Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I am so excited Christmas is finally here! We have been enjoying all of the holiday festivities from pictures with Santa, Christmas music, baking, holiday parties, shopping, wrapping gifts, and decorating our tree. Today is Christmas Eve and I look forward to introducing Ellie to our family traditions that includes the Light Show, lunch, and shopping with my parents, sister, brother and sister-in-law and their two kids. I know she will love it. It will be a weekend filled with family, new memories, and love and laughter.

Merry Christmas!

Nick, Emily, & Ellie

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Tree!

Ellie's 1st Christmas tree! We bought her a personalized ornament, and we plan to continue buying her a new ornament every year, as my Mom did with me and my siblings. I love that our tree "tells a story" with all of our different ornaments. We have a new red tree skirt from Home Goods ($20) and we hung our holiday cards on our stairway. Here are a few photos:

Ellie helped hang her ornament- the first one on the tree.

Ellie & I hanging a star ornament

 Ellie "crawling" (army crawl) around the floor. Too cute!!

We also finally replaced the vertical blinds in this room with custom dark wood blinds. We love the result! Looks fantastic. Here is a photo, and a separate post will soon follow with additional home updates. I love that you can now see our beautiful lit Christmas tree from outside through the blinds.

 Our house:

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Decorating 2011

I've been decorating our house little by little. Ellie is just getting over being sick. She had a 2 week cold, then last week was diagnosed with a double ear infection, fever, and bad cold. She is on antibiotics for her ears, and luckily they are feeling better. Every day she is more like herself, but it has been an exhausting couple of weeks- for her and I! So, I started decorating last week and have done a little bit at a time. Here are some photos of our Holiday decorating (so far) this year. Check out last year's photos here.

You may remember our leopard print stockings from last year, and I bought Ellie's this year at Target (only $10!) and had it monogrammed in the color and font to match mine.

 This corner will be the spot this year for our Christmas tree:

 I plan to switch out these photos in place of our recent Holiday photos, and add a bit more sparkle:

With just a few more additions our house will be fully decorated! I have been in the Christmas spirit way before I began decorating. I bought Michael Buble's Christmas CD and Ellie and I have been listening to that in the car since the beginning of November. Yep, that's right! It's been over a month and I will never tire of it! :) I've also been reading Ellie Christmas books since October. I am very excited for her to experience my favorite time of year!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shopping at Pottery Barn

I love browsing Pottery Barn's website not only for items I want to buy for my home, but to also get decorating ideas I can replicate in my home. Some of the items at Pottery Barn I have found in Home Goods and Marshalls. For example, the mercury glass trend:

Oversized Ornaments
I've seen the canisters, trees, and ornaments for much cheaper at Home Goods. Pottery Barn always has creative displays, which I can use for inspiration. The vase fillers are not only useful for during the holidays, but all year around.
Vase Fillers
I like this magazine basket. I stack mine in an oversized basket in our living room, but I like how they could stand and be easily accessible in this basket. And, a good deal for only $29:
Magazine Basket
 I really like this door knocker and for $39 I know it will last a long time. I especially love the monogram!
Door Knocker
Love these mirrors. I would use the trio as a wall decoration, which definitely would make a statement. One of these would also be perfect in an entryway or next to a door (to glance in before exiting).
Trio of Mirrors

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Am Thankful For...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! I did, and it was the first weekend spent entirely with my family. My husband has been working just about every weekend (as well as during the week) so we haven't been spending as much time together as a family. I think we made up for it this weekend. We had a busy Thanksgiving Day. We hosted my husband's side of the family, then went to my parents later that evening for a 2nd family dinner. First, I'm very thankful for such amazing families- both mine and my husband's. I'm lucky to have a great relationship with my in-laws, and his siblings. And, I am very close with my family, as well. My parents are my rock and I have a brother and sister-in-law, who I can also call my friend, and a niece and nephew. My sister is 5 years younger than me, but we've always been close. I love spending time with my family! We have so many great holiday traditions, which I look forward to sharing with Ellie.

Thanksgiving Day 2011
Secondly, I am so thankful that my hubby woke with the baby these past 4 mornings at 7:30 and let me sleep till 9:00. Especially since I'm the one up with her if she wakes up during the night (luckily she just wants to eat, then goes back to sleep). Ellie has been great with her naps and takes a 2 hour nap each morning so I can catch up on emails while drinking my coffee and get things done around the house. Perfect timing! I am thankful for my husband- he is my best friend. He is also an amazing father and Ellie and I are both so lucky.

Nick & Ellie at the playground
I am most thankful that I had a healthy, beautiful daughter, Ellie. She is the most amazing and wonderful baby. I am so lucky that she rarely cries and is such a happy baby. She loves to play with her toys, read books (with or without me), engage me in conversation whether it's by "talking" or with her hand movements. We love to go on walks and runs. She is hilarious and is always making me laugh and smile. I am thankful I can stay home with her full-time. 

Ellie 7 months
I am so thankful I have such wonderful friendships with so many women in my life. I put a lot of time and energy into my friendships because they are so important to me. I will call, email, or even send a "thinking about you" card. I want my friends to know how much they are a part of my life and how much they mean to me. I have my sister, my best friends from High School, from college, and from post-college. My friendships are all unique and I truly treasure each and every one.

Abby & I Summer 2011
I am also thankful for:
My Keurig. Best coffee machine. Ever. I make sure it's filled every night so that it's ready to go in the morning. I've always enjoyed a cup of coffee in the mornings pre-Ellie, but now I not only enjoy my coffee I need my cup of coffee to start my day.

My body. I am thankful I can run and stay healthy by running and working out (when time allows). I recently ran the Philly Rothman 8k- the first 5 miles I've ran since I was pregnant with Ellie. That was a week ago and since then I've run 3 more times. The most in a week since I've been been a Mom.

Home to Ellie after my race 11/19/11
Hoola Bronzer by Benefit. My must have make-up item. The one thing I don't leave my house without. As well as Lancome's lipglosses. Best ever.

Lastly, I'm thankful for my blog and my readers. I started it with the urging of my best friends and am so glad I followed their advice. I enjoy blogging; although, my time spent blogging lately is limited. I love writing and it's a great place to express my creativity and organize my thoughts and ideas on decorating and entertaining. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Consignment Shopping

I haven't been on top of blogging, but I have been shopping consignment stores. I found some great furniture pieces during my most recent trip. Check out my finds below:

Love this pair of unique chairs. I would give them a fresh coat of paint and new fabric (although not necessary) to give a modern update.
 I was obsessed with this vintage turquoise loveseat. Not very comfortable, but very cool seating.
 A cute bedside table. I would give this table a fun, bright coat of paint.
 Loved this pullout drawer under the seat. Perfect place to stash a book:
 Loved this bright, funky pair of chairs. Perfect as is!
A comfortable set of dining chairs. Keep the fabric for a vintage look, or re-upholster with new fabric. Love the nail head detail.

 Trio of mirrors. Could be spray painted and grouped together to make a greater impact. 
Only $6 each:

I didn't purchase anything, but I'm still obsessing over both pairs of chairs. I may have to go back this week. Hoping they've dropped in price!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tear-Off Napkins

I thought these were pretty cool- tear off cocktail napkins at Anthropologie. Would be a fun holiday party gift or hostess gift. I'm loving the colors and patterns. They can be re-used and washed up to 8 times or tossed immediately. I'm wondering how well they will hold up after washing. $28 for 50 napkins each roll.

Cocktail Napkins

Luncheon Napkins

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One Kings Lane

I recently signed up to receive email discounts from One Kings Lane. I am loving these special sales for all things for the home from decorative accents and coffee table books to mirrors and furniture to candles and stationary. Prices range anywhere from ten dollars to thousands. Here are some of their current sales:

Haven Rug in Gray
Grand Tour large salad bowl
Historical Charleston Continental Chest
Moroccan Candle Set
These are my current favorites. I love the rug's pattern and the color gray is a great neutral. The bowl would add an elegance and pop of color to the table. And, I'm loving the detail of this fabulous chest. The black outline of the drawers adds a luxe and unique touch. The candles set would make a perfect gift for the holidays.

Use this link to sign up, then pass along to your friends!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Holiday Photo Cards

It's November 1st and I'm already thinking about Holiday cards for this year. I am excited to order Holiday cards with Ellie's pictures. I love receiving my friends and family's cards each December filled with their children's pictures on the front. In fact, I tend to keep most and make a collage on the side of our fridge and update them each year. I purchased a Groupon a while back for pictures at JC Penney. I'm planning on using it for Ellie's Christmas pictures. There have been a few deals lately for Tiny Prints and other card services, but I didn't realize how expensive they are. The Tiny Prints coupon was $20 for $40, but that only covered about 15 cards and doesn't include shipping. After doing some research I've realized that this is fairly typical. So, instead I've turned to a favorite place- Etsy. These are some of the cards I am loving:

On Your Time
Sweet Smile Designs
Sara Luke Creative

Casa La Studio

 And, favorites from other websites if you don't mind spending the extra money!
Paper Culture

Pear Tree Greetings
Pear Tree Greetings
Most (if not all) of these cards can be customized for any holiday cheer (Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, etc).

Oh, and can I just tell you how much I am loving these "Keep Calm" cards, also from Etsy:

3 Lambs Graphics