A holiday recap and leaving on a jet plane……

Hi…wow does anyone else feel like December was just one big blur? I cannot believe Christmas and all the buildup has come and gone! So much fun, so crazy and chaotic, LOTS of work, endless cooking, food and cleanup…….and I loved every single minute of it. We had the good fortune to have hosted my family as well my incredible 96 year old grandmother…you heard right! I soooo hope just a smidgeon of her super incredible genes are in my body:) We had a blast…so much fun game playing, eating, cooking, entertaining, movie watching, you name it …..all that was on my wishlist was indeed accomplished.

On Christmas night, as we all sat together in my living room which looked all aglow with just the sconces on and candles lit, I for a brief moment looked around at all those I love and realized at that very moment that is what perfect feels like. We were all together in good health, safe and warm, and I felt so blessed at that very moment and to me, that was the essence of Christmas. So I feel incredibly grateful and will always cherish Christmas 2013.

I admittedly had a lot of fun decorating my home. Though I realized after years of collecting decorations that have red in them I am ready for a change. And had a “aha” moment while one day in Lord and Taylor’s holiday shop,  I spotted the most beautiful silvery and pale gray/blue garland. That is when I got my divine inspiration for a new direction. So I bought all they had and proceeded to transform my dining room with the new color scheme. By next year…I hope to extend it to the rest of the house. I may gather up all my beautiful decorations that have the red in them and sell them as one big lot, not sure. They have certainly seen me through some wonderful holidays…but change is good! So thought I would share a few final shots of the past few days when all decorations were completed.

This post is very picture heavy…..you might want to take a seat and grab another cup of coffee:)

I finally got my front door together. I kept it simple and elegant, lots of greens and magnolia leaves. I never got to do a few things I wanted to do, thanks to unexpected snowfalls and deep freezes so had to try to do what I could  in between when things thawed out…

Other festive vignettes around the house……


Every year I display my adorable ceramic holiday cupcakes in my domed displays……..

Just back from the local nursery with all my white holiday flowers ready to put into planters……

A Christmas gift to me from me started collected Royal Crown Derby’s Blue Mikado…..so pretty!

My dining room and its new gorgeous soft colored holiday decor…..

And I kept tweaking once I added all my white flowers…white paperwhites and white amaryllis!

 A few pics from my family Christmas party (as things were setting up)…..

Say hello to my GORGEOUS new blue pillows that I had made….in love with them (a Christmas present to myself:)

LOVE these pillows so much and got more of the velvet to make a tufted ottoman for my living room

Dessert is served…….


And Christmas day dinner getting set up…..

Since we needed two extra seats, set up this table for two….love a small intimate table, don’t you?

I just love setting up my table with the napkin rings, they always end up being such wonderful conversation pieces

Christmas night, my sons girlfriend and family were coming by so we set up drinks and a few things to nibble on…..

So that’s a wrap up of my holidays….so much fun, and so very memorable. Yes, my feet are tired and I feel a bit worn out but it was so worth all the effort, it was a truly wonderful and perfect holiday! I hope yours were the same.

 I am leaving for a much needed and much anticipated vacation to California. You can be sure my iPhone will be charged and ready to capture the beauty and inspiration that California always promises! I will not be around for the next week so look forward to catching up when I return on Jan. 5th. I do have a post planned to post on Jan. 1st and hope it will work (used the blogger scheduler to do this) so just in case,  I will wish you all now nothing but the best in 2014….may it bring you much love, peace and laughter.

Because of this trip…my “Christmas magic” contest dates are slightly changed. Instead of the deadline for submissions being Jan. 1st it is now Jan. 4th and the contest will run Jan. 5th through Jan. 7th. I will announce two lucky winners on Jan. 8th. Details are below……

 I also want to announce the start of my final contest for 2013, “Christmas magic”. I will be collecting pictures as of today through Jan. 4th.  I will hold the contest on Jan. 5th- 7th and announce the winner(s) on Jan 8th. As the name implies….please send your pictures of anything Christmas related, your decorated front door, a beautifully wrapped gift, a table set with your Christmas finest, your darling kids and pets are always a hit, whatever the name “Christmas magic” means to you! Since my “Hooray for the Holidays” post included some Christmas pictures, if you would like to use the entry you used for that please just email me to let me know and I will be happy to include it. I cannot wait to start getting your entries!! Remember-

  • 2 entries per person (they must be your pictures, not downloaded from internet)
  • Please in subject line when you email me put Christmas Magic (get tons of emails )
Please email your pictures to theenchantedhome@gmail.com 

A holiday recap and leaving on a jet plane……

Hi…wow does anyone else feel like December was just one big blur? I cannot believe Christmas and all the buildup has come and gone! So much fun, so crazy and chaotic, LOTS of work, endless cooking, food and cleanup…….and I loved every single minute of it. We had the good fortune to have hosted my family as well my incredible 96 year old grandmother…you heard right! I soooo hope just a smidgeon of her super incredible genes are in my body:) We had a blast…so much fun game playing, eating, cooking, entertaining, movie watching, you name it …..all that was on my wishlist was indeed accomplished.

On Christmas night, as we all sat together in my living room which looked all aglow with just the sconces on and candles lit, I for a brief moment looked around at all those I love and realized at that very moment that is what perfect feels like. We were all together in good health, safe and warm, and I felt so blessed at that very moment and to me, that was the essence of Christmas. So I feel incredibly grateful and will always cherish Christmas 2013.

I admittedly had a lot of fun decorating my home. Though I realized after years of collecting decorations that have red in them I am ready for a change. And had a “aha” moment while one day in Lord and Taylor’s holiday shop,? I spotted the most beautiful silvery and pale gray/blue garland. That is when I got my divine inspiration for a new direction. So I bought all they had and proceeded to transform my dining room with the new color scheme. By next year…I hope to extend it to the rest of the house. I may gather up all my beautiful decorations that have the red in them and sell them as one big lot, not sure. They have certainly seen me through some wonderful holidays…but change is good! So thought I would share a few final shots of the past few days when all decorations were completed.

This post is very picture heavy…..you might want to take a seat and grab another cup of coffee:)

I finally got my front door together. I kept it simple and elegant, lots of greens and magnolia leaves. I never got to do a few things I wanted to do, thanks to unexpected snowfalls and deep freezes so had to try to do what I could? in between when things thawed out…

Other festive vignettes around the house……


Every year I display my adorable ceramic holiday cupcakes in my domed displays……..

Just back from the local nursery with all my white holiday flowers ready to put into planters……

A Christmas gift to me from me started collected Royal Crown Derby’s Blue Mikado…..so pretty!

My dining room and its new gorgeous soft colored holiday decor…..

And I kept tweaking once I added all my white flowers…white paperwhites and white amaryllis!

?A few pics from my family Christmas party (as things were setting up)…..

Say hello to my GORGEOUS new blue pillows that I had made….in love with them (a Christmas present to myself:)

LOVE these pillows so much and got more of the velvet to make a tufted ottoman for my living room

Dessert is served…….


And Christmas day dinner getting set up…..

Since we needed two extra seats, set up this table for two….love a small intimate table, don’t you?

I just love setting up my table with the napkin rings, they always end up being such wonderful conversation pieces

Christmas night, my sons girlfriend and family were coming by so we set up drinks and a few things to nibble on…..

So that’s a wrap up of my holidays….so much fun, and so very memorable. Yes, my feet are tired and I feel a bit worn out but it was so worth all the effort, it was a truly wonderful and perfect holiday! I hope yours were the same.

?I am leaving for a much needed and much anticipated vacation to California. You can be sure my iPhone will be charged and ready to capture the beauty and inspiration that California always promises! I will not be around for the next week so look forward to catching up when I return on Jan. 5th. I do have a post planned to post on Jan. 1st and hope it will work (used the blogger scheduler to do this) so just in case,? I will wish you all now nothing but the best in 2014….may it bring you much love, peace and laughter.

Because of this trip…my “Christmas magic” contest dates are slightly changed. Instead of the deadline for submissions being Jan. 1st it is now Jan. 4th and the contest will run Jan. 5th through Jan. 7th. I will announce two lucky winners on Jan. 8th. Details are below……

?I also want to announce the start of my final contest for 2013, “Christmas magic”. I will be collecting pictures as of today through Jan. 4th.? I will hold the contest on Jan. 5th- 7th and announce the winner(s) on Jan 8th. As the name implies….please send your pictures of anything Christmas related, your decorated front door, a beautifully wrapped gift, a table set with your Christmas finest, your darling kids and pets are always a hit, whatever the name “Christmas magic” means to you! Since my “Hooray for the Holidays” post included some Christmas pictures, if you would like to use the entry you used for that please just email me to let me know and I will be happy to include it. I cannot wait to start getting your entries!! Remember-

  • 2 entries per person (they must be your pictures, not downloaded from internet)
  • Please in subject line when you email me put Christmas Magic (get tons of emails )
Please email your pictures to theenchantedhome@gmail.com?

Not your mama’s gingerbread house…..

Hi there, are you as busy as I am? C R A Z Y time of year, but somehow it is still fun and magical and exciting I keep thinking if I tell myself this I will really believe it! Not sure about you but I have had a lifelong fascination with gingerbread houses ever since I was little.  And even though my talent is no match for my enthusiasm and love, I still am fascinated by them. Lets just say “my creations” will never EVER grace the pages of Pinterest! But I am still in awe of the spectacular houses that are made by the hands of some seriously talented bakers and artisans. Thought it would make a fun post in the spirit of Christmas being just days away.

I cannot get over the level of detail and one year, when all is calm and peaceful in the kingdom, I may just attempt to make a really special gingerbread house. It won’t be a frantic “lets do it in one night” attempt but instead it will be a carefully thought out, brilliantly orchestrated month long affair…….tweaking and adding just bit by bit, day by day and I promise to  take you along for the ride. Who knows…..perhaps next Christmas! How about you? Do you make one or are you like me just are in awe and love to marvel at the talents of others? Feast your eyes on these…….

 The details, the details!
How sweet, a pink gingerbread house! Sweetopia,

 A gingerbread house with its very own slate roof….gotta love it!

 I am expecting Hansel and Gretel to come waltzing out of there any minute…….

This one is so amazing…love the snow and the “stone” Indulgy
 I am just floored at the level of detail!
This one is so sweet, love the pink and rock crystal “trees”….clever!

 So elegant and grand!
Simple and sweet…….

 I love the simplicity of this one, heck almost something I could do!
LOVE this barn, the silo is such a cute addition! Style sweet
 Cake 3 did a fabulous job on this lifelike gingerbread house
OK seriously people I want to live here!
 This is more like a gingerbread estate!
 Cannot get over the level of detail here……amazing!!
Gotta love it…a gingerbread pagoda!!
Wow! This is one blinged out gingerbread house…..so festive!
Well? What do you think? Love them? Me too! Have a favorite? Have you ever attempted to make one? One year I am determined to make one that will warrant sharing:) Thanks for stopping in, hope you are not too crazed as I know this time of year just inevitably has us all running around like mad. I am trying to take  little breathers (like going to blogland) amidst all the chaos and just know things will get done:) Enjoy and be back tomorrow with my final giveaway announcement as well as two winners!!

TWO THINGS…..

1. Don’t forget today is the last day to be eligible for my amazing giveaways!! Click here for details.

2. And I am now accepting pictures of my newest contest “Christmas Magic”

 I also want to announce the start of my final contest for 2013, “Christmas magic”. I will be collecting pictures as of today through Jan. 1st. I will hold the contest on Jan. 4-6th and announce the winner(s) on Jan 7th. As the name implies….please send your pictures of anything Christmas related, your decorated front door, a beautifully wrapped gift, a table set with your Christmas finest, your darling kids and pets are always a hit, whatever the name “Christmas magic” means to you! Since my “Hooray for the Holidays” post included some Christmas pictures, if you would like to use the entry you used for that please just email me to let me know and I will be happy to include it. I cannot wait to start getting your entries!! Remember-

  • 2 entries per person (they must be your pictures, not downloaded from internet)
  • Please in subject line when you email me put Christmas Magic (get tons of emails )

Please email your pictures to theenchantedhome@gmail.com 

Not your mama’s gingerbread house…..

Hi there, are you as busy as I am? C R A Z Y time of year, but somehow it is still fun and magical and exciting I keep thinking if I tell myself this I will really believe it! Not sure about you but I have had a lifelong fascination with gingerbread houses ever since I was little.? And even though my talent is no match for my enthusiasm and love, I still am fascinated by them. Lets just say “my creations” will never EVER grace the pages of Pinterest! But I am still in awe of the spectacular houses that are made by the hands of some seriously talented bakers and artisans. Thought it would make a fun post in the spirit of Christmas being just days away.

I cannot get over the level of detail and one year, when all is calm and peaceful in the kingdom, I may just attempt to make a really special gingerbread house. It won’t be a frantic “lets do it in one night” attempt but instead it will be a carefully thought out, brilliantly orchestrated month long affair…….tweaking and adding just bit by bit, day by day and I promise to? take you along for the ride. Who knows…..perhaps next Christmas! How about you? Do you make one or are you like me just are in awe and love to marvel at the talents of others? Feast your eyes on these…….

?The details, the details!
How sweet, a pink gingerbread house! Sweetopia,

?A gingerbread house with its very own slate roof….gotta love it!

?I am expecting Hansel and Gretel to come waltzing out of there any minute…….

This one is so amazing…love the snow and the “stone” Indulgy
?I am just floored at the level of detail!
This one is so sweet, love the pink and rock crystal “trees”….clever!

?So elegant and grand!
Simple and sweet…….

?I love the simplicity of this one, heck almost something I could do!
LOVE this barn, the silo is such a cute addition! Style sweet
?Cake 3 did a fabulous job on this lifelike gingerbread house
OK seriously people I want to live here!
?This is more like a gingerbread estate!
?Cannot get over the level of detail here……amazing!!
Gotta love it…a gingerbread pagoda!!
Wow! This is one blinged out gingerbread house…..so festive!
Well? What do you think? Love them? Me too! Have a favorite? Have you ever attempted to make one? One year I am determined to make one that will warrant sharing:) Thanks for stopping in, hope you are not too crazed as I know this time of year just inevitably has us all running around like mad. I am trying to take? little breathers (like going to blogland) amidst all the chaos and just know things will get done:) Enjoy and be back tomorrow with my final giveaway announcement as well as two winners!!

TWO THINGS…..

1. Don’t forget today is the last day to be eligible for my amazing giveaways!! Click here for details.

2. And I am now accepting pictures of my newest contest “Christmas Magic”

?I also want to announce the start of my final contest for 2013, “Christmas magic”. I will be collecting pictures as of today through Jan. 1st. I will hold the contest on Jan. 4-6th and announce the winner(s) on Jan 7th. As the name implies….please send your pictures of anything Christmas related, your decorated front door, a beautifully wrapped gift, a table set with your Christmas finest, your darling kids and pets are always a hit, whatever the name “Christmas magic” means to you! Since my “Hooray for the Holidays” post included some Christmas pictures, if you would like to use the entry you used for that please just email me to let me know and I will be happy to include it. I cannot wait to start getting your entries!! Remember-

  • 2 entries per person (they must be your pictures, not downloaded from internet)
  • Please in subject line when you email me put Christmas Magic (get tons of emails )

Please email your pictures to theenchantedhome@gmail.com?

My home for Christmas 2013 and winners!

 A reminder that the last day to place holiday orders for my online shop is this Tuesday, December 17th.

Hi, first things first. I am thrilled to announce the two lucky winners of the HomeGoods gift card giveaways. Congratulations goes to….

 1st winner 

Result: 86  lynnmosher  December 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Your decorations and home are lovely! I’m another classic! 😀

2nd winner (from Facebook)            Result: 20 Trudi Rowe
I’m from the Enchanted Home and my style is Socialite with a touch of Classic
Please contact me here to provide your shipping details…….

 All details for a brand new giveaway will be announced on Sunday!

It’s hard to believe we are in the thick of the Christmas chaos now, isn’t it? I am happy to report my gift buying is in full swing as is my holiday decor. This is early for me and I am thrilled to think I could potentially have it done by this week. My original goal was Dec. 10th so I have added a few days.  I will be posting less in the coming weeks as there are only so many hours in the day (about 2 to 3 times a week) but you can be sure I will post when I can, as blogland is indeed my “happy place” and a refuge of sorts for me to escape the big, crazy world!

I have gotten many requests for “how tos” on decorating and bringing  Christmas cheer into the house. I am by no means an expert but I do love decorating for the holidays and enjoy playing and tweaking all throughout the season.

Funny thing is you will see a lot of red here. And I am not a red person. But I am practical and like to use what I have and realize I have accumulated a truckload of red holiday items!!! I make it work and it happens to look quite good next to blue and white. There are a few tips that I have learned through the years that have become staples in my decorating arsenal and I thought it would make a fun post to share with you  by popular demand.

Some things I always have on hand, guaranteed to make your home feel “Christmas-y”

  • Lots of fresh evergreen (sprigs, scraps or garland that you can cut up) You can get them at not only obvious places like a nursery but your local supermarket and Home Depot for rock bottom prices
  • Faux sprigs of greenery and garland (again need not be expensive, places like Michaels have them)
  • A large empty water bottle filled at all times with fresh water
  • Pinecones, pinecones, pinecones…….you can never have too many and they are not only super inexpensive but offer so much for so little (they come in big bags and I have found really big bags of them at Costco and stock up)
  • A few great smelling holiday scented candles (Seda France makes a fabulous and pretty one)
  • A great Christmas CD (Christmas music is a MUST)
  • Pillar candles to put inside hurricanes (battery operated even better)
  • Pretty ribbon for gift buying and adding to vignettes
  • Pick up those little sprays of faux greenery, berries (some have small ornaments or pinecones) They often offer them at 40-50% off, they can be used EVERYWHERE!
  • A holiday scented room spray (I love this for bathroom)
  • Love fresh winter flowers, paperwhites, amaryllis and pointsettas
  • “Investing” in a few faux really good holiday flowering plants like amaryllis, paperwhites and pointsettas more than pays back over the years. They are like the gift that keeps on giving! 
  • Great and inexpensive way to dress up gifts is 1.5″ thick satin ribbon (like what florists use) You can get 100 yards spool for under $12.00 and believe me it wraps A LOT of gifts and really makes a beautiful presentation 

OK so with those things beyond what else you like to use for the holidays, you can indeed create a very festive feeling home. I  always like to burn a candle in my kitchen (where we always are) and keep the principle rooms in my home feeling festive. A wreath on a kitchen window is gorgeous, or a center island with a pretty evergreen and pinceone display. I love adding pretty touches to a powder room like a small wreath hanging over a mirror, burning a holiday candle or adding small sprigs of everygreen to an existing display (like soaps or potpourri).

So lets start at my front door! Notice I am not showing it in its entirety the planters are not yet done, but I do love my wreath.  The day I was going to do the planters, it snowed and its been a frozen ever since, so need a thaw before I can attempt to do them again….hopefully soon. Love the way this came out……

I filled it with all kinds of wonderful greens, pinecones and magnolia leave…rustic elegance:)

 I almost didn’t use this picture…as it shows a half done tree and an undecorated table. Half the lights are on and not nearly all the decorations, no presents yet under there, will be sure to show you a completed shot too!

The side door gets a simple oversized wreath and bow

Wanted to fill my large beautiful antique dough bowl with a festive feeling arrangement but something easy! Start with a few sprigs of greenery and keep a water bottle nearby for weekly “mists”

Fill a container (in this case used my antique dough bowl) with big oversized pinecones

Voila!! So easy…..and so pretty!

 BEFORE  I like adding garlands to tables/consoles, also on top of mirrors. This is a faux garland I bought I believe at Michaels years ago (have many of these). It is pretty but I like to “jazz it up” and it can be done so easily it’s not even funny, all I do is add sprigs of fresh greens to the center and sides, add a few pinecones and the makeover s complete!


AFTER
See….so easy and the result is just beautiful.

2nd after! And then added a few nutcrackers and a some oversized sugar pinecones….

And in my kitchen added this pretty white hydrangea plant and simple wreath with an ivory bow to the middle window….

The dough bowl found a home on my kitchen island…..

I am admittedly not a huge fan of red but somehow I put that grudge aside during the holidays and actually really develop a temporary affection for the color. I buy these pointsetta topiaries every year, think they are so pretty and definitely very festive. I just find a few pretty empty container and drop them in then add pine cones for  festive touch to the base. The pinceones I buy are also scented so it brings in the wonderful Christmas smell to the room, added them to my island.

(REALLY need to figure out how to use this new camera…somehow the lighting appears off)

And we have a very long hallway that runs the width of the house….so it has several chests and consoles, all of which I do something to…….

Love these little evergreen swags with red velvet ribbon, I add them to each sconce throughout the hallway for an extra little touch

And to my main powder room, I add these pretty topiaries every year and added a gold nutcracker as well….

Add caption
And to the back powder room….. 

Tweaked the hall chest with a beautiful giant faux amarylllis that I use every year (such a good investment)! I put it in my beautiful urn from  my shop…..

I really wish I had bought more of this amaryllis plants….they are so real looking!

 And in my family room, added some holiday touches…

 A white pointsettta plant with a base of pinecones and a gorgeous pinceone garland on the console behind sofa

 My two deer plant holders hold two pointsettas and my two Santas on either end, this is not done!

 I have many of these little Santa’s so just place them on top of books or wherever I can find a spot:)

 The beautiful pinecone topiaires I found from HomeGoods on the family room coffee table……..(and yes the tags will all get cut:)

Changed out the moss balls to lovely pale pinky pointsettas in my urns in the foyer………(the bottom is a wreath that I placed the urns in the center of)

Have some paperwhites (my favorite holiday flower) here and there……picking up more next week

Other vignettes throughout the house…

 Haven’t really done anything in the dining room but this small chest is a work in progress!

 A hallway console
Another hallway console….proof that blue and white really does work with everything!

Even red Santa’s

In a guest bedroom I like to add a touch or two… in this case put these pretty pointsettas in these gorgeous planters on the console to bring in a little Christmas for our out of town guests….

Added a simple boxwood ball to the guest powder room but will add a Christmas candle when our guests come

And look at this another wrapped gift……progress is being made!

 My favorite combo, a simple pinecone and small cutting of faux or real evergreen

 That makes two! Many more to come…..

Here are a few pics hot off the presses as of last night, tree almost done and it’s starting to shape up…

 This tree at about 11′ looked HUGE in the nursery but now it just looks like an average sized tree…..

 I do love this planter…..and orchids of course!

So folks, that’s whats been keeping me busy so far! I will probably do a round 2 sometime later next week if time allows just to show you the “final final” result…..I am pleased in that everything I used I already had (with the exception of the HomeGoods things) and I realized I do have a lot (way more than my husband wishes I had…his daily mantra is enough, enough)! Hey, when you have the spirit, you go all the way:)
And just one more thing….I promise!!! You will want to know about this…….
 Christmas Magic Contest

 I also want to announce the start of my final contest for 2013, “Christmas magic”. I will be collecting pictures as of today through Jan. 1st. I will hold the contest on Jan. 4-6th and announce the winner(s) on Jan 7th. As the name implies….please send your pictures of anything Christmas related, your decorated front door, a beautifully wrapped gift, a table set with your Christmas finest, your darling kids and pets are always a hit, whatever the name “Christmas magic” means to you! Since my “Hooray for the Holidays” post included some Christmas pictures, if you would like to use the entry you used for that please just email me to let me know and I will be happy to include it. I cannot wait to start getting your entries!! Remember-

  • 2 entries per person (they must be your pictures, not downloaded from internet)
  • Please in subject line when you email me put Christmas Magic (get tons of emails )
Please email your pictures to theenchantedhome@gmail.com

    Thanks so much for stopping in, wishing you a fabulous day and weekend!! Be sure to check back on Sunday where I will announce the next TWO fabulous giveaways! The countdown is on…..

    My home for Christmas 2013 and winners!

    ?A reminder that the last day to place holiday orders for my online shop is this Tuesday, December 17th.

    Hi, first things first. I am thrilled to announce the two lucky winners of the HomeGoods gift card giveaways. Congratulations goes to….

    ?1st winner?

    Result: 86? lynnmosher? December 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Your decorations and home are lovely! I’m another classic! 😀

    2nd winner (from Facebook) ?????????? Result: 20 Trudi Rowe
    I’m from the Enchanted Home and my style is Socialite with a touch of Classic
    Please contact me here to provide your shipping details…….

    ?All details for a brand new giveaway will be announced on Sunday!

    It’s hard to believe we are in the thick of the Christmas chaos now, isn’t it? I am happy to report my gift buying is in full swing as is my holiday decor. This is early for me and I am thrilled to think I could potentially have it done by this week. My original goal was Dec. 10th so I have added a few days.? I will be posting less in the coming weeks as there are only so many hours in the day (about 2 to 3 times a week) but you can be sure I will post when I can, as blogland is indeed my “happy place” and a refuge of sorts for me to escape the big, crazy world!

    I have gotten many requests for “how tos” on decorating and bringing? Christmas cheer into the house. I am by no means an expert but I do love decorating for the holidays and enjoy playing and tweaking all throughout the season.

    Funny thing is you will see a lot of red here. And I am not a red person. But I am practical and like to use what I have and realize I have accumulated a truckload of red holiday items!!! I make it work and it happens to look quite good next to blue and white. There are a few tips that I have learned through the years that have become staples in my decorating arsenal and I thought it would make a fun post to share with you? by popular demand.

    Some things I always have on hand, guaranteed to make your home feel “Christmas-y”

    • Lots of fresh evergreen (sprigs, scraps or garland that you can cut up) You can get them at not only obvious places like a nursery but your local supermarket and Home Depot for rock bottom prices
    • Faux sprigs of greenery and garland (again need not be expensive, places like Michaels have them)
    • A large empty water bottle filled at all times with fresh water
    • Pinecones, pinecones, pinecones…….you can never have too many and they are not only super inexpensive but offer so much for so little (they come in big bags and I have found really big bags of them at Costco and stock up)
    • A few great smelling holiday scented candles (Seda France makes a fabulous and pretty one)
    • A great Christmas CD (Christmas music is a MUST)
    • Pillar candles to put inside hurricanes (battery operated even better)
    • Pretty ribbon for gift buying and adding to vignettes
    • Pick up those little sprays of faux greenery, berries (some have small ornaments or pinecones) They often offer them at 40-50% off, they can be used EVERYWHERE!
    • A holiday scented room spray (I love this for bathroom)
    • Love fresh winter flowers, paperwhites, amaryllis and pointsettas
    • “Investing” in a few faux really good holiday flowering plants like amaryllis, paperwhites and pointsettas more than pays back over the years. They are like the gift that keeps on giving!?
    • Great and inexpensive way to dress up gifts is 1.5″ thick satin ribbon (like what florists use) You can get 100 yards spool for under $12.00 and believe me it wraps A LOT of gifts and really makes a beautiful presentation?

    OK so with those things beyond what else you like to use for the holidays, you can indeed create a very festive feeling home. I? always like to burn a candle in my kitchen (where we always are) and keep the principle rooms in my home feeling festive. A wreath on a kitchen window is gorgeous, or a center island with a pretty evergreen and pinceone display. I love adding pretty touches to a powder room like a small wreath hanging over a mirror, burning a holiday candle or adding small sprigs of everygreen to an existing display (like soaps or potpourri).

    So lets start at my front door! Notice I am not showing it in its entirety the planters are not yet done, but I do love my wreath.? The day I was going to do the planters, it snowed and its been a frozen ever since, so need a thaw before I can attempt to do them again….hopefully soon. Love the way this came out……

    I filled it with all kinds of wonderful greens, pinecones and magnolia leave…rustic elegance:)

    ?I almost didn’t use this picture…as it shows a half done tree and an undecorated table. Half the lights are on and not nearly all the decorations, no presents yet under there, will be sure to show you a completed shot too!

    The side door gets a simple oversized wreath and bow

    Wanted to fill my large beautiful antique dough bowl with a festive feeling arrangement but something easy! Start with a few sprigs of greenery and keep a water bottle nearby for weekly “mists”

    Fill a container (in this case used my antique dough bowl) with big oversized pinecones

    Voila!! So easy…..and so pretty!

    ?BEFORE? I like adding garlands to tables/consoles, also on top of mirrors. This is a faux garland I bought I believe at Michaels years ago (have many of these). It is pretty but I like to “jazz it up” and it can be done so easily it’s not even funny, all I do is add sprigs of fresh greens to the center and sides, add a few pinecones and the makeover s complete!


    AFTER
    See….so easy and the result is just beautiful.

    2nd after! And then added a few nutcrackers and a some oversized sugar pinecones….

    And in my kitchen added this pretty white hydrangea plant and simple wreath with an ivory bow to the middle window….

    The dough bowl found a home on my kitchen island…..

    I am admittedly not a huge fan of red but somehow I put that grudge aside during the holidays and actually really develop a temporary affection for the color. I buy these pointsetta topiaries every year, think they are so pretty and definitely very festive. I just find a few pretty empty container and drop them in then add pine cones for? festive touch to the base. The pinceones I buy are also scented so it brings in the wonderful Christmas smell to the room, added them to my island.

    (REALLY need to figure out how to use this new camera…somehow the lighting appears off)

    And we have a very long hallway that runs the width of the house….so it has several chests and consoles, all of which I do something to…….

    Love these little evergreen swags with red velvet ribbon, I add them to each sconce throughout the hallway for an extra little touch

    And to my main powder room, I add these pretty topiaries every year and added a gold nutcracker as well….

    Add caption
    And to the back powder room…..?

    Tweaked the hall chest with a beautiful giant faux amarylllis that I use every year (such a good investment)! I put it in my beautiful urn from? my shop…..

    I really wish I had bought more of this amaryllis plants….they are so real looking!

    ?And in my family room, added some holiday touches…

    ?A white pointsettta plant with a base of pinecones and a gorgeous pinceone garland on the console behind sofa

    ?My two deer plant holders hold two pointsettas and my two Santas on either end, this is not done!

    ?I have many of these little Santa’s so just place them on top of books or wherever I can find a spot:)

    ?The beautiful pinecone topiaires I found from HomeGoods on the family room coffee table……..(and yes the tags will all get cut:)

    Changed out the moss balls to lovely pale pinky pointsettas in my urns in the foyer………(the bottom is a wreath that I placed the urns in the center of)

    Have some paperwhites (my favorite holiday flower) here and there……picking up more next week

    Other vignettes throughout the house…

    ?Haven’t really done anything in the dining room but this small chest is a work in progress!

    ?A hallway console
    Another hallway console….proof that blue and white really does work with everything!

    Even red Santa’s

    In a guest bedroom I like to add a touch or two… in this case put these pretty pointsettas in these gorgeous planters on the console to bring in a little Christmas for our out of town guests….

    Added a simple boxwood ball to the guest powder room but will add a Christmas candle when our guests come

    And look at this another wrapped gift……progress is being made!

    ?My favorite combo, a simple pinecone and small cutting of faux or real evergreen

    ?That makes two! Many more to come…..

    Here are a few pics hot off the presses as of last night, tree almost done and it’s starting to shape up…

    ?This tree at about 11′ looked HUGE in the nursery but now it just looks like an average sized tree…..

    ?I do love this planter…..and orchids of course!

    So folks, that’s whats been keeping me busy so far! I will probably do a round 2 sometime later next week if time allows just to show you the “final final” result…..I am pleased in that everything I used I already had (with the exception of the HomeGoods things) and I realized I do have a lot (way more than my husband wishes I had…his daily mantra is enough, enough)! Hey, when you have the spirit, you go all the way:)

    And just one more thing….I promise!!! You will want to know about this…….
    ?Christmas Magic Contest

    ?I also want to announce the start of my final contest for 2013, “Christmas magic”. I will be collecting pictures as of today through Jan. 1st. I will hold the contest on Jan. 4-6th and announce the winner(s) on Jan 7th. As the name implies….please send your pictures of anything Christmas related, your decorated front door, a beautifully wrapped gift, a table set with your Christmas finest, your darling kids and pets are always a hit, whatever the name “Christmas magic” means to you! Since my “Hooray for the Holidays” post included some Christmas pictures, if you would like to use the entry you used for that please just email me to let me know and I will be happy to include it. I cannot wait to start getting your entries!! Remember-

    • 2 entries per person (they must be your pictures, not downloaded from internet)
    • Please in subject line when you email me put Christmas Magic (get tons of emails )
    Please email your pictures to theenchantedhome@gmail.com

      Thanks so much for stopping in, wishing you a fabulous day and weekend!! Be sure to check back on Sunday where I will announce the next TWO fabulous giveaways! The countdown is on…..

      Goodbye Christmas 2012…….

      Wow! Hard to believe its all over. That incredible build up, that frenzy we all work ourselves into, the stress, anxiety, the gift buying marathons, the present wrapping sessions, the hemming and hawing over what to cook, holiday outfit dilemmas, last minute doubts about gifts bought….its all over. I must admit it was ALL worth it…..Christmas day was exactly as I had hoped, it was above all else, relaxing, beautiful, enjoyable, and even therapeutic…. filled with great food, family togetherness, movie marathons….and doing a whole lot of nothing. Except the mounds of dishes, and cooking for hours
       
      I wouldn’t  change a thing…it was a day of rest that we all needed. How about you? How was your special day? As you had hoped? Only thing not planned was husband getting sick…started feeling sick towards the end of the day and is in bed hopefully not with the flu! I managed to take a few pictures which are below………supposed to go away but now the trip is very questionable. 
       
      I am kind of enjoying this second day of rest admittedly its a bit unexpected but wonderful.  Hit a few early sales at nearby local shops this morning to take advantage of stocking up some pretties for next year, that was fun! But nearly fainted when I saw, get this….VALENTINES DAY merchandise..I kid you not!!!!!!
       
      Had an insanely great turkey sandwich and nibbled on a bunch of leftovers after which I polished off a few bites of some heavenly pies from a nearby farm. Yep….this is a great day! Just hard to believe its all over, we are having stormy weather right now,  so probably will be staying in though I had plans to go see Le Mis tonight, may have to wait a day or two. What’s cooking over there on your end? Do tell!
       
       

      Here’s my table set for Christmas day dinner, elegant and understated was the theme and of course my darling napkin rings took center stage!

       
      So how long do you keep your Christmas decor up? I like to keep mine around awhile, a week or two….why not enjoy and savor the season just a little longer? Its too pretty to not enjoy, and heck it keeps you feeling the spirit and magic of such a beautiful season! I actually learned a few things this season, some or all you might know but “revelations” for me…here it goes-

      • I WILL absolutely start planing out Christmas 2013 in NOVEMBER! You read it here first, please remind me of this next year!  I did  A LOT of last minute shopping, looking for hard to get items (case in point scoring an i Mac on Christmas eve) the stress o meter was in high gear, I would love to know all my gifts are purchased by Dec.4th. That’s my new deadline for 2013!
        • It really does pay to take advantage of those day after Christmas sales and stock up for next year, I had fun pulling out previous purchases from last year and to get half off of things like paper, ribbon, holiday decor (which can get very pricey) pays off in spades! I also picking up great little doo dads when on sale and adding them to gifts, such a pretty and inexpensive way to jazz up a gift!

        • I will be sure to get a great family picture or at least a picture of my three boys sometime in the summer or fall to avoid the last minute chaos and arguing that ensued trying to get them to take pics 5 days before Christmas! Wish I could say its a joke but it’s not….yes this year was way behind! Ended up only taking it of my youngest son and Teddy…at the rate we are going, Teddy will be the last man standing next year, LOL!  I WILL get those done early next year!

        • You know how at the  last minute..the UPS man or mail lady shows up, or there’s a teacher or garbageman you want to give a little something to but you forget and then frantically run inside rummaging through your wallet for change? Happens to me all the time! A little tip……this is the ONE thing I did in an organized fashion this year and it was so convenient!  I filled about 5 or 6 blank envelops with a generic holiday card and a twenty dollar bill in each. I kept them in a convenient drawer in the kitchen (easy access) It was so nice knowing this was taken care of and believe me I used up every single envelope! 
      • Love watching things grow from “the ground up”. I planted my paperwhites a little late this year but a great rule of thumb is to do this for Thanksgiving, that way you are guaranteed beautiful blooms a week or so before Christmas. Not to mention it is a very inexpensive alternative to buying things already in bloom.  I get such enjoyment out of watching something literally come to life, and the smell is heavenly!
      My breakfast room
      •  Priceless things like great pictures and videos still make to me, one of the best gifts. Whats better than getting a treasured picture of those you love in a gorgeous silver frame? It’s a great gift and easy! I received such a gift and have to say it was quite possibly my favorite!
      • I think the most effective way to decorating is using nice quality fake greens with real greens. In nearly every one of my vignettes I did this, every single one is in fact a combination of good quality faux holiday greenery with real……less mess, more economical and longer lasting! 
      • Pinecones to me, remain one of the most inexpensive and elegant ways to decorate for the holidays. I have them everywhere, love filling urns with them adding them to vignettes, buying both big and small. They are in my living room, bathrooms, kitchen and dining room….get a glue gun and add them to just about anything, their impact is amazing!  They make perfect adornments to gifts as well. Super functional and multi purpose…I pack them up in big plastic bins and reuse them every year.
       My family room

        So that’s a recap of things I have learned this year…….what are your tips? Feel free to add them, I love sharing information and especially if its something we can all benefit from! So come on….it’s your turn to talk! Hope your holidays were super merry and very relaxing……cheers to the end of a great year and to the start of an even better year ahead!

        Photobucket

        Goodbye Christmas 2012…….

        Wow! Hard to believe its all over. That incredible build up, that frenzy we all work ourselves into, the stress, anxiety, the gift buying marathons, the present wrapping sessions, the hemming and hawing over what to cook, holiday outfit dilemmas, last minute doubts about gifts bought….its all over. I must admit it was ALL worth it…..Christmas day was exactly as I had hoped, it was above all else, relaxing, beautiful, enjoyable, and even?therapeutic…. filled with great food, family togetherness, movie marathons….and doing a whole lot of nothing. Except the mounds of dishes, and cooking for hours.?

        ?


        I wouldn’t? change a thing…it was a day of rest that we all needed. How about you? How was your special day? As you had hoped? Only thing not planned was husband getting sick…started feeling sick towards the end of the day and is in bed hopefully not with the flu! I managed to take a few pictures which are below………supposed to go away but now the trip is very questionable.?

        ?


        I am kind of enjoying this second day of rest admittedly its a bit unexpected but wonderful.? Hit a few early sales at nearby local shops this morning to take advantage of stocking up some pretties for next year, that was fun! But nearly fainted when I saw, get this….VALENTINES DAY merchandise..I kid you not!!!!!!

        ?


        Had an insanely great turkey sandwich and nibbled on a bunch of leftovers after which I polished off a few bites of some heavenly pies from a nearby farm. Yep….this is a great day! Just hard to believe its all over, we are having stormy weather right now,? so probably will be staying in though I had plans to go see Le Mis tonight, may have to wait a day or two. What’s cooking over there on your end? Do tell!

        ?

        ?

        Here’s my table set for Christmas day dinner, elegant and understated was the theme and of course my darling napkin rings took center stage!

        ?

        So how long do you keep your Christmas decor up? I like to keep mine around awhile, a week or two….why not enjoy and savor the season just a little longer? Its too pretty to not enjoy, and heck it keeps you feeling the spirit and magic of such a beautiful season! I actually learned a few things this season, some or all you might know but “revelations” for me…here it goes-

        • I WILL absolutely start planing out Christmas 2013 in NOVEMBER! You read it here first, please remind me of this next year!? I did? A LOT of last minute shopping, looking for hard to get items (case in point scoring an i Mac on Christmas eve) the stress o meter was in high gear, I would love to know all my gifts are purchased by Dec.4th. That’s my new deadline for 2013!
          • It really does pay to take advantage of those day after Christmas sales and stock up for next year, I had fun pulling out previous purchases from last year and to get half off of things like paper, ribbon, holiday decor (which can get very pricey) pays off in spades! I also picking up great little doo dads when on sale and adding them to gifts, such a pretty and inexpensive way to jazz up a gift!

          • I will be sure to get a great family picture or at least a picture of my three boys sometime in the summer or fall to avoid the last minute chaos and arguing that ensued trying to get them to take pics 5 days before Christmas! Wish I could say its a joke but it’s not….yes this year was way behind! Ended up only taking it of my youngest son and Teddy…at the rate we are going, Teddy will be the last man standing next year, LOL!? I WILL get those done early next year!

          • You know how at the? last minute..the UPS man or mail lady shows up, or there’s a teacher or garbageman you want to give a little something to but you forget and then frantically run inside rummaging through your wallet for change? Happens to me all the time! A little tip……this is the ONE thing I did in an organized fashion this year and it was so convenient!? I filled about 5 or 6 blank envelops with a generic holiday card and a twenty dollar bill in each. I kept them in a convenient drawer in the kitchen (easy access) It was so nice knowing this was taken care of and believe me I used up every single envelope!?
        • Love watching things grow from “the ground up”. I planted my paperwhites a little late this year but a great rule of thumb is to do this for Thanksgiving, that way you are guaranteed beautiful blooms a week or so before Christmas. Not to mention it is a very inexpensive alternative to buying things already in bloom.? I get such enjoyment out of watching something literally come to life, and the smell is heavenly!
        My breakfast room
        • ?Priceless things like great pictures and videos still make to me, one of the best gifts. Whats better than getting a treasured picture of those you love in a gorgeous silver frame? It’s a great gift and easy! I received such a gift and have to say it was quite possibly my favorite!
        • I think the most effective way to decorating is using nice quality fake greens with real greens. In nearly every one of my vignettes I did this, every single one is in fact a combination of good quality faux holiday greenery with real……less mess, more economical and longer lasting!?
        • Pinecones to me, remain one of the most inexpensive and elegant ways to decorate for the holidays. I have them everywhere, love filling urns with them adding them to vignettes, buying both big and small. They are in my living room, bathrooms, kitchen and dining room….get a glue gun and add them to just about anything, their impact is amazing!? They make perfect adornments to gifts as well. Super functional and multi purpose…I pack them up in big plastic bins and reuse them every year.
        ?My family room

          So that’s a recap of things I have learned this year…….what are your tips? Feel free to add them, I love sharing information and especially if its something we can all benefit from! So come on….it’s your turn to talk! Hope your holidays were super merry and very relaxing……cheers to the end of a great year and to the start of an even better year ahead!









          Photobucket

          Readers holiday homes round 2 and it’s a whopper!

          Good Friday morning to you! ?This week has been insanely busy…am sure you are all feeling the holiday crunch too. I am so happy I put this post together in advance otherwise it would never have happened. I want to announce the winner of the soap dish and monogrammed guest towels……congratulations goes to-
          Result:
          Good morning, Tina. It is a delight to see all of your Christmas decor. Yup, the tree does belong right where it is. That is not to say you can’t have more than one tree!!!!:):) I love your nutcracker collection! Everything looks beautiful nd I love the secretary in the dining room. Speaking of which, I had made a list of DEFINITES I wanted for a new house. The first one was a BIGGER dining room as we entertain alot. Well, our new dining room is actually smaller:( Oh well, we make it work. As far as what I would like from your shop: ANY of the blue and white porcelain jars!!!!!!!!!!!! I adore them. Wishing you GOOD SHOPPING and a blessed Christmas. XO, Pinky
          Random number code based on JavaScript documentation on the Mozilla Developer Center.
          Please contact me at theenchantedhome@gmail.com

          Time for round 2! Given the number of pictures I received, there should really be a round 3, 4 AND 5! When you are done with this post in a few hours you will totally agree! I had to post this all together as we are simply running out of days till Christmas. The good thing is it’s not going anywhere, so you will be able to come back here and refer to this post however many times you like. I think I could have had a best seller in the making……..Think you can handle even more beauty from my readers?
          ?I was astounded to see how many pictures I got and thrilled about it. This is so inspirational and you know I will be referring back to these posts next year too! Just love it all….and cannot thank you enough for taking the time to send me these beautiful glimpses into your spectacular homes. So much fun to see all the beauty, humor and over the top cuteness (thanks to the pooches)!

          Such creativity!!!!

          Are you dizzy yet from all the Christmas fabulousness??Love when I see the pooches getting in on the holiday spirit, and these are soo cute! If this post won’t get you into the holiday swing of things..can’t imagine what will! I mean this is some serious Christmas inspiration! I did receive some pictures after this post was completed on Tuesday, and since I scheduled this post to post at a certain time I was unable to add/change anything and apologize if your picture was not able to be included (though I do think I managed to get nearly all), but I assure you I got great joy from looking over each and every one of them! If you missed my holiday wrap up on my own home, click here.

          Thank you so much everyone for contributing to yet another spectacular round of readers homes! I loved this and will absolutely make it a tradition. I hope all who stopped by enjoyed seeing all the different takes on holiday decorating. Wishing everyone a wonderful day and good luck getting through these last few days until Christmas…..officially in my book known as “The Christmas crunch”…….ho ho ho!

          Photobucket

          Readers holiday homes round 2 and it’s a whopper!

          Good Friday morning to you!  This week has been insanely busy…am sure you are all feeling the holiday crunch too. I am so happy I put this post together in advance otherwise it would never have happened. I want to announce the winner of the soap dish and monogrammed guest towels……congratulations goes to-
          Result:
          Good morning, Tina. It is a delight to see all of your Christmas decor. Yup, the tree does belong right where it is. That is not to say you can’t have more than one tree!!!!:):) I love your nutcracker collection! Everything looks beautiful nd I love the secretary in the dining room. Speaking of which, I had made a list of DEFINITES I wanted for a new house. The first one was a BIGGER dining room as we entertain alot. Well, our new dining room is actually smaller:( Oh well, we make it work. As far as what I would like from your shop: ANY of the blue and white porcelain jars!!!!!!!!!!!! I adore them. Wishing you GOOD SHOPPING and a blessed Christmas. XO, Pinky
          Random number code based on JavaScript documentation on the Mozilla Developer Center.
          Please contact me at theenchantedhome@gmail.com

          Time for round 2! Given the number of pictures I received, there should really be a round 3, 4 AND 5! When you are done with this post in a few hours you will totally agree! I had to post this all together as we are simply running out of days till Christmas. The good thing is it’s not going anywhere, so you will be able to come back here and refer to this post however many times you like. I think I could have had a best seller in the making……..Think you can handle even more beauty from my readers?
           I was astounded to see how many pictures I got and thrilled about it. This is so inspirational and you know I will be referring back to these posts next year too! Just love it all….and cannot thank you enough for taking the time to send me these beautiful glimpses into your spectacular homes. So much fun to see all the beauty, humor and over the top cuteness (thanks to the pooches)!

          Such creativity!!!!

          Are you dizzy yet from all the Christmas fabulousness? Love when I see the pooches getting in on the holiday spirit, and these are soo cute! If this post won’t get you into the holiday swing of things..can’t imagine what will! I mean this is some serious Christmas inspiration! I did receive some pictures after this post was completed on Tuesday, and since I scheduled this post to post at a certain time I was unable to add/change anything and apologize if your picture was not able to be included (though I do think I managed to get nearly all), but I assure you I got great joy from looking over each and every one of them! If you missed my holiday wrap up on my own home, click here.

          Thank you so much everyone for contributing to yet another spectacular round of readers homes! I loved this and will absolutely make it a tradition. I hope all who stopped by enjoyed seeing all the different takes on holiday decorating. Wishing everyone a wonderful day and good luck getting through these last few days until Christmas…..officially in my book known as “The Christmas crunch”…….ho ho ho!

          Photobucket