So I recently saw this image from the lovely folk over at Ikea…
…and I got really (like, insanely) excited for Christmas. I don’t normally start planning for the holidays weeks in advance (I’m a bit of a last minute holiday girl, truth be told) but that red? Against that white? And all that merriness? Yep. It got to me.
So off we went (poor Patrick gets toted around a lot these days) (I think he’s developing an appreciation for shopping!) (or just a high tolerance for mommy) to HomeSense (of course.) And I wandered around the pillow aisle for far far too long. Did I emerge from all that soft and squishy loveliness triumphantly waving beautiful new red pillows in the air? No. But, as I’ve learned, that’s all part of the HomeSense experience. It’s the thrill of the hunt. It’s the glory of the chase. And I, like a throw pillow stalking tigress, will be returning shortly to HomeSense (with my cute little kitten in tow, of course) to continue chasing the ever elusive perfect festive red throw pillows.
BUT, in the meantime, I’ve found even more Christmas inspiration on Pinterest. Like this super festive living room…
And this pretty room…
…from SandAndSisal (omg I want that chair!!!)
And this beautiful and comfy looking living room from Four Generations One Roof…
Yes, I’m completely obsessed with finding the perfect new red throw pillows now. And perhaps even a new red throw. Patrick just rolls his tiny little eyes over the whole thing. In his three long wise months, he’s become accustomed to mommy’s obsession with all things pretty.
But really, in this particular case, it’s all Ikea’s fault, you know. :)
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The exterior holiday adornment of our house is Sweetie’s job each year.
And, over the years, he has truly mastered the finer nuances of decorating for Christmas. Sweetie’s annual holiday house embellishing tradition goes a bit like this:
-wait for the coldest pre-Christmas day of the year
-get all bundled up (a la Randy from A Christmas Story)
-struggle to secure lights to eavestroughs using highly glove-padded fingers
-heroically throw gloves aside and brave frostbite
-with fingers completely numb and unresponsive, valiantly create a masterful spectacle of sparkly Christmas loveliness
-call it a day, stand back, shiver, proudly admire
-pray that sensation returns to fingertips at some point in the near-ish future
-run inside for cocoa
Ah, yes. Christmas traditions rock. :)
And in case you’re unfamiliar with A Christmas Story (one of the greatest Christmas movies ever!), watch this:
I heart Christmas. :)
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I’m already planning my holiday decor. Is it a little early for that? I’m guessing no. The first snowfall of the season appeared all sparkly and pretty on Tuesday morning, so it’s most definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here (thank you Mother Nature!) And my front porch practically screams “adorn me please!” I’ve never been one to disobey a porch, so adorn it I must. :)
The porch at my little 1940s house was tricky. Because the stairs leading up to the porch were to the side of the doorway, and a rail ran continuously across the front of the porch, it was hard to decorate around my front door (since anything I added to the porch ended up sadly obscured by the railing.)
Here, with no door-obscuring rails and with stairs boldly leading straight to the front door, we have smooth front porch decorating sailing. See?
No obstructions. Just a lovely view of my soon-to-be-adorned front door. :)
Admittedly, this front porch decorating thing is a little intimidating to me. Perhaps it’s the public-ness of my porch (if it looks silly, our new neighbours will all assume that I don’t know my boughs from my baubles and my ribbons from my wreaths.) Or maybe it’s because I’ve never truly decorated a front porch before for the holidays, so we’re totally venturing into unchartered Christmas waters. Regardless, desperately hoping for a perfectly pretty porch display, I chatted a bit with my Pinterest folk to gather a few decorating ideas. Here are my faves…
I love this simple “wreath + sparkly little trees in urns” option from the lovely folk over at The McLife:
And, speaking of pretty urns, I’d love to try creating something like this this year (although I’m a tad evergreenishly-challenged):
(Original source, sadly, is unknown, but the image appears on THIS website compiling a bunch of Christmas decorating ideas.)
And then there are stars! I love stars! (Actually, I’m a bit obsessed with stars, which you might remember from THIS post.) How pretty is this…
Sadly (again) there’s no source for this image. So dear gorgeous plummy door starry people: please let me know who you are! I adore your front entrance!
And then lastly, there’s this one (which is part of an Etsy-listing, in fact, for JustTheFrosting‘s shop):
…the perfect, elegant, simple front entrance (with a super smiley little snowman to boot.) This is my goal. :)
So all I need now is some evergreeny-sort of stuff. And a couple of black urns. And some pretty red bows. And a big ol’ green wreath. And maybe a quirky little snowman too. Sounds easy enough! I’ll keep you posted.
But, in the meantime, Christmas? Bring it on. My soon-to-be-appropriately-adorned front porch will be eagerly waiting. :)
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So I’ve started taking knitting classes. And, truth be told, I’ve become a little obsessed with it. I’ve got a knitting Pinterest board on the go. I’m all signed up for Ravelry. And my current project travels with me everywhere. I brought my knitting to my hair appointment last week. I knitted while sitting at the doctor’s office. I was even able to squeeze in a couple of rows while waiting for my coffee the other day. Yup. I’ve become that girl. And that’s ok with me! I’ve always thought (of those serial knitters), “oh, how lovely it must be to be able to occupy oneself in such a quaint fashion without resorting to browsing the internet via cell phone or reading grimey doctor’s office waiting room magazines.” And now I know. It is indeed lovely.
At my second knitting class ever last week, having skillfully (translation: with some minor cursing and only one or two tears) mastered casting on and basic garter stitching the week before, we learned to purl. And thus began my very first project.
Yep. A scarf! Cliche, eh? I know. But it’s pretty, no? It’s a bit of a variation on this pattern HERE, and I’m rather ridiculously proud of my work so far. I’m absolutely infatuated with the colour green right now (dear mysterious and wonderful Pantone people – I am truly your slave), and the pattern is simple (knit two, purl two, sip tea, repeat) but interesting and rather impressive looking too (if you ask me!) Progress is much slower than I’d expected (this is a few hours’ effort – how the hell does anyone have the patience to knit an entire blanket?) but I’m absolutely loving it.
So, dear friends and family, please be forewarned that you’re all likely getting scarves next year for Christmas. Surprise! And if you have specific colour preferences, please let me know now. Because unless I learn to seriously speed up production (or quit my job and devote my life to scarf-making), I’ve got a lot of work to do in the next 323 days. :)
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Have an Etsy Etsy Christmas (my first ever Exceptional Etsy Gift Review) (plus a little 80′s nostalgia thrown in for good measure)
Get it? Etsy Etsy? Funky Funky? New Kids on the Block? No? K. Just to prove that I’m not completely insane (and to solidify the fact that I’m a major nerd – this is some rather awful NKOTB tune-age, but… I kinda like it) here’s the Funky Funky Christmas Youtube proof, c/o Arsenio Hall (yep! We’re going waaay back in time here!)
Admittedly, there are some really bad dance moves going on in this video (I can almost hear the choreographer: “Oooh! Running man! Yes – we most definitely need more running man!”) And I have no idea why Jon is missing from this performance. Maybe he was having a bad hair day? I wouldn’t show up for Arsenio Hall on a bad hair day either. You think they’d mention it though, no?
Then again, Jon was never really my favourite. If Joe had been missing? Chaos and woe. Jon? Meh. He never really did that much for me, truth be told. And Jon eventually left the group anyway, right? I think? I might be a little bit behind (by, like, 20 years perhaps) in my NKOTB gossip.
All that aside (although I could ramble on about New Kids for quite a while if you’d like) (Joe? Now HE had good hair) (so dreamy… swoon!), this post is obviously a little late (since we’re now two weeks post-the-big-red-and-green holiday) but I wanted to show off a couple of my favourite Etsy Christmas purchases (which then became my favourite Etsy Christmas gifts!)
Awesome Etsy Christmas gift #1: Kitty Candles from Kitty Baby Love
I fell in love (at first sight, in fact) with these little chubby cat-shaped crayons. So cute! So friendly looking! And when they arrived, smiling at me happily from their little egg carton container, I seriously wanted to break out my colouring book.
(The little yellow one in the bottom right is my fave. “Pick me! Pick me!” he says.) (And yes, I just assigned a personality to a crayon… Weird? Probably.)
I think my niece liked them too. Well, rather, she liked the wrapping paper I wrapped them in. (She’s only one, so she hasn’t quite gotten the hang of that whole the-gift-is-the-thing-that’s-wrapped-IN-the paper-not-the-paper/packaging-itself concept.) And while she’s not yet actually at the colouring stage, she will be soon! So excited to see what lovely scribbles these happy little balls of kitty-shaped awesomeness will produce. :)
Awesome Etsy Christmas gift #2: T-shirts for Sweetie from Quasi Science Apparel
I have only three words to describe my transaction with the folk over at Quasi Science Apparel: fastest shipping ever. Ev-ver. Seriously. I purchased three t-shirts on a Monday, and by Wednesday (as in, two – TWO! – days later) they arrived. I was flabbergasted! (And thrilled!) Albeit, Quasi Science Apparel is based out of Canada (like me!), so there were no customs-hoops to jump through or anything like that. But still? Two days? That’s pretty darn amazing if you ask me.
And the t-shirts are fantastic too! For Sweetie, I bought…
…the Tesla t-shirt (since, well, he is an electrician afterall):
…the “Geek” written in binary t (since, um, he’s also kind of a geek) (which is precisely why I love him):
…and, my absolute favourite (and Sweetie’s too, I think): the SCLF (Schrodinger’s Cat Liberation Front) t-shirt:
The best part? The back…
Totally makes me smile. :)
For the record, and in case you were also wondering, I’m not really sure who Tesla is either. I know he did something important, probably involving electricity? And he was in an 80′s hair band too, I think. Does anyone else out there remember (nervously/sweatily) dancing with some (equally nervous/sweaty) boy at some random school dance to Love Song?
Sigh. Oh, 1980′s… you were tacky, but you kinda rocked.
So there you go! My post-Christmas (and rather tardy) Exceptional Etsy Gift Review. Plus a lot of 80′s nostalgia. Because there’s nothing like a well-choreographed boy band, and a little power ballad-ness too, to perk up even the gloomiest January day. :)
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