From my Hart: Christmas Decor

Y’all! I’ve been waiting my entire life to decorate my very own home for Christmas. As I’ve mentioned before, our realtor was always sure to comment on two things: which wall did you want to knock down & where are you putting the Christmas Tree?

I’ve had such fond memories of trinkets passed down, Christmas decor & items that have gone to pass over the years; like the mechanical and musical Mr. & Mrs. Clause my grandparents had. As you may imagine, I’ve been stashing away a lot of Christmas decorations over the years. There is a lot I’ve not included in this post and a lot of items we didn’t even put out!

I am so excited to bring to you a compilation of how my fiance and I have decorated our home for our first Christmas! To kick things off- here’s a picture of my supportive fiance and I decorating 🙂

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First Floor

 

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Up the stairs we go!

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Other Highlights

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I hope you’ve enjoyed our mini tour! May all your days be merry & bright!

From my Hart: Engagement Party

Happy FriYay all! As promised, today’s blog post will be all about our engagement party!

My godmother threw us the most incredible engagement party so my, and my fiancés, immediate family could come together and meet! Let’s dive right into it!

For invitations, my Aunt used Paperless Post to send the most adorable electronic invitations & they were free!

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There were balloons set in our wedding colors (navy, blush & gold) in bunches around the house. We had a photo wall that was 100% created thanks to HomeGoods. With $3 wedding wrapping paper & some photobooth props, the scene was set!

I had purchased a white Instax Mini 9, instant camera, from Walmart that I set out with the props and extra film. I plan on using this at every event leading up to the big day!

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$3 Wrapping Paper from HomeGoods

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We had pictures printed out in frames & on a canvas that we are going to hang up in our new home, placed around the food, photo wall & fire place. It was the perfect touch to help each room feel like it was apart of our engagement celebration.

We also had a photobook of our engagement pictures out on the coffee table for all to view. Additionally, and possibly my favorite, was a banner we had created from our engagement pictures. The prints, banner, canvas & photobook were all created via Walmart!

 

 

The food was an absolute feast! With some homemade dishes in addition to some of our favorites from Wegmans, the table was set. There was pulled pork, curry chicken, salads, pastas, a delicious cheese board, wraps/sandwiches, desserts galore & a mimosa bar! I have always wanted a mimosa bar & this surprise was the icing on the cake for me!

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We so thoroughly enjoyed our wonderful day hanging out and celebrating our forever with our families. Thank you so much to my godmother & grandparents for this incredibly & magical affair!

The best is yet to come indeed! We cannot wait to continue all of the celebrations to come with family and friends!

From my Hart: Sandy Clause- 2017 Edition

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is visiting my boyfriends Grandmother, or as a few magazines have referred to her… Sandy Clause. Each year, Sandy Clause transforms the three floors of her gorgeous home into a Christmas wonderland. Every year the rooms are decorated differently, and each year I find myself wandering around from room to room in amazement.

I’ve compiled my favorite pictures from her home this year. I’ll stop blabbing so you can soak up each room (even though she didn’t go “all out”) and enjoy Sandy Clause’s gift for decorating.

Main Level Living Room:

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Main Level Sun Room:

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The Kitchen/Dining Room:

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IMG_6039IMG_6059The Second Landing:

 

Sandy Clause’s Bedroom:

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Sandy Clause’s Bathroom:

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Sandy Clause’s Sun Room:

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One Guest Room:

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Another Guest Room:

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Other Magical Details:

 

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Our Mini Photo Shoot:

Nothing makes a Grandmother more happy than having picture of her Grandchildren… Mammaw, er Sandy Clause, LOVES it!

 

I hope you all enjoyed visiting Sandy Clause’s home with me. I wish you each could see it in person, but I vow to you, as long as Mammaw keeps decorating, I’ll keep blogging. I also hope, that this brings you some warmth, joy and cheer on these cold winter days.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

From my Hart: Outdoor Christmas Lights

With the happy task my Grandfather set for my boyfriend & I- to decorate the house, I was fully confident that we would be able to deliver. I hopped on my QVC app, ordered a bunch of lights, and set to planning with my boyfriend.

Growing up, my Mom and I lived with my Grandparents, and we used to have net lights along the front bushes, as well as icicle lights along the roof. We no longer have these items & no one is willing to go on the roof. This year I took a fresh & simple approach to the outdoor lights. Let’s see what we were able to produce:

The Lights:

I L-O-V-E Bethlehem Lights from QVC. You may have heard me rave about this company in my post on Monday. All of the light that you see, except for the “Holiday Bush,” are done with Bethlehem lights. They are all running on battery operated timers, and we never have to worry about them. They come on and go off at the same time daily & can even be set to twinkle, extra bright, fade-in-out, etc.

Set Up:

The day before Thanksgiving we got up early and started decorating. Armed with some command hooks for the columns, batteries and the lights, we set to work! Set up took less than an hour y’all, so simple.

I added command hooks along our fence and strung the lights. The big heavy battery boxes (holding 3 D batteries) were a concern for me, so I made sure to set the command hook for a couple hours before hanging the box from it. I also secured the box with clear tape just to be extra secure.

The Results:

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The “Holiday Bush” as I jokingly call it, is a trimmed hydrangea bush with traditional plug-in colored lights
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Multi lights guide us home, adorned on each section of fence.

I love coming home and seeing all of the lights on- even better is knowing no one has to worry about turning them off or on! We’ve made my grandparents so happy & at the end of the day, I am so glad we were able to deliver.

From my Hart: Christmas Decor

If you haven’t caught onto the theme of my post this month, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I really try and recreate the feel of my childhood wonderment in my decorating each year.

I find the new white/gold modern approach to Christmas decorations stunning, but my own Christmas decorating style is more warm with a focus on items from Christmas past. You will notice a lot of antique Christmas touches, as well as some rustic pieces that help, hopefully, achieve this style.

My Creations/Finds:

If y’all know me, you know that a lot of the items I decorate with come from HomeGoods & that is exactly where I found this! I was paroozing their gift wrap section (they have the best boxes, tags, bags, and wrapping paper) when I found SPOOLS OF RIBBON! Someone was out of their mind if they thought I was actually going to use this ribbon…it’s huge! There were so many ribbons, and sizes of spools, I couldn’t resists. This sits out next to my jewelry box in a corner that is lacking Christmas cheer- but I wanted to show it to y’all in my hand to give some perspective on the size!

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Also from HomeGoods is this beautiful mercury glass tree. With three AA batteries, this pretty green tree comes to life with light. I placed it behind one of my vintage Christmas card displays because: it adds more height to my dresser, I can see it through the picture frame & because the vintage card shows a family decorating their Christmas tree. Too perfect y’all. The image below on the left is of it with the light on, the image on the right is without the light- stunning both ways.

My Grandmother has always had four caroling figures that she would place on her hall table. I found a vintage Christmas card of carolers, and placed it next to them. The table was just bare, but I had planned on added fresh greens later on in December.

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I had three small glass jars (from the Oui by Yoplait yogurt) that I added some white paint and silver glitter to. I popped in some battery operated tea lights and now this table is one of my favorite decorations I created this year. I love the vintage glow of the orange tea lights, I think it really ties everything together.

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A peak into Mammaw’s Decor:

Y’all I tried so hard to get my boyfriends Grandmother to show me her house early. She is known as Sandy Clause and does the most breath-taking Christmas decorating I’ve even seen. She transforms her home into a Christmas dream, and unveils it for friends and family come late December.

I was able to snap some pictures of how she decorated her daughters home! I hope this helps spark your decorative creativity & allows you to enjoy her gift as much as I do!

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Annalee Elves greet you as you head up to the bedrooms! They are each holding a bucket of Christmas crackers and sleigh bells.

 

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The red berries/flowers and old bear in an antique setting, next to a magnolia wreath adorned with a Christmas bow & snow shoes really set this wall in the basement!
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How simple is this- an oversized glass vessel with plastic candy canes is the perfect addition of height & Christmas to any kitchen counter.
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Add height to the corner of any room with a tall holiday focused floral arrangement in a mercury glass jug with ribbon.
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Tea towels, garland, Christmas picture/picture frame, over sized cookie cutter & gingerbread oven mit can all be set out for display on the end of the counter.

Mammaw, as she is lovingly called, has a gift for decorating! I cannot wait to see how her house looks this Christmas (click here to view a few pictures from last year). I will be sure to capture her home for all to see this year… once we are allowed into her magical world!

From my Hart: Vintage Christmas

Last year, I was whisked away to Frederick, Maryland to go antiquing. I had a blast walking around the quaint down-town area, lit up with Christmas lights, with my boyfriends Grandmother leading the way.

In one of the booths, I stumbled upon antique Christmas cards. Where this fascination of mine came from, I’m not sure, but old Christmas cards really excite me; along with glass ornaments. The ornaments I love because they remind me of my Great-Grandmother.

I was able to find both, and placed the ornaments in a jar with fairy lights & found two fun frames at HomeGoods to display my cards.

This year, I hit the mother-load. While at our local volunteer fire department, for their Christmas Bazaar, I found a vendor who had a huge stack of vintage cards! She was selling them at eight for $1. ONE DOLLAR Y’ALL! I rightfully lost my mind.

I scooped up my favorites, and one that my Grandmother loved from her childhood, & took them home with me. Off to HomeGoods I went, like I need an excuse to go there haha, and found some awesome unique frames to display these cards.

I’m so excited to share my finds with you: both the frames & the cards. I hope you enjoy how I’ve integrated these gifts from Christmas past into Christmas present!

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Christmas Services Card
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Santa feeding a deer
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Silent Night: I love how this is shaped like an open book & it opens down the middle too
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I have a thing for lanterns too: The gold frame works so well with the red and the lights
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My favorite card in a wooden frame. Perfectly captures the old glass ornaments
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I loved the card to the left & how it captures the past. & of course, more glass ornaments.

As always, Id love to learn which one is your favorite. Also, if you have old trinkets from Christmas past, please share how you integrate them into your decor! I’m always curious to see how others decorate.

Merry Christmas & Happy Decorating!

From my Hart: QVC Christmas Must-Haves

Two of my favorite things, Christmas and QVC, converge sporadically for about six months out of the year and I still manage to get equally excited each time. QVC and their Christmas sales are by far, the most enjoyable ways I like to pass the time in front of the TV.

I have been ordering from QVC for the majority of my life. At the young age of about 12, I made my first independent purchase (sans mother’s help), so I am coming to you with around 14 years of QVC shopping experience. That is approximately 84 months of Christmas on QVC that I have religiously watched.

About QVC:

QVC’s customer service is unparalleled. I have never had any issues with ordering: be that via the app, automated ordering, online ordering or via the phone. Their “easy pay” options are phenomenal, and really allow you to budget for items well. QVC also has some exceptionally long return windows, which really allow you, as the customer, to decide if an item is the right fit.

For select items, QVC will allow you to pick ship dates, so you have complete control over when you can receive certain items! QVC also has a bill-to ship-to option, which allows you to buy something, & have it sent directly to someone else, while you receive the bill. Talk about the ease of giving!

Further, QVC Christmas in July is the perfect opportunity to begin stocking up on all things Christmas at incredible prices! Not only am I able to get a majority of my shopping done early, but I also claim great ship weeks and cheaper prices than those who wait to order things in November and December.

Today, I have gathered my top five QVC Christmas in July must-haves for you! Don’t worry, these items are still up on QVC’s website if you wish to order them now. I am so excited, so lets dive right in!

Mrs. Prindable’s Apples:

Every single year, I purchase Mrs. Prindable’s Apples. I get an assortment of 12 apples in three flavors, that come individually wrapped and with their own gift bags. My obsession began when a cousin of mine had candied apples as a wedding favor, and ever since I have been on the hunt for good, delectable candied apples.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 5.27.08 PMI initially bought these for myself, but each year I am able to eat my fill and still have plenty to give away! Ever get a gift from someone unexpectedly and then have to scramble to find something for them? Have no fear- this eliminates that worry- gift an apple! What about your mailman, your favorite UPS person, or your hairdresser? I’ve also gifted these to a dinner party host and even gave them out as favors during an event!

They taste- SO GOOD y’all! Super crisp and delicious. They are made and shipped out according to the ship week that you choose, and arrive fresh and packed on ice. Simply store in the fridge, pull them out to gift or eat (allowing them to come to room temperature) slice and enjoy!

Bethlehem Lights Window Candles:

There is something magical about driving around in the winter and seeing the twinkle of lights in each window of one’s home. It reminds me of Charles Dickens and the traditions of Christmas’ Past.Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 5.40.45 PM

My childhood memories were, unfortunately, of running around my Grandmom’s home to plug in all of the window lights at dusk, while trying to squeeze behind the furniture that blocked my path. Also, we then had to remember to unplug said lights before bed. Such a hassle!

All is taken care of with Bethlehem Lights Window Candles. These battery operated LED candles have a slim base (which fits wonderfully on my Grandma’s thin window sills), and a simple adjustable height! Not to mention, they come in four colors, we have them in onyx.

My favorite feature is the timer, which can also be set for four-six-or eight hours. You can also use the photo-sensor mode, which automatically turns the candles on at dark. All is controlled by a small switch in the base, which also allows you to turn the candles on and off manually. We leave our in our windows, and on our mantels, all year long!

Valerie Parr Hill also sells a version of these on QVC, we have those too & love them!

Fresh Balsam from Valerie Parr Hill:

Think of the smell of Christmas- it’s the greens you smell isn’t it? Valerie Parr Hill complies an exquisite assortment of fresh balsam wreaths, garland and mixed greens for your decorating pleasure. Because the items are fresh balsam, you are able to pick from a few November and December ship dates. The items are freshly prepared and packaged in a box with a red bow just for you.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 5.59.11 PMI am featuring the traditional wreath that comes with a jingle bell that has the year on it! I find this to be the most wonderful and sentimental item to collect, year after year, as you continue to get the fresh wreath.

Valerie also has a fresh wreath that features an adorable white glitter church as the center piece, instead of the jingle bell. There is also a lush option of four mini wreaths! If garland is more your style, there is a 48″ option that has two plaid red/green/gold bows on each end! Additionally, there is the option to purchase a fresh balsam cross, swag with jingle bells, a table top tree or a box of mixed greens! We also get the mixed greens for our mantel.

I opted for the latest December ship week and keep the greens fresh with a squirt bottle of water! The smell is incredible, and I love that I have been able to keep fresh greens a tradition in our family, without having to haul a full fresh tree into our home.

Kringle Express Gift Bag Set:

This may seem silly, but I kicked myself last year for not buying these, so I made sure to purchase them during Christmas in July. Kringle Express has a set of 72, assorted size, gift bags with tags. The gift bags are not all Christmas inspired, so I have already been able to use some for engagement gifts, baby shower presents, birthdays and more!

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 6.09.32 PMThe sizes are: jumbo, extra large, large, tall, bottle, gift card, medium and small. These bags are double lined so you cannot see through them, and they have two ribbons that cinch at the top to close! The gift tags are a simple decorative addition and super helpful.

Overall, I really wish I had these last Christmas. I find such joy in wrapping gifts, but sometimes there are items that are too oddly shaped, or that would just do better in a nice gift bag. I mean it when I say nice gift bag, these are not flimsy at all! The designs are cheerful, and I cannot wait to keep using these as I find more gifts.

Bethlehem Lights Indoor/Outdoor C6 Bulbs:

This final must-have is something from Christmas past! My boyfriend suggested to me that we decorate the columns in front of the house with lights this year. I eagerly hopped on my QVC app, and ordered these lights in green/red!

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 7.30.40 PMWhat I love most about these, are the C6 bulbs. They remind me of those wonderful big bulbs that people used to line their roofs with. What made me instantly purchase these were the following factors:

Bethlehem Lights is the leader in Christmas lighting. I have been watching QVC Christmas for many years and this company is always coming out with new, innovative, and customer friendly products that are simple to use, affordable, and sturdy.

Further, these are battery operated for indoor/outdoor use. BATTERY OPERATED! Do you understand how fantastic this is? Think of what you’ll save on your electric bill, not to mention, how versatile this makes the lights. The lights come on a 19 foot strand, and are five inches apart. The strand will run: red, green, red, green, etc. when unraveled.

Did I mention, the battery box has options for you? You can set these lights on a four-six-or eight hour timer, use the photo sensor mode, on/off switch, or the energy saver mode. As if that wasn’t enough, you can have the lights on, on to twinkle, or on to glisten! Finally, they come in red/green, multi or clear. The green/red are currently sold out for the season.

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Take it from me (the one wearing green antlers above), Christmas is serious business in my family. QVC has so many wonderful things to offer for the holiday season including decor, gifts, food in addition to my top five and much more. If you have never bought from QVC before, I encourage you to give them a chance.

Please leave me your top five Christmas must-haves, let me know also if you’ve used/enjoyed any of the items I’ve listed, and as always, thanks for reading!