December 27, 2010

Holiday Festivities Recap

by Shelly

The in-laws just left about an hour ago and of course there are now loads of laundry, lots of cleaning, beds to be made, dishes to be put away…etc. etc.  But we had a lovely time all together celebrating and eating way too much!  I’ve been a little MIA here on the blog because not only did we host Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities at our home, but we also hosted a big Christmas party for 35 a week ago.  So to say I’ve done a lot of cooking the last two weeks is frankly a serious understatement!

Here are a few shots of our home just before the Christmas Eve dinner took place.  I was really excited to finally use all of the Etsy, Ebay and estate sale finds I’ve been collecting the past few months on our holiday table.  Take a peek….

Mixed with our wedding china and flatware are the first finds of what I hope to be a large collection of mother of pearl vintage flatware.  I like a clean simple table for Christmas  since I usually serve such a colorful meal.  It really lets the food stand out!  I used simple wood letters from Michael’s spray painted with metallic silver paint at each place setting.  The flowers from Trader Joe’s are set in my collection of milk glass vases and the candlesticks are all vintage silverplate from estate sale finds this past year.

The ornaments are a mix of flea market finds and Kmart.  And the little glittery stars and snowflakes on the chandelier are from a craft supply store. The water glasses are milk glass found on Ebay.

I hung this wreath in the dining room at the last minute.  It had been in our bedroom the whole month, but I wanted to really deck the room out.  So I brought it down and added the Joyeux Noel sign I made for our French Christmas party a week earlier.

Oh and if you ever wondered what a crazy woman looks like cooking Christmas Eve dinner, here she is…

Behind me chopping area, in front of where my recipes are…three pans on the stove going, pork in the oven. It was CHAOS I tell ya! But I did it.  And it was good!

Of course I forgot one important thing as I was right smack dab in the middle of cooking…a trussing needle to make my crown of roast pork. Opps. Well, thank goodness for bamboo skewers in a pinch!  TOO funny!

Yummy goodness I tell ya! Highly recommend this recipe!

The wild rice dressing was divine to say the least and so colorful!  I used most of the menu I found on Martha Stewarts’ website.  We started with a roasted pear and shallot salad, and with the pork we had the wild rice dressing, homemade popovers, and glazed honey ginger carrots.  Everything (if I do say so myself) turned out delish!  We finished it all off with another Martha recipe, Gingerbread Cheesecake. Again….yummers…it was a hit!

The evening was a success as was Christmas Day brunch.  The whole weekend was a great time spent with family, but we are now looking forward to some quiet evenings just the three of us. It’s been a BUSY month.  Wednesday I will be packing up all the decorations since I have housecleaners coming Thursday to help out with the mad mess my house has become. So, I figured the day before would be a good time to take everything down. I forsee a ton of glitter… everywhere.  Here is a last look of the house all decorated in her holiday best.

Hope you and yours had a wonderful joyful holiday as well!

Merry, Merry Christmas to you all!


December 10, 2010

the wish list

by Shelly

After weeks of my husband nagging me to “PLEASE SEND ME YOUR WISHLIST”, here it is. Recession friendly, not spending a lot this year…wish list.  I think it’s pretty good considering I usually like ‘spency things.

1.  Feather Duster Necklace

Ahh, J. Crew, do they ever do anything wrong?  This is just that little something a girl needs to amp up an outfit.

2.  Butter Nailpolish in Macbeth

Tomato red polish.  LOVE.  I’ve been looking for the right color for a while and I think this may just be the ONE!

3.  Trumpeting Twosome Shakers

Jonathon Adler’s designs make me smile.  And I have a small “thing” for elephants.  These are just too adorable and would start a possible J.A. collection!

4.  Chinese Laundry At Once Booties

I really, really need to break out of my shoe rut.  Warm weather…I’m in sandals 95% of the time.  Cold weather…I’m in boots.  I hardly EVER wear heels anymore, but I love them.  This shoe would be perfect for a dressier outfit and with jeans and a sweater to run errands with the little one. AND…bonus!…the price is GOOD!

5.  Garlic Olive Oil

Seriously, if you like to cook, you can NEVER have too many kinds of oils, vinegars, and spices.  The hubby and I like garlic…A LOT…so this would get used quickly!

6.  Erin Condren Jumbo 2011 Wall Calendar

I’ve had one of these calendars in our home for the past few years.  I can’t say enough about how much I LOVE these.  It’s bright, fun, plenty of space to write, cute stickers for special events throughout the year and a great babysitter/house sitter emergency page featuring all the important info for you and your family.

7.  Styles: Compendium of Interior

I can always use more design books.  This one features a nice breakdown of furniture styles and is great for referencing.

8. Superskinny Glitter Belt in Gold

I have no clue why I have not bought a sparkly belt yet.  So perfect over cardigans.  And an extra touch to a tomboyish jeans and t outfit.

9.  Loft Faux Fur Vest

I’m about kicking myself for getting rid of the faux fur vest I had a few years ago.  I remember me asking my husband, “Seriously, do you really think this will come back in style? This is so not me huh?”. What an idiot, I regretted it as soon as I put it in the Goodwill donation bin. Darn! Well this one is 40% off with FREE SHIPPING right now!!! Oh wait…actually EVERYTHING IS 40% with FREE SHIPPING at The Loft right now. Run, don’t walk!

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Since we purchased an artificial tree a few years ago, I  always ache to get the tree up and decorated by Thanksgiving.  I like to extend the holiday season as LONG as possible I guess AND the house just looks so pretty all Christmas-y and everything. In any case, here is what we’ve been enjoying around these parts.

The tree has an overall theme of birds…  These glass birds I added to my collection of antique German birds, last year when I sadly discovered most of the old ones smashed to bits.  Bummer! The wide ribbon was purchased at a floral supply warehouse shortly after the hubby and I were married.  I love the silver mesh going in and out of the tree.

Lots of glittered snowflakes, silvery leaves and stars and mercury glass balls.

The rest of the ornaments are a mixture from various places…Target, Michaels, Pottery Barn, Ebay, and Walmart.  The large snowflakes were a new addition and to be honest I’m not sure about them.  At first I really liked them in the tree, but I took them out a few days ago and now have different plans for them.  I’m thinking of hanging them from the ceiling during our big party next weekend.

Here it is in all its glory!  The tree skirt is another Pottery Barn steal I found on Ebay.  The DREAM letters are from Anthropologie that I’ve had for probably 12 years or so.  I use to have them hanging in my room when I still lived at home!!! Wow, that was a long time ago!  And two of the letters along with the addition of a letter V, sat on the mantel of the place where we had our wedding reception.  Again, a long time ago now!

Some more images from our decorated home. These stockings are for our dog and cat. Yes, I get them gifts too! I’m kind of crazy about animals.

The Christmas sign was a new addition after last weeks’ mantle link party.  There were a few mantle entries with beautiful, glittered letters and signs.  I was so inspired that I rushed to Michaels and bought everything to do it myself.  I added this fun aqua sign to our living room mantle mirror and I think it just adds a little something!

{sorry the pic is so blurry!}

Thanks for stopping by!  To see more about our decorated mantle go HERE. And check out all the other beautiful trees over at the blog of Thrifty Decor Chick!

The Lettered Cottage


December 1, 2010

silver sparkle mantel

by Shelly

I just LOVE seeing how other people decorate their home for the holidays!  We go on A LOT of walks this time of year…especially in the early evening…so I can peek into the living rooms’ of my neighbors. Yes, I’m nosy!  hee hee.

Layla over at The Lettered Cottage is hosting a fun holiday home linky party.  So of course I had to join in on the fun.  But I will admit…I still have a bunch more holiday decorating to do.  Don’t tell my husband!  I have yet to get my paper white and amaryllis bulbs to put in pretty silver and white vases and containers.  There is also a bunch more silver that I need to polish up and scatter around the house with candies tucked into them.  But since my three year old wakes up asking for candy for breakfast, well the candy isn’t going out until company comes over December 24th!

But enough with my chattering, here is our living room holiday mantel….

{before decorations}

{after decorations}

I keep a pretty simple palette and try to just use colors already found in my home.  And since I have a fondness for Hanukkah (my mom had a Jewish boyfriend for most of my childhood), sometime in my early twenties I started collecting Christmas decorations in white, silver, and blue.

The garland I got on uber discount a few seasons ago at Pottery Barn.  The stockings I found on Ebay and STILL need to have them monogrammed with our names or initials.  I’ve had them six years…you’d think I would have done that by now.  Nope.

I think it’s hilarious that you can see me taking the picture above in the silver ornament! Hahaha!  The silver trophy cups are by Twos Company….I have an account with them.  If you see something you like and want to inquire about it, email me!  The ornaments in the cups are a collection from over the years.  The blue mercury glass bulbs I’ve been collecting since I was 19.  I think they were an Ebay find.  The rest are from Target and a florist supply in Los Angeles that I frequent.

The sleigh and reindeer are another Tar-jay find.  I keep breaking the stupid reindeer though since the mantle at this home is slick marble and they tend to just slide right off.  I finally got smart this morning and used some sticky tack…we’ll see if that does the trick!

AND we do happen to have another fireplace in our home. The second one is in our family room and although this next year I will mostly likely take a large sledge hammer to the ugly river rock surround….it does look pretty cute and wintry during the Christmas season.  Here is a little peeky peek of our nutcracker mantel….

The clock was a very backordered Christmas gift from the hubby last year.  It is from Restoration Hardware and the anglophile in me just about died when I first saw it in the catalog.  I HAD TO HAVE IT!  Both fireplaces in fact didn’t have any artwork or mirror above them until spring of this year.  I just couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted.  All of the nutcrackers where left over from a party I styled last year.  The organization didn’t want them, so they came home with me!  The kiddo LOVES them!

The two guys at the very right are my favs….the Beefeater and the Scotsman.  The kilt guy was my very first nutcracker and a gift from my mother in law right after we were married.  I’m Scottish…I love him.  The sprigs of silver holly leaves and glass berries are antique and the jingle bell garland was a yard sale find.  BTW, I took Eddie Ross’ advice and after going to the Los Angeles flower mart yesterday, I stuck real sprigs of pine tree into my fake lighted garland.  It looks so much fuller and smells fantastic!

There you have it!  Go over and check out all the other great mantles.  BEAUTIFUL STUFF!

The Lettered Cottage


November 29, 2010

Eddie Ross decorating tips!

by Shelly

I just love that Eddie Ross has teamed up with Kmart and Sears.  Everything that boy touches goes gold…so those companies were VERY smart in working with him!  Check out his Christmas decorating tips!  And I thought I was pretty good at decorating for the holidays.  Eddie is the KING!

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