It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Snowman Ornament

I love to decorate for Christmas.

Pulling out the boxes each year and rediscovering the decor is so fun.

I have been  accumulating my little goodies since I have owned a home and collecting Christopher Radko ornaments for 20 years.

As a result, I have an awesome (if I do say so myself) ornament collection and I get get joy out of unwrapping each little box.

 We all remember our favorite Christmas decorations from childhood.

I always loved the Nativity Scene my parents had.

Staring at all the animals, checking out the Wiseman and deciding which of their outfits I liked best, the wax choir boy and girl candles, the dough ornaments my Mom made.

I love having a tradition and things that Caroline will associate with the holiday when she grown.

IMG_3039“Eddie” our resident Elf on A Shelf hangs out on the mantle.
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Basquiat and Tree

Caroline has a knack for picking out the best tree.

I have officially handed off the “Tree Picking Crown” to her.

IMG_3044

The Angel Choir

These little angels used to be in my Grandmother’s home and I loved them so.

My sister found them when cleaning out my Grandfather’s place when he passed away and saved them for me.

I plan on passing them down to Caroline.

Christmas Table 2012

Dining Table

Flowers By KrislynA nice surprise from our neighbor Krislyn.

An amazing artist, florist, stylist, designer.

Boxwood Wreath In Dining Room

I have hung Boxwood Wreaths on all the Dining Room windows with a Peacock Blue Ribbon.

So cute!

pablo x-mas

Pablo Hanging out front “helping”.

Off to hang some lights.

Happy Holiday Decorating!

xoxo Carrie

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A Little Updating with Big Results

I just made some changes to my Family Room.

I was bored with the room and our cowhide rug was looking a little rough.

I didn’t have a ton of money so I had to choose wisely.

First up was the rug and we all know how budget busting rugs can be.

I happened to find a rug at Pottery Barn.  It was perfect both in looks and price.

I really wanted to get new side tables.  The tables I currently own are from Ikea and I painted them Robin’s Egg Blue.  They were meant to be temporary.

 That was 8 years ago.

 I still can’t find the perfect solution so they have remained.

Not such a bad deal because they are beaten up on a daily basis by my 5 year old.

So instead of new tables I decided to concentrate on the lamps that were currently on the tables.

 I lucked out again at Pottery Barn and found two adorable lamp shades on super sale, and for less than $50 my lamps got a whole new look.

I still thought they needed a little more pizazz, so I took decided to take them up a notch by purchasing some finals from Chic Shop & Hillary Thomas.  I was in purchasing some finials for a client and was seduced by these beauties. They are from her line Rock ‘n Rolla and named “Careless Whisper”.

 Finials really make a lamp.

Without them in my opinion it’s like going out with a full face of make up and forgetting the lipstick.

Hillary’s finials add a” wow” factor to any lamp.

The thing about decorating is that most of us don’t have unlimited funds.  So make purchases that are small but have a big impact.  Accessories such as a new piece of pottery,  plant in a new vessel, or throw pillows which can breath some life into a tired couch and can really make a difference.

So one weekend, a little $ and my Family Room has a new look.

Even Pablo likes it!

xoxo Carrie & Mr. P

Fall Decor Galore

I love fall.

It has always been my favorite season.

Pumpkins, Gords, Cider, Ghosts and Ghouls.

Sweater Weather

Football

Colorful leaves

Soup

Halloween!

Our neighborhood goes crazy on Halloween. Neighbors set up a huge Bouncy House,  show Horror Movies in the Driveway,  there’s an outside bar for parents where they can grab a roadie while the trick or treat with the kids.  I have a ton of people over, swing open the front door, order a ton of pizza and stock the bar and everyone uses our house as home base.

              Last year we went through 18 pounds of a candy.

This year I jumped the gun a bit on the decorating and had the house done by October 1st.

Perhaps I was rebelling against the heat wave outside hoping that the thermometer would dip below 70.

I hit the bank busting Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch and the galley of paparazzi waiting to catch a celeb buying a pumpkin.

It’s a bit over the top.

But Caroline loves it and so do I.

And yes, I bought a $50 pumpkin.

I also love baking with Pumpkin this time of year.

I love pumpkin bread and muffins.

Pumpkin Pancakes.

Pumpkin Filled Ravioli with Fried Sage Butter.

 Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Soup.

Put a little Creme Fraiche and Caramelized Pepitas on top and it is delicious.

I also love the Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie recipe from the Seriously Simple Holidays Cookboook.

You can find Pumpkin Ice Cream seasonally and as soon as it has hit the freezer I create a reason to make this pie.

It is so easy and so simple.

Just like a lazy fall day.

How do you celebrate the season?

xoxox Carrie

Caroline’s Carnival

My daughter recently turned 5 and she decided she would like a carnival party for her classmates and neighbors.  I like a girl who knows what she wants.  So I went to work.

I ordered a ton of stuff from Shindigz, an on line party supply store.  We got a Pin The Tail on The Donkey, Bean Bag Toss Game, Egg and Spoon Race, Duck Fishing Game, Potato Sack Races and all the outdoor decor…a 5 Foot Carnival Barker, Banners, Welcome signs and my personal favorite, a Personalized Clown Photo Stand.  I had a big basket of red clown noses (also ordered from Shindigz) and all the kids took funny photos.

And a few adults….

 I enlisted two of my favorite 7 years olds Stella who did the Fortune Telling and Hazel who ran the face painting (along with my ever patient and devoted friend Olivia).  I also hired four 6th graders to help out with the games, to hand out prizes and to monitor the pinata whacking.  They were awesome!

The 6th Grade Posse from St. Marks


Hazel and Olivia working hard!

Now I had to figure out how to feed everyone. I decided to make it easy on myself and rented a Hot Dog and Cotton Candy Cart from Bart’s Carts.  Cotton Candy+5 year olds=heaven. We also had a vintage popcorn popper, animal crackers, and believe it or not some fruit and veggies made an appearance.

The first of Caroline’s three cotton candy servings.

Abel from Bart’s Carts Serving Up the Hotdogs.

I hit the 99 Cent store for prizes.  That is my go to place for kid parties and functions.  I loaded up on the prize buckets, plates, napkins, and pinata candy.  To avoid tears over lost loot bags I had each child decorate a paper bag with their name on it so they could keep track of them and made it easy for my helpers to find them.

The Prize Buckets

Potato Sack Races

The party ended with a clown Pinata and Carnival Cake.  It was a great day and Caroline had the time of her life.

 Caroline has already informed me she would like a unicorn party next year.

 So, does anyone know where to get a live unicorn?

xoxo Carrie

Hopping Down The Bunny Trail-Getting My Home Ready for Easter

I’m getting ready for  the Easter Holiday.

Here’s a sneak peak of what’s happening at my house.

I love my foil wrapped rabbits and chicks on the fire place mantle.  Adorable right?  They look exactly like the chocolate covered ones we all got as kids (I always bit the ears off and worked my way down) but this version is foil over wood so they are good to go year after year.

I added some pastel colored egg candles and baby blue painted mercury glass votives from Pottery Barn.The flower strand is a Target special from years back.  The brass vase is from Little India in Artesia.

When Spring is around the corner, I race to Trader Joes’s to buy them out of all their lavender Hydrangeas.  I find that Trader Joe’s has the best price in town on these beauties, $6.50 which is a steal compared to the $19.99 price at Whole Foods.

 I have two huge terra cotta planters on either side of my front porch, each containing 5 plants.  I also have pots lining my driveway way and in the car port.  Even with 16 and counting planters I still want more, more, more.

Add some pastel roses or any spring time colored flower to a table and viola’ you are in the Springtime mood.

I love my alabaster eggs, the colors inside of my malachite bowl are amazing.  It’s like I left them in the  green and blue Paz egg coloring for 6 months.  I also love how they look in front of my gorgeous new lamp from Nickey Kehoe.

I got this wreath at Rolling Greens, my go to store for garden and holiday decor.

They have two locations now, so it is easier to support my “must decorate for every holiday habit”.

I would love to see or hear about your  Spring/Easter decorating ideas!

xoxo carrie

Top Photo: Peeps & Company

Saturday Night Dinner Party

www.cocodot.com

Saturday Night Dinner Party

Dinner for 6

Mood

Comfortable and Casual

Roaring Fire

Backgammon and Scrabble

Dress Code

Flannel Pajama’s

Bath Robes

Slippers

Stubbs & Wooten

Menu

Comfort Food

Chicken and Dumplings

Bibb Lettuce Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Root Beer Floats

Flowers

Ranunculus in simple vases

Music

The Alabama Shakes

Table

www.barneys.com

ttp://www1.bloomingdales.com

www.fabricsandpapers.com

The Take Away

Mariebelle Hot Chocolate

Williams Sonoma

xoxo Carrie