Christmas at the New Place

This year has flown by so fast that I still feel like we just moved in, even though it was really more than 8 months ago! But your first Christmas in any house is always a bit of a trick to figure out where your decorations fit best… and even more importantly… WHERE DOES YOUR TREE GO!??! Some houses have an obvious place (i.e. in front of your beautiful picture window) but ours… not so much.  In fact, I don’t think our house has a place for a tree at all!! But we scootched around some tables and seemed to have made it work.  And I’m so pleased with the way the house turned out, that I thought I’d share it with you all! Christmas with Amusing MJ |

The tree ended up going in the nook on the way to Taylor’s bedroom, and I love that she stops to look at it as she wanders back and forth into her room (it also DEFINITELY means that the only ornaments on the bottom 2 feet of the tree are toddler friendly!)  If you notice in the above picture that there are only two stockings, that is because somewhere in the move, Taylor’s stocking is MIA.  So I kinda need to get on ordering her a new one.  HOWEVER, my sister-in-law bought her two giant Santa sacks from Pottery Barn last year, so we may end up using that  for the year.

Christmas with Amusing MJ |

I love these two metal reindeer, I think from Crate and Barrel a few years back, but they look super cute standing at attention on my breakfast table.

Christmas with Amusing MJ |

And then my nativities that I have decorating our space this year.  The one in the upper right hand corner is hand carved in the Holy Land, which was a gift from my grandmother, and the bottom is just a Willow Tree nativity, but I love the simplicity of it.  It has always been a favorite of mine.  If you are new around here, you might be interested to know that my mom has a nativity collection that numbers somewhere in the 300+ range that she decorates with every year.  If you want to read the posts about it, I have written about her Swedish Christmas decor, her vast nativity collection, and the weirdest ones she has (including ducks and moose).

We did discover that our house is too tall to reach safely even with our largest ladder (thank you basements in Kansas), so after calling around to a few professionals and figuring out that it is 1. too late for that and 2. too expensive, we decided just to wrap our lovely evergreen, add a few lighted wreaths to our front window and a wreath to the door and call it good.  We at least don’t look like Scrooge.   Christmas with Amusing MJ

The above photo was taken before the addition of the Santa Bow to my evergreen wreath–speaking of– did you know that some boy scout troops (at least the one based out of our church) sell evergreen wreaths shipped fresh from the pacific northwest for pretty cheap?  I love how the fresh wreath looks and it smells UNBELIEVABLE!!

Christmas with Amusing MJ

And we definitely got in the spirit of Christmas last week because I attended a Christmas ornament and cookie exchange party, so I whipped up some gingerbread cookies from my favorite food blogger (Gimme Some Oven) and they made the whole house smell delicious!

Christmas with Amusing MJ |

So it is the first week of December and I’ve made my first batch of Christmas cookies, wrapped a few presents, decorated the house, and remembered to take pictures and blog about it… So I’m feeling a bit like superwoman these days.  Oh and I did it all with a nasty cold.  #winning


Here is to a wonderful advent, a magical Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas at the Casa

Moving two weeks before Christmas is a little insane. No, not a little insane… A LOT insane.  So our strategy was basically to just survive and to work on the areas we most needed: kitchen, living room, dining room, our bedroom and closet.  But we left areas like our offices, crafts & fabrics, garage, etc all packed up and ready to deal with at a later date ( I originally said after the new year, but since we are after the new year and I don’t see me dealing with all that in the near future we are going to just say… in the future).

I did find a few Christmas boxes when we were unpacking and talked Reese into buying a last minute Christmas Tree from none other than my favorite Orange Big Box Store, Home Depot.  We decided to go cheap and small and went with a 5 foot tree (which fits since both Reese and I top out just over 5′) and we ended up loving it so much I think we’ll stick with that size from now on!



That combined with my already red decor (and kitchen that is currently painted red)  means that the house looked halfway Christmas-y. Which is good because that is where we ended up having my family’s Christmas.  And it felt good spending the few days surrounding Christmas not worrying about unpacking or what updates we need to do when.


This next picture is the front living/dining room at the house, I actually hosted 10 people for dinner on Christmas Eve, so having the large room worked out pretty well! I should have taken a picture of it when it was all set with my china and a 12 days of Christmas tablecloth from Williams Sonoma, but alas, I was enjoying the time with my family and didn’t grab a photo.


We still don’t have any pictures actually hung up in the house, but the 6 poinsettias that the youth at our church sell as a fundraiser did a good job of brightening the room up.


For Christmas my mother-in-law and I schemed together to get the arcade machine that my husband had redone in college moved into our house, and so the majority of our Christmas holiday the boys spent doing this:


My dad loved playing Galaga like he had done as a kid, but my husband is still clearly the reigning champ… which my mother would say is a sign of a misspent youth.

Speaking of my mother, it was so fun to have them come and see the new house and spend Christmas down in Texas with my brother and I and our spouses.  We did manage to snap a photo of them in front of our Christmas tree… how cute are they??



So I’m alot late in posting this Christmas recap, but better late than never right??


I feel like I have started just about every post this year apologizing that I have been busy and time got away from me so I haven’t posted lately! And today is really no different. I think it has just been one of those years for me! And I hope that things will calm down for me soon… but all evidence is to the contrary! But in the meantime, I’ve been working on a few projects I’ll share with you! Just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I have quit working on projects… it just means they take 3x as long to complete!!

And since it is October, that means Halloween is just around the corner! Halloween is one of my favorite holiday’s of the year (there aren’t many that I don’t love… but I do love Halloween) and I have thrown a Halloween party the last three years, and this year will be no different! I’ve already mailed out invites and am starting to work on a few crafty things to prepare for the party.

I stopped by TJ Maxx Homegoods a couple weeks ago (I told you projects take longer than they used to…) and found these gold beauties for $4.99 a piece. And bad blogger, I forgot to take a before picture with the glass in them! Scroll down to see what the orangish glass looks like if you want to have the proper mental image in mind.


Well gold isn’t really my style, but I knew a quick coat of spray paint and they would be perfect for my front porch for Halloween! So I hauled them out into my front yard (I’m sure my neighbors love me).  And gave them a quick coat of black metallic spray paint, along with what will eventually be the shelves in the husband’s study (which is seriously the longest room transformation EVER).  So just ignore those pieces… and focus on the spiderwebs.


And then I let them dry, replaced the glass, and presto change-o they look perfect on my front porch! And I think they’ll look even better on Halloween all lit up!



Stay tuned this week to see a few more things I’ve been working on!