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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards.  Each year I look forward to checking the mail to see what Christmas cards are waiting to be opened.  I love seeing pictures of friends and family and reading the occasional newsletter describing the events of the past year. 

My favorite cards, though, are the ones that make me smile. 

I want my card to be one of those that make you smile.

Each year, I try and come up with an unexpected way to bring a smile to friends and families' faces.

This year my inspiration came from a North Pole or Bust picture by Cindy Emerson Photography I saw on Pinterest.


Finding an inspirational theme or idea is easy enough but putting your own spin on it can be a bit more challenging. 


We like to include Riley, our mischievous but adorable dog in our Christmas card.  Years past, when Riley has been omitted from the picture, friends and family expressed their disappointed SO in attempts to not disappoint, Riley is generally included...whether she likes it or not.


In order to cohesively include Riley in the picture, with fever induced clarity, I decided she should be wearing antlers and tote a sign that said, 'will work for food'. 

I'd like to think Grace and Riley would both make it to the North Pole.  Grace would see Santa's workshop while Riley would take the place of a weary reindeer and help fly Santa's sleigh.


No matter how much we begged and bribed Riley did her best to avoid making eye contact with the camera, pouting angrily over being made to sit on the railway stones.

Once she finally did cooperate, we had what I think turned out to be the perfect picture.  Happy little girl, serious stoic and serious little dog.


Of course, had that not worked out, it's always good to have a back up plan.


Fortunately, it worked out.  I can always save this picture for next year.

SO...from my family to yours, have the happiest of holidays. 


Looking forward to seeing you all in 2015.

If you liked our 2014 Christmas card, make sure to check out our 2013 Christmas card and Our Christmas cards of the past.


*No Puggles were harmed during (or after) this photo shoot. All models were fully compensated :).  And, we don't endorse hitchhiking, even if it is to the North Pole.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Gift Baskets On a Budget

'Tis the season to go broke. Falalala la la la. 

Well, hopefully that won't happen which is why I try and think of thoughtful yet frugal things to give as gifts.  This was the case when we discovered we were getting new neighbors!  They closed a week before Christmas when my gift giving budget is at its lowest.  I wanted to give the new neighbors something to make them feel welcome to the neighborhood all while on a budget.


So, I made a trip to Goodwill.  Not necessarily my go to when shopping for gifts but I hoped for some inspiration.

Goodwill generally has a large selection of baskets.  Though I initially worried Goodwill would let me down, I spotted this basket for .99 cents!  It was the perfect size, big enough to fit a few thoughtful things inside but not too big that I'd go broke trying to fill it up.


Having lucked out with the basket, I decided to see what else they might have. It just so happened, the day I went to Goodwill was the same day they marked down all Christmas items 50% off.  Our new neighbors just so happened to be closing the week before Christmas so why not fill their gift basket with some festive finds.


If you're keeping track, the basket was .99 cents, the bough of holly was .99 cents marked down to .50 cents, the believe vase was .99 cents marked down to .50 cents, the gold sleigh was .99 cents marked down to .50 cents, the red ornament was .50 cents marked down to .25 cents and the package of chalkboard tags were .25 cents. I also bought myself a shirt (I couldn't resist browsing for something for me as well!) but that doesn't factor into the $2.99 I invested in the welcome to the neighborhood gift basket I was making.


I also bought a package of cocoa for a few dollars, wrapped some ribbon around a few packets and tucked them into the gold sleigh.


I had some plaid fabric in my 'never seems to dwindle fabric stash' so I quickly sewed up a basket liner and then filled the basket with all my frugal finds.

 

I might be wrong but I'd like to believe my new neighbors will enjoy their welcome to the neighborhood basket.


With the basket loaded...


*We proudly delivered our gift basket.


All for less than $5.


During this gift giving season, even frugal gifts can have a big impact and be heartfelt.



*In my mind, I had imagined passing the basket along to our new neighbors instantly bonding. In reality, the new neighbors must have decided not to move in prior to Christmas.  Grace got sick and I sat by her bedside tending to her every need.  This pretty basket sat on my counter being admired by me.  I began to worry my festive gift wouldn't get delivered until after Christmas. SO with strict instructions, I told my husband if he had any neighbor spotting to bring them the basket.  Such a spotting was made, while my husband was in tattered working in the garage clothes, wearing what he describes as his 'thug' hat.  The basket was brought over, while in those same tattered clothes and thug hat and the neighbors ignored his knocking.  I suspect they worried he was a random homeless person :)  The basket was left just outside their door and eventually retrieved after the "homeless man" left their front porch...but I'm sure we'll be best of friends as soon as they realize the "homeless man" is harmless.  Then, as soon as Riley starts incessantly barking at them, I'm sure they'll start to avoid us again :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Craft Mash-Up

Sometimes, when crafting, you come across the Brangelina of crafts; two crafts from different blogs that seem destined to be made and used together.


Last year, we were obsessed with Inspired by Charm's Colorful DIY Forest.


This year, we couldn't wait to make Parents' Clothespin Skiers.  As soon as they were done, those little skiers couldn't wait to hit the slopes.


Their destination, a mountain covered with whimsical, colorful trees.

 

I'm not sure what the blogger equivalent to Brangelina would be for this craft mash-up.  Maybe something like 'Inspired by Parents' or 'Parent Inspired Charm'.  Not quite as catchy as Brangelina but I think a much better mash-up.


The best part of this Brangelina craft?  Kids can easily decorate both of them.


Who am I kidding?  The best part of this craft mash-up, how beautifully both Inspired by Charm's Colorful Trees go with Parents' Clothespin Skiers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Wizard of Oz Elf on the Shelf

Love it or hate it, the Elf on the Shelf is a common fixture in American homes around the holidays AND, yes, our house is one of them. 

Our Elf found himself under our recently made gingerbread house ala Wizard of Oz style.  Clever little Elf. 


As soon as we discovered him, the following ran through my head...


The house began to twitch. 


The kitchen took a slitch.

 

 It landed on the Wicked Elf on a Shelf in the middle of a ditch.


Which was not a healthy situation for the Wicked Elf on a Shelf.


The house began to pitch.

 

The kitchen took a slitch.


It landed on the Wicked Elf on a Shelf in the middle of the ditch.


I hope when the Elf returns tomorrow, he does so without a catchy ditty getting stuck in my head. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Something old

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.  Yes, this is a well known wedding tradition BUT why can't it be used as a decorating theme as well.


Something old. 


In my situation, finding something old requires a trip to the garage or shed.


And, sometimes, that during that trip to the garage or the shed I spy something remarkable.  

 

Something that *should* go on top of any number of pillars we appear to be collecting.

 

Although, in this situation, that something old...


becomes something new.


Instead of a cap to a vintage pillar, it becomes transformed into *something new* that I subsequently have decided to *borrow*.


Into my house that something old, something new something borrowed has gone.  Onto my kitchen island it sits in it's new life as a decorative pedestal; a holder of flowers, sweets or treats.


Now you are probably wondering what the something blue is, right?

Well, the something blue is this guy when he realizes the something borrowed is really not something borrowed at all since I have no intentions of ever giving it back.


And, that's how you decorate with something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Monday, September 15, 2014

DIY Mounted Beach Treasures

With summer coming to an end, you might be wondering what to do with your summer vacation beach treasures.  Worry no more.  With this easy to follow tutorial you can turn those beach treasures into beautifully mounted beachy home decor.


Collect those seashells, starfish or coral and proudly display them, adding a subtle beachy charm to your house, even when the beach and summer seem like distant memories.


Using the same process we used for the Salvaged Architectural Display Pieces, which can be found here,


a small hole was carefully drilled into each of our beach treasures.  Most beach treasures are more fragile than architectural pieces, so take care in drilling and use a small bit.


Another hole was then drilled into the custom base we built {again, the tutorial for the base can be found here}.  Insert some JB Weld into both the hole in your beach treasure and the hole in the base.  Insert a post into both and allow time to dry. 


Once dry, proudly display.


And remember, just because summer may be months away, it doesn't mean you can't surround yourself with happy beachy memories and mementos of warmer days in your home decor. 



*Make sure to check out more of the mounted architectural pieces for sale in the While Wearing Heels Etsy Shop.


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