Our Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to our 2013 Christmas home tour! I just love the way our house feels at Christmas...don't you? There is just something to having the twinkling lights and shimmering ornaments surrounding you all month. But, there is also something about that feeling that doesn't translate through photos. So, pull up a chair, grab a warm cup of cocoa and pretend like you're dropping by for some Christmas sugar cookies. I'll do my best to show you around our little home and share some snippets of the stories behind the decor. 

Our slender tree in the living room has a combination of poinsettias, silver balls, and special ornaments given to us over the years. My aunt made the bow last Christmas and I was so excited to use it this year! One of my favorite "real" ornaments was a gift from my parents for our first Christmas as a married couple in 2009 :)

Here's an expanded view of the living room, complete with everyone's favorite "Merry Christmas Y'all" pillow from my mother-in-law :)

We normally use fresh wreaths outside, and this year I decided to use two boxwood wreaths inside as well when I found them at Trader Joes for $9! I hung them using silver/white ribbon from Michaels and I love how they turned out.

 On the mantle, I used inexpensive garland and added white lights, silver ribbon, and some silver picks. I love poinsettias this time of year and incorporated them on the mantel. This year it was time to replace our Dollar Tree stockings, and these simple white stockings from Target were just what I was looking for. Notice the two little puppy brothers who jumped in the doggie bed as soon as I turned the fire on ;)

Growing up, one of my favorite traditions was giving my grandpa a Nutcracker every Christmas, and now, they hold a special place in my heart this time of year. I have a little collection of Nutcracker ornaments that I put on a little potted tree in dining room. 


 In the corner of the kitchen, I filled the existing glass apothecary jar with silver ornaments and added my favorite Nutcracker for some festivity.

 The second boxwood wreath was added in the dining room bay window and I love it so much I wish it could stay up all year long! The little rosemary Christmas tree was a Trader Joe's find for $6 (it smells awesome!)

This is the first year I've done an advent calendar, and thanks to my friend Nicole, I found this awesome (free!) printable via Oh My Deer. Get yours here! I simply added some glitter tape (from the Target dollar spot) for a little shimmer. I love this scripture advent calendar so much. It's on the back of the door leading to the garage so we see it multiple times each day as we are coming and going. What a beautiful way to anticipate Jesus as we get closer to Christmas.

Last year, we started a travel-themed tree and even though it's the smallest tree, it is definitely my favorite because each ornament is packed full of memories. The plan is to pick up an ornament from wherever we travel and add to it each year. Maybe 30 years from now we will need a gigantic tree for all the many, many ornaments from awesome cities and countries around the world! (Hey, a girl can dream, right?!)

Upstairs in our master bedroom is our fun and festive UNC themed tree! We add an ornament each year, but my favorites are the UNC football ornaments that Eddie's mom made when he was little. Yes, the tree leans a little to the right but it was only $5 bucks so I can live with a little leaning ;) We absolutely love the Christmas lights in our room throughout the season and this tree is visible from the front of the house :)

 The outside of our house has white lights and candles/wreaths on the windows. My favorite part of our outside decorations this year is the third (and final!) boxwood wreath on our front door.

 And that wraps up our Christmas home tour for 2013! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Linking up to It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to be Christmas Home Tour at The Nester

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A Carolina Homecoming!

Every fall when Carolina homecoming weekend rolls around, we get pretty excited to reunite with dear friends, head to Kenan Stadium, and cheer on our Tar Heels! Being back on campus always makes me reminisce over great memories, and also makes me thankful for where life has taken me since my days as an undergrad at UNC. Eddie and I met the summer before our senior year at UNC and I love that we both share a love for all things Carolina :)

This year for homecoming, we did something a little different to accommodate all the sweet little babies new to our group. I was excited to host everyone at our house and couldn't resist putting together a Tar Heel themed dessert table for everyone to enjoy throughout the game! 

My best friend Ashley came the night before to help with all the goodies and we had a blast baking and laughing in the kitchen until well past our bed time.

White chocolate dipped pretzels are always a favorite and they are one of my go-to party foods because they are both easy to make and so delicious! We used white candy quick (generic brand on sale) and blue candy melts (from Michaels with a coupon) to make the festive designs.

 Using the same melting chocolate, we also made delicious (and very nutritious...wink wink) chocolate covered marshmallows.

The caramel popcorn was a huge hit and was so simple to make. It didn't turn out as "blue" as I was planning, but the deliciousness definitely made up for it! :) I used this recipe for the caramel topping, and substituted white sugar for the brown sugar. I also added a little blue food coloring to the caramel right before pouring it on the popcorn. I think this took about 5 short minutes to make...so simple and everyone loved it!

Festive blue sprinkles added some sparkle to mini vanilla cupcakes and sugar cookies, and we also made supreme bars since they are my hubby's favorite.

I love how everything came together!

I also made a centerpiece for the dining room table using a few UNC items and frames. I kept all the decor to the center of the table so that folks could still use this space to sit and eat their lunch.

Hands down, the best part of the day was catching up with friends while cheering on our Tar Heels. We were also able to meet sweet baby Beckett for the first time! :)

To top off a great day, we won the game :) We are already looking forward to Homecoming 2014! Go Heels! :)
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Our Gallery Wall

Hey y'all! A while back, we completed a project that has turned out to be one of my favorite places in our home. Using a few photos that have extra special meaning to us, I created a gallery wall in the living room as a way to bring personalization and warmth to the room. We pass this area several times everyday and I love being reminded of some of my favorite memories (both past and present) :)

The frames came in packs of three from Michaels and were very cost-effective, totaling $12 for a pack of three after coupon...not too shabby! The frames only came in black and brown so I turned them silver with a quick coat of my favorite silver metallic spray paint. To create a unified look, I used inexpensive white mats, also from Michaels (always with a coupon!). 

I love how the frames add height to the wall and liven up this corner. As far as gallery walls go, I think the best formula is do what fits your taste and space! The spacing between frames was mainly determined by the thermostat, which was not-so-strategically placed on the wall by the builder. To get around its random placement, I simply used the length of the monitor as the distance between each of the frames. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have! :)

I taped sheets of paper to the wall to create a rough template, and then my handy hubby helped me measure, level and hang all the frames! We took the easy route by using Command Strips on the back since the frames are so light. This made them easy to hang and they have held up perfectly (thank you, Command Strips, for making this project so much easier!)

And that wraps up our gallery wall! This has definitely become my favorite wall in the house. It's fun when guests come over and ask about certain pictures, laugh and reminisce. What a great reminder of some of our favorite memories :)

So, how do you like to display photos in your home?

You can also find me at: Savvy Southern Style | The Turquoise Home | All Things Heart and Home
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Fall Favorites

I don't know about you, but autumn is my favorite time of the year.  There's something refreshing about cooler temperatures, crisp mornings, and changing leaves. I just love bundling up in sweaters, throwing on a pair of boots(!!!), and breaking out the blankets.

Quote from one of my favorite characters, Ann Shirley, via Pinterest

Fall favorites around our house include a trip to the pumpkin patch, making apple pie caramel apples (delicious!), decorating the house with pumpkins (okay that one is more my favorite than Eddie's), taking our annual trip to the mountains, and eating way too much at the fair!

This year I kept the fall decor at our house relatively simple and went with a few baby pumpkins in the table centerpiece, a fall vignette in the entryway, and some pumpkins by the front door.

 The silver mercury pumpkins were a HomeGoods find from last year. I love how they add a little glamor to the otherwise neutral colors. The wreath is a favorite of mine that I made at a craft night with my small group ladies a couple of years ago. I've been pretty impressed how well that hot glue has held up! The glass jars and the basketweave tray are both from other areas of the house that I pulled for the seasonal display. Nothing stays in one position too long at our house and I love "shopping" other rooms of the house when I'm feeling an accessory change :)

I love to incorporate books into our home decor because they are great for adding dimension and height...and we have plenty on hand to use!  

I kept it simple on the dining room table by adding three small white pumpkins to the existing centerpiece. Eddie picked up these pumpkins from Trader Joe's as a sweet surprise a few weeks ago. I love how they add a sweet and simple touch of fall :)

 These matching turkeys are a favorite! My grandmother gave them to me a few years back and I have loved having them in my fall decor since. When I was a kid, grandma had these two turkeys sitting in her kitchen window sill every year once the weather started turning cooler, so they make me think of her every time I look at them :)

What are some ways you have incorporated seasonal decorations in your home this year? Are you keeping things simple or going all out?
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