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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Christmas Bar Cart for Teetotalers

I absolutely adore the bar cart trend with it’s darling drink stirrers, gorgeous glasses and super cute straws. But I am not much of a drinker.

So here’s a bar cart for all the teetotalers and children, plus an easy way to make festive stirrers.

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So, Anthro sells four tinsel pom-pom cocktails stirrers for $18.00. They’re cute, but NO!

You can get a bag of bamboo skewers and pom-poms at the dollar store and create like a zillion stirrers for $2.

Just grab your glue gun and wire clippers.

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Snip the pointed end of the skewer off with the wire clippers. (Yes, they can be used for more than just wire. :)

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Because we don’t want anyone poking their eye out!

A Christmas Story.

Then simply hot glue a pom-pom or two to the top of the skewer.

Fun AND Festive!

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While this antique wash stand isn’t exactly a bar cart it works. It’s happy. Which is what a bar cart should be. I topped it with a small and large silver tray and added in a bit of faux snow.Decor To Adore~ Christmas Bar Cart 038

I love red roses and pine at Christmastime.

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While most of the drink selections were found at Central Market here in Texas, you can find many of these same drinks at Cost Plus World Market. Beverages were definitely selected for their seasonal flavors or colors.

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For a bit of extra holiday pizzaz place colored sugar (found in the Target $1 bins) in a small glass jar. Simply wet the rim of a glass and twist into the sugar.

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Then add in your favorite drink. In this case I kept the glass small for cordial (both for alcoholic and non alcoholic versions) as it is meant to be an aperitif.

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Remember what happened to Diana Barry when she gulped down a few glasses of alcoholic raspberry cordial? 

"Raspberry cordial!" Anne of Green Gables... Always wanted to try it...just a sip, of course!!!

You can also add a small bowl of fruit, nuts or mini candies to your bar cart. Just have fun!

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What your favorite Christmas drink?

Laura

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Classy Clutter, Stonegable, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts, The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection, My Fabuless Life,The Style Sisters, Sew A Fine Seam, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home, AKA Design + Life, Shabby Creek Cottage, Classy ClutterTatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, The Dedicated House

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Decorated My Very First Christmas Banister!

Having grown up in the era of The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family I have often longed for a fabulous staircase. Sliding down the bannister seemed like such fun! Mr. Décor and I had a metal spiral staircase while living in Germany but alas not much in the way of Christmas décor since we were living on an airman's salary.

Of course one would expect Storybook Cottage to have a staircase leading to the tower. Albeit, it is a small one.

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In the coming years I can definitely see this area as my Christmas décor playground.

Real pine garlands…

Pinecone garlands….

pinecone Christmas garland // holiday decorating ideas  Click to see 9 more creative holiday DIY projects.

Classic tinsel garland…

Stairway Showcase Garland  Stairway Showcase Garland  For a twist on the traditional garland-dressed banister, try this accent. Wire double swags of green tinsel garland at intervals along the banister rail, and tie ornaments dangling from silver ribbon. To add clusters of greenery and holly, tightly wrap wire around the railing for each cluster and tuck cuttings securely beneath the wire.

Bay leaf garlands….

Why if I ever have enough time on my hands I would love to do a paper garland.

But for now I just used a lit artificial garland I had on hand.

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I just might adore my upside down acorn newel post.

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Gold balls that once hung on Grandma Gunn’s tree, mercury ornaments and mini wreaths purchased on clearance years ago, and my pearl star ornaments add a bit of sparkle and shine.

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The presents in this room are wrapped in basic butcher paper held by washi tape. Shimmering add ons are used year after year. The “Frohe Weihnachten” snowman clothespins were purchased when we lived in Germany 10 years ago! I also use gift bags although it’s somewhat faux pas in blogland.

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The real magic occurs at night. I adore the twinkle of the soft lights.

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Do you have a bannister to decorate?

Laura

Monday, December 15, 2014

Decorating A Ginormous Fireplace and Mantle for Christmas

The elephant in the living room, AKA the fireplace, has gotten its Christmas on.

I still don’t know how it will be decorated for the rest of the year but at least the living room has a bit of cheer because it is basically still empty. (It’s next on my list to decorate.)

My dear friend Missy made me the lovely “Peace” angel winged ornament.

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This fireplace and mantle is a beast I tell you! To give you an idea of its enormity here is an image of me standing right in front of it. I am 5’4” tall and the top of my head reaches midway.

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Everyone helped decorate. It’s a bit over the top, but isn’t Christmas décor supposed to be?

Mr. Décor says the mirror looks like a big Santa smile with braces. :)

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Paper chains, an Anthro garland, and wood candlesticks from T J Maxx all provide various shades of neutral texture.

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An silver star ornament from Miss Sandy, pinecones, and antique jingle bells act as filler.

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The antique mantle cover I purchased from my good friend Jenny. Once the orange oak mantle underneath is replaced it might get used for kitchen curtains.

I did do one Before & After DIY for this area.

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The fireplace screen was basic black. Since this room struggles for natural light I thought a brighter color might work better. Most hardware stores sell high heat spray paint.

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I think it’s an improvement. What say you?

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To the left of the fireplace I placed an antique sled we purchased many years ago while living in Germany. The faux sheepskin rug is from Ikea.

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Since the fireplace is gas there really is no need to fill up the large opening on the bottom with wood. I found a basket at Ross, added a few birch logs and greenery leftover from our Christmas tree, tossed in a string of lights and a few scented pinecones.

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It’s gives a bit of happy sparkle and shine to the space.

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Hopefully I will find the time to get some stockings sewn and hung.

Laura

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Classy Clutter, Stonegable, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts, The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection, My Fabuless Life,The Style Sisters, Sew A Fine Seam, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home, AKA Design + Life, Shabby Creek Cottage, Classy ClutterTatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, The Dedicated House

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Something More Sundays~ Week 3

Oh my did you see all the Christmas house tours this week?

Completely glorious! Utterly enchanting!

I think I may have even worn out my “Pin It” button.

But somehow it was not enough to motivate me any further in terms of decorating my own home. 

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You see truthfully, I’ve felt about as broken as this ornament.

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I was so excited to have a REAL tree this year. We went as a family to go select it , we set it up and the smell was amazing! I went to go open the first box of ornaments and as you know we moved and well, things get broken when you move. I lost a lovely chalet from my original 1977 Dept. 56 Snow Village and a special blue ornament that had belonged to my parents on their first Christmas tree. I tried another box and right on top was a Santa that Grandma Jingles had made me as a child.

I just….couldn’t.

So I closed the lid and walked away. The tree sat unadorned for three days and then Mr. Décor strung some lights onto it.

Three more days passed by and the Fashionista began opening up the ornament boxes. Two days later Sweet Guy finished the job.

It might be the best tree ever.

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There is something so right about the crooked star, uneven garland and millions of pine needles on the floor. I can so identify with the charming imperfections.

1-IMG_9569Because life is full of imperfections and imperfect days.

Thursday just about did me in. My dad’s cousin passed away. He had been really close to my Grandmother and no doubt took her recent passing really hard. Later that afternoon I learned from my cousin in law Sweet T. that my cousin E’s dad, Uncle B., had been ill for quite some time and had finally gone to the doctor. He had immediately been admitted into the hospital for intense chemo treatment for a diagnosis of lymphoma. My dear cousin, an only child, was preparing to get on a plane. I just wanted to cry and scream until somebody put me to bed. But nobody was there and so much “Christmas” still needed to be done. Bah Humbug!

What do you do when your Fa La La La La walks out the door?

In my case I put on my red shoes and ran after it by texting a few people and asking them to pray for me.

I read the response messages loud and clear. I was loved.

Later that night the tree seemed to sparkle a little bit brighter.

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Joy was there all along. It was just hard to see amongst all the trappings the crooners sing about, that Hallmark promotes and every retailer makes us believe we must buy.

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Because true joy does not come wrapped up in shiny Santa ribbons.

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Joy is ours to unwrap every day be it a smile, good deed or a kind word .

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Joy is free for everyone to give and receive.

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May you find true joy this Christmas.

Laura

It is fitting that the third Advent candle, to be lit this evening, represents JOY.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”~ Luke 2:10

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,” ~ James 1:2

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This post is dedicated to my mother, Nadine.

As we celebrate your birthday today we remember the joy you brought to many. You are missed.

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“Ann” given to me as a child by my mother.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Easy Doublemint Brownies

As a child Mr. Décor’s mother would make these yummy treats every Christmas. A batch is easy to whip up and these brownies freeze very well. Make some now to have on hand all holiday season long.

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Here are the brownie  ingredients:

4 squares of unsweetened chocolate (I often use Bakers brand)

1 cup of butter or margarine

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of peppermint oil (you can find this in the cake decorating aisle at Michael’s and Joann’s)

1 cup of flour

1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

Melt butter and chocolate squares together in the microwave or use a stovetop double boiler.

In a mixing bowl beat the eggs, stir in sugar, oil, flour and salt. Add in the melted chocolate.

Spread mixture out onto a greased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool.

Frosting ingredients:

2 cups of powdered/confectioner sugar

4 tablespoons of butter or margarine

2 tablespoons of cream or milk

1 teaspoon of peppermint oil

You can also use food coloring to make colored frosting.

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Directions:

Combine all the ingredients with a mixer and frost the cooled brownies. Refrigerate or freeze for 20 minutes.

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A last step for extra pizzaz:

Melt 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate with 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine.

Drizzle over topping and refrigerate or freeze again.

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Cut into small squares, makes approximately 50 brownies.

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Fair warning: they can be quite addictive.

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What’s your favorite holiday treat?

Laura

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Classy Clutter, Stonegable, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts, The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection, My Fabuless Life,The Style Sisters, Sew A Fine Seam, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home, AKA Design + Life, Shabby Creek Cottage, Classy ClutterTatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, The Dedicated House, Foodie Friday