Monday, December 23, 2013

O Christmas Tree

In addition to the mini tree in our dining room, we also have a 9 foot tree in our living room!

Picture used in our Christmas card

Back when we first moved in, we noticed that the sellers left a 12 foot tree in the storage closet.  12 FEET??  I can only imagine what that would have looked like in that space, granted it is a vaulted ceiling so it would probably fit but we would be having to decorate with a really tall ladder or from the stairs (which probably isn't the safest).  Chris and I decided to just pick up a new tree at Michael's and opted for the 9 foot slim which turns out to fit perfectly in that little corner (once we moved the side table to the other side of fireplace).  We also picked up some lighted garland for the stairs from Bed Bath and Beyond.

I wanted to make a tree skirt, but with time flying by this holiday season I opted to just pick one up from Home Goods instead.

I love looking at the tree at night, and can't wait to build upon our current ornament collection, which is mostly filler ornaments bought during after Christmas sales at pier 1 and target.

My current favorite ornament - A handmade replica of our wedding cake

One of the traditions that I look forward to the most every holiday season is the annual Weddingbee ornament exchange!  I have been a participant for 4 seasons and hope to continue adding little elephants to our tree for years to come.

Top L: 2010 from Mrs. Thimble
Top R: 2011 from Mrs. Tulip
Bottom L: 2012 from Mrs. Seal
Bottom R: 2013 from Mrs. Candy Apple

In other holiday news I was able to find a sport for the holiday card display that I made last year.  It hangs on the closet door next to our gallery wall.  This way I can see it every time I walk from my office to the living room or kitchen.

And one last holiday bit of goodness around our home, preparing to host our first holiday family meal!

I'm trying not to stress as time is just slipping away but with cooking help from my mom, dad and Chris, I know we'll be able to make it through Christmas Eve dinner as well as Christmas brunch and dinner at our house.  I love the fact that we finally get to use the placemats, napkins, napkin rings and nice silverware from our 2011 wedding registry.   

My search for silver chargers at Bed Bath and Beyond returned a goose egg, so with little time left I picked up the gold and called it a day.  Once I started to set the table, I knew the gold just wasn't going to fly with everything else so thank you Amazon Prime for these silver beauties that arrived on Friday.

I doubt I'll be back online between now and Christmas, so I wish you all a very happy holiday!
The front of our 2013 holiday card

And one more bit of fun news...

It's a boy!!!  We can't wait to meet our son next year!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My First Wreath

One of the things that I looked forward to after closing on our house was being able to make wreaths to decorate the front door.  I have Morgan over at The Handcrafted Life to thank for that, she has done some amazing seasonal wreaths for her house and I was excited to test my DIY skills again.

I started with a green wreath based and ribbon from Micheals, going around making loops and securing it with parts of the bendable branches.

I didn't really have a pattern in mind, just changing up the direction of the loops every now and then.

Once the loops were complete, I busted out the glue gun and got to work covering the L with some red, green and silver balls.

I wish the L stood out a little more (maybe I should have gone with another set of colors), but other than that I am pretty satisfied with our holiday wreath.

And one shot on the front door (we'll be painting that door at some point).  It's a little tilted because I decided to use some floral wire to attach the wreath to hanger to deter anyone from simply pulling it off and taking it with them (not that our neighborhood is unsafe in anyway but better to be safe than sorry).

Have you made any holiday decor items for your house?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Iced In

This past weekend the Dallas area was hit with some nasty ice.

Growing up in Pennsylvania I've lived with the cold and the snow, but this past weekend's weather was crazy - 1-4 inches of thick ice.  While it did lead to some interesting pictures in our backyard...

It also led to some pretty bad damage of the trees as well.  The trees that stand where the pool used to be probably took it the worse, they just couldn't handle the weight of the ice and several branches snapped off.

Thankfully that area is further away from the house so none it it touched the house.  We will have our landscaper come out after the thaw to remove what needs to be removed as well as some of the larger branches on the thicker trees that broke under the ice weight as well.

The scariest part would be the trees the closest to the house.  Thankfully we had the branches that touched the house removed back when we moved in.  But the ice did cause the branches still remaining to bend all the way to the house, with at least higher 4 branches breaking off (and now resting on top of the lower branches still attached to the tree).

(If you look towards the top you can see the snapped branch which is hanging down at an angle)

(our trees don't normally touch the ground)

Chris and I spent the entire weekend at home, going out to let Heisenberg use the bathroom and to try and remove the ice/branches that we could (mainly the ones that were leaning on the fences) and shovel out our front driveway.  Hopefully as the weather starts to warm up above freezing we'll be able to venture out today because I do have a case of cabin fever.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Travel Tree

In my last post, I mentioned that the table top tree in the center of our holiday buffet has a story behind it that deserved a post of it's own.

Back when we lived in our apartment, I filled the fridge with magnets from our various travels.  You can make out the beginning of the magnet covered fridge in this shot taken when we first moved into our apartment.

With the stainless steel refrigerator in our house, the magnets were packed away in a drawer until I could figure out something to do with them. As the holidays rolled around, I thought it was be a great idea to decorate the table top tree (that was once used as the only tree in my first apartment) in a travel theme

In the process of going from magnet to ornament

A little hot glue and floral wire later and the travel tree was complete!  I love that this is on display on our buffet and always take a trip down memory lane when walking by it.  Remembering our trips to Napa, San Francisco, San Antonio, past cruises to Cozumel, the Bahamas, Costa Maya, Belize, and our trip to see my dad's birth country Trinidad and Tobago...

...our Christmas spent in Ohio, our honeymoon in Mexico, birthday trips to New Mexico, New Orleans and Fredericksburg, and a couple of trips to Vegas...

And my favorite the larger picture magnet from our trip to Disney World that acts as the star on top!

I am so glad that we figured out a way to still display these travel mementos, even if it's only one time a year.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Buffet

Now that we have celebrated Thanksgiving, I'm so excited to share some of the Christmas decor around our house!!

Not going to lie, we began decorating the house for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I held off sharing on the blog until December.

The table top tree in the middle has a story behind it so I'll share that in another post.  All of the other decor items (with the exception of the Ikea lantern) were purchased at a great discount after the holidays last year.

The tree candles and ornaments in the lantern were picked up at Target.

Love the sparkle

On the right side of the tree is a sleigh basket from Pier 1 filled with mini ornaments from Target and another tree candle.

I love the change up of the seasonal buffet and will probably be a little sad when I have to pack it up after Christmas.

Do you decorate your house for the holidays?

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Newest Addition

Meet the newest addition to our family - Heisenberg!

Heisenberg is a rescue pup that was being fostered by a local company who holds adoption events every weekend in hopes to find forever homes for their foster dogs as well as local shelter dogs.  

Ever since Gypsy's passing I have wanted  to adopt another dog but with preparing for the move Chris and I thought it would be best to hold off.  Now that we're settled into our house we thought it would be a great time to give a second chance to another dog.  We happened upon the adoption event this past weekend while out picking up supplies for a holiday wreath and fell in love with this dog.  It didn't take much more than a walk across the street with him to know that he would fit in so well with our family.

Chris came up with the name Heisenberg based on the main character from Breaking Bad which is starting to sink in with our little dog (he was given another name between the time he was rescued from the sheltered and while he was being fostered but didn't respond to that name when we were checking him out so we figured it wouldn't hurt to change it up).  

He is a 1 year old dachshund/rat terrier mix who loves to fetch (still getting used to the drop part so that we can throw it again), give kisses and cuddle up as close to people as possible.  We lucked out as it seems that he was potty trained either at his original home or at his foster home (or we've just lucked out this past weekend with no accidents in the house) and he seems to really enjoy his new surroundings. 

Have you brought home a new pet lately?  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tales From Online Shopping

We've finally added some more pieces to our master bedroom, and it comes with a story.

Reading a clock on the floor from the bed got old pretty quickly, so we set out one Saturday to all of the local furniture stores in search of a couple of nightstands and a new dresser.  Unfortunately, 4 stores down and we were nowhere closer than when we started.  We decided to throw in the towel and turn back to the same place that we ordered our headboard -

I searched through the selection in our price range and ended up with 5 nightstand options that I showed Chris who made the final decision.

I love that the fabric that covers the drawers coordinates with the bed, and the darker wood adds a little something different than the lighter pieces we already had in the room.

We also picked up a couple of acrylic lamps at Target so Chris (who goes to sleep after me) wouldn't have to turn off the light at the door and walk to the bed in the dark anymore.

The nightstand purchase was an easy one with no issues, the stands came in one piece and the only thing we had to do was screw on the knobs on the front.  On the other hand, the dresser was another story.

We ordered the dresser in the same transaction as the nightstands, but knew in advance that it would require some assembly.  When it was delivered, the delivery man made a joke as he wheeled it up the drive commenting on the weight of the box.  That weekend, Chris dragged it into our bedroom and got to work pulling out the pieces to the puzzle. He called me in to our room with some bad news, there were scratches and dings to many of the pieces and one of the legs was broken in half.

I went straight to my laptop to look up the number for Wayfair's customer service and connected with a very nice guy who quickly put me at ease.  He told me that they wanted their customers to be completely satisfied and without hesitation put in another order for the same dresser at no cost.  He told me we could do whatever we wanted with the pieces to the first dresser as it would be a waste for them to get it back because they would not sell it to another customer.

I was ready to pack it up and send it to the dump, but my husband is ever the resourceful one and was sure that he could repair the broken leg with a dowel and some wood glue.  By the end of the day he had fixed the leg and assembled the dresser which is set up in the nursery (pictures to come once we actually decorate the nursery after finding out if baby is a girl or boy).

Three days later and the second dresser arrived with no issues.  This one was assembled in a shorter amount of time since Chris had already been through the process once.

Have you had any good customer experiences with online shopping?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Good Bye Pool!

We are so glad to be rid of this thing!

If you followed our home buying journey then you probably remember how the above ground pool on the property almost cost us the deal.  The issue was that above ground pools are not permitted per our HOA rules.  I have no clue how the original owner was able to have this installed, but it caused a little bit of panic on my part before closing when it was identified that the title company and mortgage company would have issues with an exception to the HOA rules. Thankfully we were able to sign a document at closing indicating that we would not hold the title company responsible for the pool and that we would be removing it.

I reached out to our city to see if a permit was required to remove the above ground pool and the answer was nope.  We just had to make sure that the water was drained down the street and not to any of our neighbors' yards.  After researching and contacting a couple of demolition companies, we accepted the bid for one and now that thing is GONE!

We had the company also remove the wood deck as we would like to have this as a nice grassy area for kids to run around on.  The rest of the yard is filled with trees and bushes so there is not as much open area back there.

While the company was breaking down the pool, the foreman asked if I knew that there was a leak in the pool.  I didn't, but that's just another great reason for getting rid of it!  All this time that my dad was filling the pool with water, the water was leaking into the area above the ground/below the pool.

Lucky for us, the water was gone in a day or two...of course during the storms in the weeks since it has filled up and evaporated a couple of times over. We will probably work with the same company to fill and level out the area with dirt, and then work with our landscaper to plant grass.

I don't want to press our luck, but I believe this removal marks the end of our large, out of pocket house expenses for the time being.  Now to fill that void with buying baby items!

Did it seem like you had a lot of out of pocket expenses in the months right after buying your home?