Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Belated Christmas Tour 2013

Hi everyone! As I'm sure you can also agree, the holiday season came up from behind me and nearly knocked me over! Came so quickly and flew by way too fast. Tomorrow night is the last bit of 2013 left and I think it's safe to say that I am ready for a fresh new year. 2013 held many, many changes and transitions for Frank and I, one being our move to our new condo! We moved in the weekend before Thanksgiving and this year I was only able to decorate for Christmas by unpacking and adding little Christmasy touches along the way. I finally have the downstairs of the condo looking half-way decent (still have a TON of work to do) and figured I'd give a mini-tour of the space before 2014 brings along all sorts of DIY projects and decorating changes. So, welcome to..

Our new home Christmas Tour!


Welcome to our kitchen. It's much bigger than the last one, but still pretty tiny. We definitely have more counter space to work with which made baking 4 batches of Christmas cookies less of a challenge. Not to mention that beautiful, lovely, wonderful dishwasher!! I LOVE having a dishwasher. After a year of having to wash every last dish by hand--this is a huge luxury and huge time saver. 

We still need to add some wall art--I have some ideas for some projects up my sleeve already along with a big chalkboard we plan to put on the back of the cabinets above. I am hoping to have that done later this week for a tutorial.

Dining Room: 

Another thing I love about our kitchen is that it opens right up into the dining room. Super helpful when entertaining and when cooking. Walking over to set the table or put food out doesn't require me to take my eyes off the stove area. It's right there. We also have this nice little nook area for our coffee station. One of my goals is to work more on making this look nicer and making more use of the vertical space for storage. For now, that cup tree works fine.

As I'm sure is the same for anyone's home, there are always perks along with some down sides. The one big downside of our condo is that we don't have a pantry. Nope. Nada. So, we found this black two-door mini pantry online at Wayfair.com where we store our canned and dried goods. It's not big, but unfortunately we don't have space for something much larger. We anticipate using the vertical space with baskets or shelving if we need more space. For now, it holds a cake stand filled with delicious Christmas cookies I need to stop eating.

These pictures are from Christmas Eve. Frank and I had my parents and sister over for dinner that night and since I was scurrying around frantically pulling things together last minute for Christmas that week, I didn't even think about how to set the table! I improvised with things I already had. It's super simple, but worked for the occasion. I used three crystal candle holders I was given from my grandmother with candles I picked up at Crate & Barrel last year on clearance. I wrapped napkins around the silverware using red and white baker's twine and stuck a cinnamon stick with each setting to make it a bit more special looking.

Speaking of an open floor plan...our dining room looks out into our living room. Perfect to see the Christmas tree and makes for a good flow for entertaining.

This server was originally in our other kitchen as a place to prep food since we had only a tiny little bit of counter space. I use it in our dining room to store and display serving bowls and cake stands and to keep my cook books. The drawers hold candles, cloth napkins, and other little serving accessories.

The other serving table that was given to me from my grandmother's home (an antique) holds additonal serving platters and dishes and is a perfect place to display a simple rustic Christmas vignette. I showed you the wooden star a little while ago. I absolutely love it and will probably end up keeping it up throughout the winter--I don't want to put it away yet!

Living Room: 

We decided to keep the same basic living room set up we had in the other apartment, but we are hoping to add additional seating now that we have a bit more space. I decorated in here, as in the dining room, with pine cones, greens, some red berry garlands over the bookcases and white lights. I wrapped cardboard cones with jute to make rustic Christmas trees and added green tea lights. Super simple, but cozy.

Frank insisted on colored lights. Although I'd prefer white lights, I think our tree looks pretty festive. The star is another clearance Crate & Barrel find from last year. The tree skirt was a Christmas Tree Shop steal for only $3.99! And for fun, I decorated brown bags and brown craft paper with white stamps for a simple uniform feel. I tied gift tags I made with scrapbook paper and doilies with the red and white baker's twine and made salt dough ornaments as gift toppers.

We decided to bring the lighthouse pictures that were previously in our bedroom downstairs in our condo. Since the owners painted only the back wall of the room, the wall above the couch was pretty dull and needed something that would pop. I also think I need to work on some more colorful pillows to warm things up from all the neutrals. I'm not sure how I like the pictures--I'm thinking sepia toned photos might work better, but we will see.

This year I used some extra burlap I had from the fall wreath I made in September and coated some clothespins in gold glitter to hang Christmas cards on the door to our downstairs bathroom. Again--very simple. Oh and ps...yes, we have two bathrooms!! Another perk.

You might also notice that our coffee table is looking brighter. When we moved Frank used our garage to finally seal coat our kitchen table and re-coated our coffee table. Just sealing it again gave the stain a nice rich glaze and makes the table pop a bit more. 

Remember what this room looked like only a few days after moving? A mess. A complete mess.

Tada!! Well, kinda. At least it looks a bit more put together and less cluttered. The crates we were previously using as a make-shift side table are now storing our work-out equipment. I plan to eventually stain them dark and add castor wheels on the bottom one. 

Also, check it out! We have a fireplace. I am so excited! We haven't been able to use it yet since we are still waiting on the landlord to order new glass doors, but at least we will hopefully be able to use it soon. I am looking into ideas for creating a mantel somehow as well. I might finally be able to decorate a mantel. And where our Christmas tree is right now we are hoping to eventually put a big comfy chair for extra seating. 

Clearly we still have tons of work to do. I have a long list of to-dos for 2014 to make our space more cozy--not to mention the to-do list for the nursery! But more on that in another post. 

For now, I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and I look forward to popping over here to the blog much more often in 2014! I will have lots of new projects to share with you all! And don't forget to connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The links are below.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

New Home, Growing Baby, and a Wooden Star

Hellooooooo everyone! Is anyone still out there? So much has changed the past few months and I apologize for being super MIA. Not only did Frank and I find out we were pregnant in August, but I started a new job (that I love) and two weekends ago we moved! Things have been more than hectic around here, but also very exciting. We truly feel like God has been leading us somewhere and now that we are in our new home we are so excited for what He has in store for us.

I thought I'd show you all a glimpse of our new home and once everything is organized and completely unpacked I'll do a full tour of our home to show you our new space! I of course already have tons of projects swimming around in my head. I can't wait to get started on them! And I know as soon as the holidays are over with I'll be hard at work on the baby's nursery. I'll have lots to update you all on in the coming months.

For now, welcome to our home!

These pictures are from about a week ago, a few days after we moved in.

This is our kitchen. I envision a chalkboard on the back of that cabinet above the kitchen aid mixer and a drop station for our mail and keys.

We still have some cleaning and organizing to do yet, but most of our things fit fairly well. We even have a dishwasher at this new place! You definitely start to appreciate the luxuries when you're without. After having to hand wash all of our dishes for a year a dishwasher seems like a big deal!

Our kitchen opens into a dining area where we have a lot of work to do! Our grey table we completed right before we found out we were pregnant fits perfectly! We are looking to purchase a cabinet for our pantry items and a floor rug to go under the table to hopefully add some color.

And here is our living room. We have a fireplace that we cannot wait to use! We are still waiting for new glass doors before we can use it. Frank is setting up our cable in this picture.

Last weekend we cut down our tree and this past Friday we decorated it. I did some work this past week adding in some Christmasy touches to make our home feel a bit more finished and cozy. We have most of the boxes unpacked and most of the clutter is put away (or in the baby's room which has become our drop zone for the time being).

I am a bit over 26 weeks pregnant now and our little guy is (according to the books) slightly under 2 pds and about the size of a head of lettuce! I cannot believe quickly he is growing!

Frank insisted on colored Christmas lights this year... and here a few of my decorative touches. 

This wooden star was a DIY project I made with my new crafting buddy I met at our church. 

We used thin pieces of wood and stained them dark. Once they dried, we fit the wood into a star and glue-gunned the corners to make sure they stayed in place. We wrapped a bit of twine around the corners and finished it off with a strand of Christmas lights. Super easy with a big impact!

I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of the holiday season! I can't wait to update you all on our projects in the coming weeks. I am planning to make all of our Christmas gifts this year along with cinnamon ornaments and lots of baking! We will also be working on the baby's room and will keep you updated with our progress on those projects as well. 

Happy Monday!

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