dish was a thrift store find, so unfortunately I don't know the original source.

      Delete
  14. Hi Jen, I totally look forward to all of your posts! would love to know where you got the teal cocoa mugs you are using as well as the wood cookie tray wit the cloche. Also, I have been looking for a pinboard similar, do you happen to know the name of fabric you chose? Thank you for the inspiration.

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    Replies
    1. Helll,
      The cocoa mugs were found at a local coffee shop last year around the holidays. And the cookie tray is from a thrift store, so unfortunately I don't have any source info for those. The name of the Minted fabric is Red Fancy Fish Fabric, here is a direct link: (http://www.minted.com/product/fabric/MIN-XY4-NFC/red-fancy-fish?ccId=454602&color=B&org=title).

      Thank you and happy 2017!

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  15. Thank you for not overloading your post with affiliate links. This truly seemed just like a glimpse at your decor, rather than a sales pitch, and I found that so refreshing. May you, your family and your business be blessed in 2017.

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  16. Your home is beautiful! Would love to know more info on your master bedroom headboard and the paint color. So calm!

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    1. Thank you Susan! Our bed headboard/frame was from Ashley Furniture about 8-9 years ago and the wall color is Behr's Frozen Pond. :)

      Happy New Year!

      Delete
  17. I've tried to look through older posts but I haven't been able to find it. I'm a pretty regular follower but maybe I missed it...Where did you get the fireplace for the lower level? I saw all the posts about the upper level and the build for that, but I guess this is the first I've seen the lower level one.
    We're building a house right now and I've had the electrician leave me an outlet for an electric fireplace under my tv, however, I haven't found one yet that didn't seem awfully short. I'd like a decently tall one that isn't going to look odd being under a television on the wall.
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ty!

      We actually purchased the electric fireplace for our lower level back in 2008, so it has since been discontinued (but here are the details on ours: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Charmglow-23-in-Electric-Fireplace-in-White-DISCONTINUED-60740/100342128). It looks like Home Depot still has quite a few white options available online though!

      Congrats on the new house! So much fun!

      Jen

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  18. Love the photos of your home with the decorations. Warm, inviting, and fun. I nearly squeal every time I see your fireplace in a photo. I still love the basket weave tile surround you picked out. Do you remember where you found the pencil tree? That is what I've been looking for but haven't found a "small" enough one yet. That one looks like it would be perfect. I'll keep looking for next year. Wishing you and your family a fantastic 2017.

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    1. Hi Joan! I am so sorry, I thought I had already replied to your comment and I am just seeing now that I didn't. I found the pencil tree at Home Depot - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Home-Accents-Holiday-7-ft-Feel-Real-Downswept-Douglas-Slim-Artificial-Christmas-Tree-PEDD1-527-70/206768270, it really is a great size!

      Wishing you a fantastic 2017 as well!
      Jen

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    2. Thanks so much. Will be calling my local home depot to see if it's still available, otherwise will look for it early next season.

      Delete

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