December 17, 2015

Traditional Christmas {Our Living Room}

Growing up during the holidays was a magical time for me. I have so many wonderful memories of coming home from school and seeing my mom decorating one room after another. It never all happened in one day, and each year she always added something new and exciting to our Christmas decorations, yet the traditions always remained the same....
I have come to realize that my way of decorating for the holidays has evolved to be the exact same way. I think this is why I really don't like to start decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Maybe it's also because I feel time really went by much slower growing up. There was no "mad rush" into the holidays, but more of something to look forward to. I want that for my children, especially in this fast paced world we live in now a days. I want this time of year to be as special and magical for my children as it was for me....
Today I am sharing our traditional Christmas living room.
There's really nothing fancy in the space. It's the room we are in most often and must remain functional for our family....
 
Every year we always get a real tree. Growing up my mother would put a real tree in our play room and a more formal "themed" artificial tree in the formal living room. We would refer to that tree as "Mommy's tree".  The playroom was very large with twelve foot ceilings so as you can image the tree was always huge!! That was the family tree with all home made ornaments and each year my mom would add a fun theme. I remember one year, some how she added a working train that went around the tree!! Our tree in our living room reflects our family and has mostly handmade ornaments dating back to when I was a child up until today with ornaments I make each year for my children and nieces and nephews.
This is one of my favorite spots in our entire home. I can see into my kitchen and dining room from this cozy corner. I went with a black and red theme in this space and I'm loving it! I like to décor in this space to be cheerful. I love neutrals, but I want it to be as festive as possible for the little ones! I've collected a ton of pillows over the years. The cute little black and white polka dot pillow I found in the clearance section of Home Goods! It was in perfect condition, the only thing was it had purple strings on it along with the red. I just cut off the purple ones and tied the red ones into little bows! So perfect and for only $3.00 a pillow it was a perfect score!!

I am so happy with how this antique mantle turned out! I was really in rough shape when I found it. I gave it a good cleaning, painted it a bright white and distressed only the top and bottom. It is absolutely perfect on this wall! And of course I has to jump on the Target ski bandwagon! A good friend of mine that lives in North Carolina actually picked up two pares and mailed them up to me since my local Target was sold out!! I found the adorable mittens on Etsy and the glitter letter in from Pottery Kids.
I adore this little angle. It sits on the antique mantle I found and made over. I made this cute little countdown ornament from a piece of pre-cut wood I found in the lumber sections at Home Depot. I love that it can stand on it's own or you can hang it!
 
Here is another view of the mantle with my mitten garland. The greens are from our boxwood bush in the front yard! I was so excited when I found that adorable quote from Elf at Home Goods! It was hidden away in the clearance section!! Not sure why because it's perfect!! The Santa clause lane sign was custom made by HelloShoppe on Etsy.




Another countdown ornament.... I made this one for us.
Yes, I have a secret obsession with chalkboards. Ok, it's not a secret but it's for sure an obsession!


 
And there you have it! Our cozy, traditional Christmas living room!
I'm happy to answer any questions you may have! I love hearing from you! Just leave the question in the comments below and I will be sure to answer and quickly as possible!
You can follow me on Instagram to see what I'm up to in between posts. 
Be sure to stop by again next week, I'll be sharing photos of my country Christmas kitchen!!
Have a great rest of the week!!

Linking up with:

Meadow Lake Road 
 

December 11, 2015

New Christmas Tradition {The Jesse Tree}

*This post contains affiliate links*
Every year as my children grow older, the more important it is to me that they become more aware of our beliefs and what better way to teach them than through traditions.
This year I decided to start a new advent tradition where the focus wasn't just a countdown to Christmas day, but more rather a countdown to the birth of Jesus. I mean after all he is the reason for the season. My daughter who is seven has also started becoming more aware of the Bible and how Jesus came to be our Lord and Savior. Not all of this can be easily to explain to a child so I did some research and I discovered the Jesse Tree.
Jesse Trees are a very old Christmas Tradition and first started in medieval times. The tradition is used as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. They are used to help tell the story of the Bible from creation to the Christmas story using twenty-five symbols each representing a story from the Bible. I went on countless websites and there are so many explanations and ways to go about it that I decided to purchase a book called The Advent Jesse Tree. It is a very easy read and I love that it has devotions for both adults and children.
 I had the intention of making my own ornaments, but in doing research it is a lot of work and making twenty-five ornaments was just a little more than I wanted to take on, so I went on Etsy and came upon the most adorable handmade ornaments.
 

Baby What Knots

As soon as I saw them I knew they were just perfect!
I purchased them from Baby What Knots on Etsy!! I purchased the vellum sticker ornaments which are just as gorgeous in person. The ornaments also match the devotions in the The Advent Jesse Tree book which also was a plus and made it so much fun!







 
These ornaments are amazing and so life like. My daughter actually looks forward to opening the advent bag to see what the next advent story brings. It is so exciting for her to be able to understand the meaning of the stories with these ornaments.
 
 

I put each ornament in one of these muslin bags with a few pieces of candy. It is such a great feeling to have meaning to something which once was just a bag filled with goodies counting down to Christmas. Now it is a bag filled with meaning....
 
 
There is a reoccurring theme in this room which really holds so much meaning and it all revolves around the true meaning of Christmas.
 

 
Traditions are for keeping and this is one tradition that I pray will remain in our family for decades to come. I would love for you to share your favorite holiday traditions!!
If you missed my Christmas vignette you can find that post here.
To start you own Jesse Tree advent tradition you can purchase the ornaments found in this post here.
Have a wonderful weekend!
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

December 9, 2015

Christmas Vignette {Keeping it Simple}

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. There are so many memories and traditions that are near and dear to my heart and I feel tremendously blessed to be able to share those memories and traditions with my children.
This year I wanted to keep things simply stated and meaningful. My two favorite traditions during the holidays growing up were our advent calendar and our manger. This year I started a new tradition in our family with our advent calendar, which I will be sharing with you later this week. Today I wanted to share the simple Christmas vignette I created. I just love the fact that my children are able to admire it. It is very important to me when decorating that I keep my children in mind. Everything needs to be realistic and functional when a seven and three year old are involved. My kids love this little space and I hope you do too...
 





 



What do you think?
I am so happy with how it turned out.
 The one big project was the XL chalkboard, which was really super easy and very inexpensive to do! The only other purchases I made for this space were the angle and the manger, both of which I found on Etsy! Everything else I had already. The manger figures were mine from when I was a little girl. My mom and I purchased them together at Woolworths more than twenty eight years ago! They are plastic and really can't be broken (unless given to the dog to chew on!) which is great because my kids love playing with them, and that was extremely important to me when I planned out this vignette. I wanted to be sure my kids would enjoy it and at the same time I wanted it to reflect the season and why we do all these things. And of course I had to throw the "Elf" in there... Another new tradition to look forward to each year!
I want to be sure that my children grow up understanding why we celebrate Christmas and, as cliché as it may sound, that Jesus IS the reason for the season. That is also why this year I decided to implament another new tradition to our advent calendar tradition. If you are unfamiliar with the Jesse Tree be sure to stop back on Friday as I will be sharing more details about it!
See you then!!

Linking up with:

Meadow Lake Road
 


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