Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday House Tour 2014 + a NEW RUG!

Never do houses look more charming and alive than during the holiday season. I love pulling onto our street after work each night to see house after house twinkling and festive.

This is our second Christmas at our house, but in a year's time a giant part of our Christmas decor was removed....THE CHRISTMAS TREE.

I'm not gonna lie, there was a part of us that was a teeny, tiny, wayyyy in the back of our minds worried that without the big, giant, decorated Christmas tree our house would loose some of it's charm. There was also another part of us that was a little bummed we had spent money on big ornaments that we no longer had a tree for.

First world problems, right?

Regardless, we were excited to deck our halls, so we jumped right on it the weekend after Thanksgiving. With only 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, we wanted as much time to enjoy as possible.

Welcome to Our-House-Decorated-For-Christmas-Tour -2014

What tree, right?  I can tell you the right side of our house, namely the kitchen window is ecstatic to finally be seen! We ended up repurposing the giant ornaments we bought for the tree last year by placing them on our garland across the white picket fence which worked out pretty nicely.

Inside, some mini nutcracker soldiers joined Brenta the horse head to add some holiday pizazz to our dining table.

And the most adorable black and gold reindeer salt and pepper shakers bring some Christmas cheer to the kitchen.

In the Living Room, Luke likes to sit under his stocking waiting for Santa to pop out of the fireplace. 

You may also notice the tree isn't the only thing warming up our living room....Christmas came early and we finally got a new rug!

We had been quietly looking for a rug for the Living Room since we moved in, but we were bound and determined not to rush into anything. The rug needed to be pretty big, because the room is so long and big rugs = more $$, plus any color/pattern used would really set the tone for the whole space. A few months ago we came across this rug, and BAM we knew it was right. Around the same time Rug Pad USA had reached out asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of their rug pads on my blog. Perfect timing.....I was interested indeed! 

I'd never purchased or picked out a rug pad before so I sat down to peruse their site to figure out which rug pad I wanted. As soon as I hit the homepage I realized there is a lot more to a rug pad than one might think. The choices are endless, not only does Rug Pad USA have a large offering of sizes that can suit any surface (carpet, hardwoods, outdoor, tile, etc..), but there are all kinds of different features to consider pertaining to non-slip, eco-friendly, low profile, cushioned, etc..I read through the different options and ended up selecting the Eco-Cushion. This rug pad is 1/4" thick with an open weave for extra cushion, plus it is made with plant based oils as opposed to petrochemical oils used in a lot of rug pads. The rug pad comes with a 20 year warranty and is made right here in America. Comfortable, affordable, eco-friendly and American made, does it get any better?

After living with the new rug/rug pad set up for a few weeks I'm happy to report we couldn't be happier.  The pad really does add some nice cushion to the rug and I love how everything stays in place, even with Luke rolling around on it. Because the rug is in a heavy traffic area of the house this non-slip feature was a must. I also love the added texture the rug itself adds to the room, it's like instant warmth! But I think the biggest fan of all is Luke, he loves the new rug and pretty much thinks it is his new, giant, soft bed. 

Well, this bring us to the end of our tour. I hope you enjoyed it! From the Cows that hang in our tree, to yours....MOOry Christmas!

All photos are my own. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2015 Color of the Year

And the 2015 Color of the Year is...


So good, right?

My nails are pretty much this exact color as I type the post....winning? I THINK SO! ;)

Each year Pantone dubs a color THE color of the following year.  Typically the choice is not too surprising if you have been paying attention to colors you see popping up in everything from clothing and shoes to rugs and pillows. As of late I have seen a LOT of this Marsala hue, especially in fashion. In fact several items in this shade made it on my Christmas List! 

Both shoes (shock, shock) but definitely Marsala! 

The Executive Director at the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman says, "Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth." 

I think this is a pretty good description of this color. It's lively and happy, but warm and classic at the same time. 

If this shade has been a long time favorite or a color you just know you will love for years to come, paint those walls and buy that wallpaper, but if you like to change things up as new trends come and go it's always a good idea to  incorporate these new shades into your decor or wardrobe through accessories. Accessories can definitely make a statement without being such an investment that it breaks the bank and makes you feel guilty when the new hot color on the block rolls in next December.

I perused the web for some fun accessories you could use to to bring Marsala into your home.

Serving pieces...

Pottery Barn.

A vase...

Maybe a cashmere throw...

abc carpet & home.

Or, if you are ready for a little more of a commitment, this Paula Deen Porcelain cookware could liven up any kitchen:
As for fashion, this color is perfect for Fall/Winter and looks good on anything from your nails to your purse. Below are some of my favorites:


Nasty Gal. 
Tory Burch. 

So, what do you all think...Marsala, yay or nay? As always if this color isn't your thing, just sit tight for 360-ish more days and a new Color of the Year will be on the scene!

Unless otherwise noted the photo source for item is linked under the photo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

We've Made our Bed

Happy December everyone!

Before I take you on a tour of our Christmas-fied, gingerbread like house I want to talk Spring.

I know it may seem odd to talk Spring before Christmas BUT apparently Fall is THE best time to plan for Spring planting, so we've had some serious front yard prep work to do before we decked our halls this year. After removing the giant Christmas Tree this summer we were left with a large center island needing some love.

We have a rock path, rock steps and stack stone around the flower bed, but for some reason only one side of the bed was outlined in the stack stone. This type of non-symmetrical weirdness became widely more apparent with the tree gone. The bed was naked and all it's flaws were hanging out for all to see. 

We took some photos of our existing stack stone and headed to the "rock store" to pick up the stone needed to finish off this bed.

These rocks look innocent enough, but they were HEAVY. One of my jobs during this process was to help unload the rocks from the truck and then transport them to and fro the flower bed. 


Before I carried them over we first had to dig a trench around the flower bed.

I started off in charge of this part, while Brent dug up yet another stump....

Random, super apparent flaw #2. 

Brent dug up that stump only to find me 1/4 of the way through my trench digging. He took over...Womp Womp. Truth is I'm too ADD to dig a trench, plus there were roots everywhere from the stupid Christmas tree and my shovel kept getting tangled. ANYWAYS.....

With the trench dug we were ready to mix up the Quikrete...

And begin laying the stone. We dug the trench and laid the stone to follow the curve of the bed. Because the bed slants upwards we changed the elevation of the stone 3 times. 

Installing the wall was relatively fast paced and before we knew it we had a complete rocked in flower bed, with no stumps and no ginormous Christmas tree. Things were looking up. 

Next, we headed to the nursery to figure out what in the world to plant in this giant bed. After taking wayyy too much of a nice worker's time we ended up with azaleas, pansies and tulips. 

It looks simple now, but we are hoping all of our hard work will pay off and this bed will explode with color and interest come Spring!

All photos are my own.