Favorite Christmas Decorations

A warm, cozy home decorated for Christmas is high up on my list of favorite things, especially when Hallmark Christmas movies, a fire crackling, Christmas cookies, and hot cocoa are involved.

Since getting married 3 and a half years ago, we’ve built up a small collection of Christmas decorations, including a tree, a few ornaments, a strand of pre-lit garland, stocking holders, and three stockings this year (one for Dunc, one for Lively, and one for me). I’m excited to build up our Christmas decoration collection more and more over the years! I thought I’d share some of my favorite Christmas decorations below, including the links to where you can purchase them. I’d classify the overall style of my taste in Christmas decor as cozy and simple 🙂

  1. Stockings: I LOVE the look of cable knit stockings with pom poms! We got ivory and red ones almost exactly like these.

    I also love this faux fur one and this patterned one (pictured below), and the way they would all look together!

  2. Cable Knit Tree Skirt: This ivory tree skirt matches well with the stockings I featured above, as does the red one on their site. They are simple and keep that cozy feel! tree skirt
  3. Stocking Countdown Banner: All growing up, my mom planned a Christmas activity for each day of December leading up to Christmas. We had a little Christmas tree in our dining room with tiny present ornaments on it, and each morning when we woke up, we would go find the one that matched with the day of the month, and there was a piece of paper underneath it with the activity for the day written on it. Some of the activities were big, like picking out our Christmas tree or going to watch the Dixie Stampede Christmas Show, and others were smaller, like playing Christmas Pictionary, having a “snowball fight” with crumpled up paper balls, or creating paper snowflakes to hang in our entryway. I would love to do something like this with our kids in the future, and these stockings would be a perfect way to do it! You could hang the stocking banner on the mantle or somewhere else, and just put that day’s activity in the corresponding stocking number. Click here to shop this stocking countdown banner. stocking banner.jpg
  4. Red, Green, and White Ball Garland: This garland is so cute and matches well with the stockings and tree skirt. It’d be super cute on the tree (added to lights and ornaments), or hanging somewhere else around the house. garland.jpg
  5. Christmas Candles: Duncan and I are both big candle people; we almost always have one burning! I especially love warm smells, like vanilla and nutmeg, which are extra perfect for Christmas-time. There’s just something about a candle burning that makes a house feel more like a home. Here’s a yummy-smelling one! candle
  6. A Plush Throw: I’m a sucker for cozy blankets, especially in the winter. I love the color of this green one and how soft it is (plus it’s 25% off)! plush throw
  7. Festive Throw Pillows: Couches are so much comfier with throw pillows on them, and I think it’s so fun when people use different throw pillows for the different seasons. I love this Christmasy one (and the way it would look with the throw pictured above). pillow
  8. Cookie Cutter String Lights: How cute and unique are these Christmas lights?! I love that they add something a little different, but still aren’t over the top at all! 43513837_028_b
  9. Wreaths: I love the look of wreaths, both indoor and outdoor. I love classic green wreaths like this one (it’s under $10!), with big red bows tied on them, as well as red berry wreaths like this one (25% off)!

     

    I hope you got a little holiday inspiration from these pieces, or that it at least got you even more in the Christmas spirit 🙂 Collecting Christmas decor can take time, which makes it even more special.

IMG_8094.jpg

Always and forever,

Alex

 

*Click HERE to pin this post!

Advertisements

Our Guest Room

One of my favorite rooms in our home is the guest room. It’s not “perfect” or elaborately decorated (we still need to get a headboard), but I love how much natural light shines in and how most of the pieces in the room have sentimental value; what I love most, though, is when it’s occupied by our friends and family! The room has been in use since Lively was born a few weeks ago, and I feel so fortunate to have such generous and supportive loved ones in our lives!

Our moms took turns staying with us the two weeks after Lively was born. It was unbelievably helpful having them here to share their wisdom/experience, their delicious cooking, and keeping Lively and I company during the day. This past week, my sister spent her fall break with us. We had a great time watching countless hours of Gilmore Girls, walking at the park, and treating each other to pedicures!

Below are a few pictures of our guest room:

img_0165

This quilt was a wedding gift from one of Duncan’s aunts. We love how cozy it is and the personal touch it adds to our guest room!

img_0164

I love the big windows, as well as this beautiful scene Duncan’s grandma (Nanny) painted.

img_0163

This painting Nanny created has so much sentimental value, and I love that it’s hanging in a place where all of our visitors get to see.

img_0162

Duncan made this map for me as a Christmas gift while we were dating. We use different colored pins to signify where each of us have travelled, as well as where we’ve gone together. I can’t wait to see more of the world together (medical school kind of puts our traveling dreams on pause).

img_0166

 

Always and forever,

Alex

 

Saying Hello to Fall & our Front Porch Swing

img_0623

Happy first day of fall! I don’t know about where you live, but here in Jonesboro it definitely doesn’t feel like fall yet. It’s still been in the nineties every day and the humidity is worse than ever, but I’m anxiously awaiting the cool fall breeze and being able to enjoy sitting outside.

Duncan and I were recently gifted a porch swing, and all it needed was a little paint job before it matched our front porch. I love how homey porch swings make a house look/feel, so I was thrilled when we received one!

img_0609

*This is the swing originally… just needed a little TLC 🙂

Duncan began by nailing any parts of the swing that needed extra stability, as it is older and well-worn. He, then, removed the chains, so it would be easier to spray-paint. He sanded it down and spray-painted white over the natural wood color. It only took one layer and dried pretty quickly! Once the swing was dry, he reattached the chains, and it was ready to be hung up!

img_0597

Duncan and my dad hung the swing in the corner of our front porch, and I love the new look it gives to our porch! My mom was so sweet and picked out navy and white pillows for the porch swing to match our shudders. While the boys were out putting up the swing, my mom and I focused on cleaning the front porch. We wiped down the siding, scrubbed the shudders, cleared all the spider webs, and swept the porch. I love how clean it feels and am so looking forward to spending falls days sitting in our new porch swing!

img_0601

 

Always and forever,

Alex

My Favorite Room

I love everything about Duncan’s and my home in Jonesboro, but if I had to pick a favorite room, I would definitely say our bedroom. I like how cozy it is, how much natural light comes in the long windows, and I especially love our new bed Duncan made!

IMG_0234

The bed we had before was dark brown and would not have matched the gray color of our walls. This was the perfect excuse for a new one! Duncan’s made a lot of the furniture in our home, including our new bed. We knew we wanted a big, wooden bed, and Duncan made it all from scratch (seriously so impressive!). Once the frame was built, we painted it white, following up with sanding some of the edges (to give a more distressed/antiqued look). Duncan proceeded to wipe a dark brown stain over the white paint, wiping it off with a clean rag immediately after. After the paint and stain were dry, he finished by sanding the entire bed frame to tone down the color (to make it less of a brown). I love the way it turned out!

IMG_0243

I love white, fluffy comforters, and we spent most of the summer looking for a reasonably priced king size one. We finally found this one for a great deal at the At Home store in Springfield! I wanted a blue throw blanket and pillows to add a little pop of color. We found this Southern Living striped throw at Dillard’s and these soft, comfy decorative pillows at T.J. Maxx.

We wanted to find our initials to put up above our bed, which was another endeavor that proved to be more difficult than I initially thought. It felt like any time we went to a home store, they had one of our initials, but not the other’s, or they had both of our initials but no “&” symbol. After lots of looking, we finally found these at Hobby Lobby! I was nervous the silver color would blend in with the gray walls, but the rusty finish on the edges helps the letters to stand out and ties them in with the antiqued finish on our bed.

We’ve had these matching night stands since we’ve been married and started looking for matching lamps once we moved here to Jonesboro. I didn’t realize how expensive lamps are, so it took us a couple of weeks to find reasonable ones! These white ones were super cheap at Target, and I love how simple they are.

I enjoy spending time searching for new pieces for our home, as well as finding the right places for the pieces we already have. It’s fun seeing our room come together and feeling like our house is becoming more and more homey!

IMG_0253

Always & forever,

Alex

The First Step in Making our House our own Home

One of my favorite qualities in a home is when there is plenty of sunlight radiating in! I feel so lucky that our home has lots of windows (my favorite being the four floor-to-ceiling windows in our living and dining room). In order to take full advantage of these windows, I knew I wanted to lighten up the walls all over the house. I really like gray walls; however, gray clashed with the chocolate brown couches we have. Upon looking at more paint colors, I found a really pretty light blue color (with a grayish tint) that matched our furniture and decorations we received as wedding gifts and have accumulated over the past 2 years. We decided to paint our whole downstairs this same blue: Sherwin-Williams Crisp Blue, which included our living room, dining room, kitchen, half-bath, and laundry room (as well as our master bath upstairs).

crisp blue sample

IMG_0160

*A little glance at what crisp blue looks like in our living room*

I wanted to still use gray somewhere, so we decided to use it for our bedroom and Lively’s nursery, as it matches the furniture in both rooms well! There were so many shades of gray to choose from… we wanted it to be a light gray, so I started looking on Pinterest at some of the grays we liked the best to see what they looked like in other people’s homes. I found that Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray, which we ended up going with, is used often by Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper (one of my favorite shows!). This is the gray we went with, and I love how it turned out!

repose-gray

repose gray

*Repose gray in our bedroom*

We wanted to use a few different colors in our home that all go together well, but give some variety. We decided to do a light green color for our guest room and guest bath. I wanted to choose a green that was not too bright or “too green” (I preferred a more neutral green). We decided to go with Sherwin-Williams Filmy Green. I actually love it even more than I thought I would!

filmy green sample

filmy green

*A sneak peek of filmy green in our guest room*

Since the walls were deep red and orange prior to us buying the house, we used latex Kilz on all of the walls as a primer before painting. The Kilz was pretty inexpensive and saved us from having to do multiple coats of the actual paint colors. I’ll admit painting definitely tests my patience… it feels like it takes forever waiting for the primer to dry, wiping the walls down and cleaning the baseboards, moving appliances out of the way, taping off parts of the wall, removing electrical covers, waiting for the paint to dry, touching up any spots that need a little extra paint, etc. BUT it is so worth it! I love how the paint turned out. It lightens up our home and makes it feel even more spacious than I’d imagined! I love the way it looks with the natural sunlight. I’ll post more specifically about each room in our home as we get more done (& share more photos!).

 

Always & forever,

Alex