I've been wanting to start a blog for the longest time. I think the last time I blogged was pre-Myspace & Facebook when Xanga was the coolest thing! Since I have a couple weeks away from school, I thought it'd be the perfect time to start.
This blog will be an avenue for me to capture my baking & cooking adventures, home improvement and decoration projects, and random thoughts that need to be written down somewhere. This year has been a year of new beginnings: graduating from undergrad with two degrees under my belt (how I did this by the age of 21?...All God's grace!!), moving to the city, and starting med school. My updates will probably be sparse due to other priorities in life, but here's to another new beginning!
I'm going to start with one of my latest projects. Decorating the house for Christmas by upcycling! I've been in charge of the decorations for many years, but in the past years, I just did the same old thing. This year I wanted to change things up a little, but didn't want to spend $$. I'll admit, I'm a Pinterest addict (You can follow my Pinterest boards here) and took some amazing ideas and made them my own. Utilizing decorations we already had as well as some new additions from the dollar store, Michaels clearance and HomeGoods, I ended up having to spend very little! (Just like buying accessories to change up an outfit instead of having to buy a whole new outfit!)
I'll begin with the dining room table: I started with a simple runner down the middle that my sister got for our mom from Thailand. I wanted to create organized chaos aka. I didn't have much to work with and nothing matched, but according to Rachel Zoe, this is the new thing. I placed a Christmas candle wreath my mom has always used as the centerpiece, but added some ornaments. Then, I placed a mix of candles and candleholders across the runner. In some candleholders, I put ornaments on top of them instead of candles to mix it up and strew ornaments and little bell ornaments around them. And here's my version of organized chaos:
In the kitchen where all the food would be set out, I took extra ornaments and hung them from the light fixture with ribbon over the center island since the kitchen is where everyone usually congregates and there had to be some sort of decoration that would be out of the way of all the food (the most important part of any party).
Then to prepare for Santa's visit, I dressed up the fireplace: I didn't want it overdone, so besides the stockings, I only added a couple focal points. I took an old wreath I found in a box, cut out the old bow and made a new bow out of red velvet ribbon. I initially wanted to hang it, but I hate adding unnecessary holes in a wall, so I just let it sit on top of the mantel and it worked perfectly! Then, I took elegant sparkly silver faux bells I found at the dollar store and hung them with red velvet ribbon onto the lights on each side of the fireplace.
Next up was the living room: Our family tradition is to set up a Christmas Village on the living room table. To make it more "believable", I use a large piece of white felt to create the illusion that the village is blanketed with snow. Then I set up each building and figurine as if the village is bustling with activity. And as a finishing touch, I surround the display with a single strand of white lights to illuminate the village.
Lastly is the foyer, my favorite area to decorate: It's usually just plain green garland wrapped around the stair railings, but this year I dreamed up something red, white, and gold. I got 25 yards of red ribbon for $2 at Michaels. And at the dollar store I found white and gold wired ribbon which I tied into bows and added gold ornaments and bells. Also at the dollar store I scored some bunches of beautiful faux white poinsettias with berries which I mixed with a stem of faux white gladiolus I already had from a previous event. These flower arrangements were placed on the handrail volute (Okay, I admit, I'm just trying to sound smart...I had to Wiki "Stairway" to figure out what this was called...it's the spiral end of the handrail) with some more white-gold ribbon and more ornaments and bells. At the top of the stairwells I added the same large sparkly bells I hung on the fireplace, but gold ones. My favorite final touches were simple snowflake ornaments that I found at the dollar store that I placed sporadically along the garland. And here it is ladies and gents:
Hope you all had a very merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year! I should probably start writing my New Years resolutions...but the kitchen is calling me...Off to bake something yummy!