1/7/17

Simple Ideas for Winter Decor


When the holidays are over and the Christmas tree and decorations are taken down and removed, our homes can all of a sudden feel so bland and plain.  But this is a perfect time to embrace the beauty of the winter season and leave little glimpses of  it around our homes.

When you think about winter, what thoughts come to your mind?  I always think about the possibility of snow and ice and the beauty found in nature during this time of year.  I also think about reading a good book in the coziness of my warm home and surrounding myself with simple pleasures like candles, fuzzy throws and pillows, and of course, a good cup of coffee.

I've had some questions and comments about my winter decor, so I thought I'd share a few tips and photos with you of how I bring winter into my home after the holidays.

I hope it encourages you to do a little decorating around your home as well and embrace the winter season for its beauty and simplicity.


Glass, silver, and pewter are perfect pieces to use in vignettes around your home this time of year.  I love to fill my pie safe in the kitchen with silver trays, glass accessories, and pieces of pewter I've collected over the years.  The white-washed pie safe showcases the pieces and brings on the look of a snowy winter wonderland.


A simple white pompom garland draped across the front plays off the snow theme as well as the snow owl on the bottom shelf nestled in a nest of faux snow balls.


My breakfast room table holds a white tray filled with silver and white pieces: a white deer bookend, winter scented candle, and a tree and candle holder made of mercury glass.  A child's wooden tool box holds pine boughs with snow dusted pine cones.


In the living room, my winter mantel showcases a white and silver floral wreath from Michael's hanging over a neutral color framed mirror.  A country clock, old books, log candle holders, and other white accessories complete the look.  


Nothing says warm and cozy like a nice fur throw and pillow. I keep throws in a basket for those chilly nights and there are plenty of pillows on the sectional to relax on or enjoy a short winter nap. 


Another snow covered pine candle wreath sits on the foyer table


During the holidays, I fell in love with making snow globes. I decided to keep them out a little longer and enjoy them this winter season on the bar cart in the living room.  It will probably be the only snow we see this winter :(


Last year at Target, I found the cute little white deer and fox and they're hanging out for a while as well.  A glass hurricane lamp sitting on a silver plate holds clear glass ornaments on the bottom shelf.


And nothing says cuddly and warm like our furry babies enjoying a nap on a cold winter day.  
And I think I'll join her right now :)  



Enjoy the season.....it'll be spring before we know it!

12/31/16

Kitchen Desk Turned Coffee Bar



Months ago, I got the idea to transform a rarely used area of my kitchen into a coffee bar.  When you have a coffee maker and a Keurig, as well as regular hot cocoa and tea drinkers visit your home, it's nice to have an area to house supplies for all of these things.

When we built our home eight years ago, we converted an open space into a desk area for our then desk top computer (does anyone still use those?).  I guess we might still would for convenience if ours still worked, but it died.  And so did the printer in there.



Since we all have laptops, iphones, and ipads now, that desk area was just becoming a catch-all for junk.  When we finally got around to removing the computer and printer, I remembered seeing Katie with Bower Power convert an area like this into a coffee bar and I loved the idea!

Well, months later, I finally got this project completed.  When Dillan was home for Christmas holidays, he and Scott helped get rid of/hide all the cords.  And then the fun started for me!


Without using this as a desk, we were able to unplug the lamp (plan to install under cabinet lighting), and the paper shredder, and even realized we should move the wireless internet router to the top of the refrigerator out of the way.

my hired help :)

I moved the magnetic board and calendars off the refrigerator as well and Scott plans to install a small piece of sheet metal inside the far right upper cabinet to post those important phone numbers and what have you.  In case you're wondering, all those upper cabinets hold decorative items and extra dishes and serving pieces when not in use.  You can NEVER have too many cabinets, right? 


hiding all the cords


While doing some after Christmas shopping, I found the cute "Treat yo Self" canister and the little white tea canister at Home Goods.  I purchased the log pieces at Hobby Lobby for each coffee maker to sit on and to hold the tea, honey, sugar cubes, and dish of candy.  The "but first coffee" sign also came from Hobby Lobby.


My two-tiered tray holds containers of marshmallows and chocolate/caramel chips to add to hot cocoa.  I'm still looking for a white container to house the cocoa but for now it's labeled in a clear canister.  


 This cute little broom hanging like a tassel on the tray is a gift from my in-laws from their trip to the mountains this summer. It's actually a pot scrubber, but I would never in a million years use it for that.  It's hand made and so cute hanging there as a conversation piece.


I love how this area turned out!  It's so nice having these items in one space.  And can I tell you, this is my first Keurig.  I know right.  Hard to believe. When they first came out, I didn't want one because I thought it would be a waste of time just making one cup of coffee at a time. (I drink 4 cups every morning before doing anything).  But I recently decided it wouldn't be an inconvenience at all and I'm so in love with it!  Now I'm obsessed with all the different types of coffee/tea I can use with it.


We'll still use the two desk drawers and upper cabinets like we have been, but Dillan suggested turning the empty space under the desk into an area for Lucy's dog bed.  I'm seriously thinking about that since we put her in the kitchen behind baby gates when we're gone.  We always have to move her bed from the living room to the kitchen, so this would be very convenient.  What do y'all think?  Would it look out of place or could I fix the area up to make a cute little place for her to rest?

Also, the bottom cabinet has held office supplies and such that we will be moving.  I can always use the space to store trays and extra serving pieces or appliances.  If you're one to enjoy wine or a nice mixed drink frequently, such a space could also be used to house alcohol.  And that would totally be appropriate for a bar area like this.  

I'd love to know what you think of the space.  Shoot me a quick email or reply in the comments for this post.

12/28/16

Christmas 2016: Pancakes and Polaroids


My family and I had another great Christmas this year.  As always, it comes and goes so fast and I'm always left feeling a little sad when it's over.  There's just something special about spending time with family this time of year.  Thankfully, Dillan is still able to be home for the Christmas holidays and we always enjoy having some quality time with him as well.

         

I guess you could say, we officially kicked off the holiday weekend with our annual themed Christmas party.  It will forever be impossible to beat our Whoville theme last year (you can read all about it HERE).  But this year's Pancakes and Pajamas theme was so much fun!  It was also easy to pull off and didn't require alot of extra decorating or special dishes for a meal.  And let's face it....sometimes the easy things are just what's needed for the time.
 
                                   

We usually have a backdrop in the garage for family pictures, but decided to just use the Christmas tree/mantel area in the living room this year.  Again, it was just the easier thing to do this year as we were pressed for time.

                                    

We keep a box of props in the attic and always have fun pieces to use for our pictures.

Me and my sisters: Shaana, Suzanne, and Lisa
                           

the grandchildren
                           
On Christmas Eve, our church held a candlelight service and we observed the Lord's Supper.  It was a very special time and I'm so glad we could attend as a family.  Without any other obligations that night, we were able to go home after the service and enjoy a nice meal and relax until bedtime. Even though Dillan is 22 years old, I always make him go to bed before us so Santa can come :)  His gifts from Santa are wrapped in advance under the tree, but stocking stuffers are put out last minute.....and I don't want him to see it until the next morning....LOL!




I found myself reminiscing about Dillan's first Christmas and looked at a couple of his personalized books given to him at 9 months of age by one set of grandparents.  So sweet!

                    

I love my little family so much and thank God for them every day.  I can't image my life without them in it.

                             

Dillan got a Polaroid camera for Christmas and we had alot of fun with it.  In case y'all can't tell, we LOVE pictures!

                       

We always enjoy having lunch with my mom and sisters and their families on Christmas Day.  We sure miss our daddy alot, but I have to say that it gets a little easier over time.  It's just the new normal, I guess.  So thankful to still have our mom and hope we do for many, many years to come.

the Futch girls with our mom


Me and Dillan
                                 
The day after Christmas was spent with Scott's family. We enjoyed lunch with all of them as well.  In addition to other gifts, his parents also give us several gift cards each to enjoy and we always have so  much fun hitting the after Christmas sales the next day.  As a matter of fact, Scott, Dillan, and I shopped for about 7 hours that next day and also enjoyed a great meal at Outback before returning home.  I realize how lucky I am that my guys love to shop with me.  That's so rare, I know, and I count my blessings every time because we have so much fun together.

                                   

So today started the process of doing some purging and reorganizing.  Taking down Christmas is a slow process for me.  I like to leave the tree up til New Year's, but I work on getting other rooms in the house back to normal.

In the middle of all of that today, I also worked on setting up a coffee bar in my kitchen. I can't wait to show you how it's turning out, so be checking Instagram for updates.  Until then..........

12/23/16

Christmas Candy with Cap'n Crunch

                                

We have a tradition around here of making candy for a few families that we've gotten to know over the years through football.  The Mister is a volunteer and helps out on the side line at our local high school games and we enjoy sharing this candy with some dear and special families.  

I was given this recipe, I don't know how long ago, and it's my go-to every year for easy, delicious candy.  Here's what you need to make Cap'n Crunch Candy:

                                

Ingredients:
1 package almond bark (you can also use vanilla or white chocolate candy coating)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup tiny marshmallows
1 1/2 cups Cap'n Crunch cereal

Mix the peanuts, marshmallows, and cereal together in a large bowl and set aside.

Melt the almond bark and peanut butter together.  (I put mine in the microwave and heat for 3 1/2 minutes, stirring half way through).  You can also do this in a crock pot or on the stove if you prefer. Be sure to cut up the almond bark into pieces so it melts faster.

When melted, pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well.

Drop by tablespoon onto wax paper and allow it to cool/harden. 

                                   

If you Google the recipe, you will also find several other variations of this candy.  Some include vanilla or use peanut butter Cap'n Crunch.  You could even leave out the marshmallows if you don't like them.  I actually used to use more marshmallows, but 1 cup seems perfect to me.  

                                       

Package them in some pretty bakery boxes or canisters and you have a sweet and simple gift!  Enjoy!


12/21/16

Christmas in Wildwood




Merry Christmas and welcome to Wildwood Estates.  So glad you stopped in to take a peek at my home for the holidays.


I love Christmas and enjoy adding festive little touches of the season around my home each year. Some years, that means less is more.  And this was one of those years.


If you're like me and love everything about decorating and design, you probably spend alot of time like I do looking at the beautiful homes of other bloggers on Instagram.  Just as there are so many different styles of decorating, there are many ways to decorate your home for the holidays as well.


I'm a firm believer in using what you have and doing what you love!  When you don't break the bank to decorate and use items and pieces that you enjoy, you can't go wrong.


If I had to classify my Christmas decorating style, it would be traditional with a little vintage-eclectic vibe to add color and whimsy.  I also love the snow inspired themes with lots of shiny metals!  So as you walk through my home, you'll probably find a little of everything.




Up until last year, I've always used white lights on my Christmas trees.  Last year I was inspired by the multi-colored Christmas ornament wreath from Target and decided to also add color lights to my pre-lit tree.  You can't tell alot about it here, but I love how the pops of color from the lights compliment the many colors of ornaments. What you can tell is that a small section of lights at the top of the tree decided to go out :(


While I love so many types of Christmas trees, I always look forward to using the ornaments I have been collecting over the years.  I collect ornaments from vacation trips and have saved all of Dillan's 1st Christmas ornaments.  I love the hand made ones from his childhood and those that were given as gifts.  I've grown especially fond of sweet little ornaments that are reminiscent of that childlike faith and the belief in the magic of Christmas.  I picked up these two at Target on Black Friday this year and love them so much!



I have a large collection of nutcrackers, but I always put these two near the Christmas tree.  Have you guys ever seen the Nutcracker Ballet?  It's so awesome!  I've been fortunate enough to see it a few times and it's always breathtaking!


I also have a collection of Santas scattered around my home as well.


Something new I did this year was make my very own version of snow globes. I love the bottle brush trees and used them along with some old ornaments.  I even found a cute little gingerbread house at the Dollar Tree and it was perfect for a small snow globe!


As much as I love everything about Christmas, what I love most is the true meaning of Christmas.  I have 5 nativity sets that I spread throughout the house to help remind us of the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of our Lord and Savior, JESUS!


This summer, Scott and I added some open shelving above the bar in our kitchen.  I'm loving having this extra space to decorate for the seasons and different holidays. 



A hot cocoa station is a must for me every year.  The kids (and teens) in our family have come to look forward to helping themselves to a cup of hot chocolate at their visits.  Everything is set up in that one area for their convenience. 


In the breakfast area, I keep things simple and sweet.  I don't think any of my tables are ever the same from year to year.  I love playing around with what I have and trying new looks.  The Christmas dishes on this table are from the Dollar Tree.  I've had them for years and still love them!  



My pie safe is another area that I decorate year round.  After Christmas, I'll start swapping things out for a more wintry look.  Wintry....is that a word?


Just a reminder.... you don't have to spend alot of money to add a touch of Christmas to your home. You can purchase a cute set of Christmas dishes at your local dollar store usually. Also, look at thrift stores, and yard sales.  Everything doesn't have to match perfectly.  As a matter of fact, I'd prefer that it didn't.  I'd like to add more pieces to my set, so that may be something I look for at our next Peaches to Beaches trip. 



I love that my dining room is next to the breakfast area.  It's nice to have two groups of people still close together at large family gatherings.  But because they're two separate rooms, I usually do something more formal in the dining room.  We've repainted our kitchen and living room since we moved in our home, and the dining room is next on the list.  But I still love the red and you can't beat a red dining room at Christmas time!


I love live greenery and fresh flowers, but I've chosen to go with artificial the last few years.  We usually have a Christmas party and because I decorate early, I don't like having to replace greenery that's died.  Plus, you can find beautiful artificial flowers at places like Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and even the craft section of Walmart.


Well, that about concludes the tour of my holiday home.  There are other rooms with a little bit of Christmas, but I mostly decorate the main living areas.


I hope you enjoyed the tour.  I've also included some links below for you to check out the homes of some of my favorite bloggers.  Just click on the link and enjoy more Christmas holiday inspiration!

Merry Christmas!