Monday, April 3, 2017

Catching Up: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & Valentine's Day

Wow. I know I say this every single time I post but, long time no see! I wish I had a legitimate excuse for being SO incredibly bad at keeping up with my blog but..I really don't. Somehow I let all of my favorite holidays pass right on by without even thinking to do one measly decor post. For shame! Well, at this point I am actually on spring yes spring break and I figured what better to do with this extra time I've got on my hands than finally do some holiday decor blogging?! Better late than never...right? Honestly, in this case the never might have been the better option. Oh well. Here we go anyways. 

Something I have really tried to do this past year is simplify my decor. Not just holiday, but everything. I'm not sure what prompted it but I have never loved the way our home looks and feels more. I have tried to keep my favorite holiday pieces and not feel the need to buy a ton more each time a new season rolls around. It's funny, as I gathered the pictures from this past holiday season for this post, I realized how much I actually already want to rearrange for decorating next year.

ANYWHO, how about I hush and let's jump into Halloween...shall we?

Okay this has absolutely nothing to do with our home but I took it at the fair at the beginning of October and I just really loved it so I threw it in there. *Ahem* back to Halloween. So, I really don't have a whole lot of Halloween decor and that is fine by me. I've never really done spooky. Growing up, my Mom never did either. My siblings and I never dressed up in scary costumes, we never had a lot of horror movie-esque decor, and we always just left the focus on getting candy and having fun. I like to use jack-o-lanterns and bats to emphasize the time of year without getting too much into the creepy side of Halloween decorating.

I actually picked up a set of these ADORABLE ceramic pumpkin bakers from World Market in ORANGE at the end of the season last year (on clearance, woo!) so I already plan to use those on the mantle for Halloween instead of my green and white this year. I know, it's April. Calm down, Ashley, calm down.

Both the Boo Marquee and the adorable bats (in both of these pictures) are from the love of my entire life, Target. The marquee was something I actually bought on clearance in 2015 and the bats were from...get this...drum roll please...THE ONE SPOT. The one spot is my best friend. Forever and ever. Amen.

Last but not least, y'all know my little hutch has to be updated for every single holiday. My jack-o-lantern plates were originally from Pottery Barn. I got them on eBay for a steal. The candy corn candle is easily my favorite thing ever and it came from a store in our tiny mall back in Athens called Earth Bound (yes, literally bought the candle in college because I have always loved holidays and I am that weird). The only thing that I forgot to take a picture of that I am so sad about was my jack-o-lantern string lights that I LOVE and have also had since college. My mom has ALWAYS strung jack-o-lantern string lights from her mantle at Halloween and my freshman year of college, she bought me a set to hang up in my dorm. Have I mentioned my love for holidays and holiday decorating comes from my Mom? I have? A million times? Well, it's true. Plus of course I couldn't not throw my Rae Dunn mugs in there because...Rae Dunn.

Oh! Almost forgot our little fall porch. Sadly, my smaller pumpkin did not survive the season. I literally have no idea what happened to him but he got broken somehow so I'll have to replace him next year! Why am I referring to a plastic pumpkin as a him? Hm. Whatever.

Alright! Moving right along to Thanksgiving. Once again, I don't have a whole lot of Thanksgiving decor but the one thing I do focus on in November is COPPER. I love copper. This year I actually scored some copper pumpkin plates (be still my heart) from Michaels of all places! I totally put them in my hutch for the season because they totally matched my copper Give Thanks banner from Target last year. It was pure copper perfection.

See? Bless. Also in my hutch I have my precious pilgrim salt & pepper shaker family from Publix and my adorable new (well, they were new back in November anyways...) pumpkin soup bowl and butter dish from the Better Homes and Gardens collection at Walmart.

For my Thanksgiving mantle. I just threw some cute little distressed turkeys I got from Marshalls last year in with my world market pumpkins and called it done. Lastly. I strung up my favorite white pumpkin garland (also from Marshalls last year) over the bay window in our breakfast nook. Plus once again, Rae Dunn.

Okay! Finally, onto the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas! I feel like this was the holiday that I really simplified this year. I tried to focus on all natural greens and white winter tones. I feel like Christmas decorating can get really busy really fast and I really wanted to avoid putting something in every nook and cranny. I actually really loved the way it turned out and I hope you do too!

Per usual, I'll start with the mantle. This year, I used the snowy garlands I got from Michaels last year (for less than $10 a piece, score!) and opted to add some electric candles with silver bases from Hobby Lobby rather than the traditional string lights. I really liked the soft light they gave and was happy with my little change here! I also scored these AMAZING white ceramic village houses from...once again...drumroll please...THE TARGET ONE SPOT. Holla! Picked these babies up on black friday and have never been more happy with an impulse buy. Lastly, I hung up my white cable knit stockings from Target a few years ago and called it done. Yes I added 2 we don't have 4 people living here...but I just really like the way 4 looked better. #designprobs

Next, enter my cheap, simple green wreaths from Hobby Lobby. I picked up 5 of these (for $6 a piece!) at Hobby Lobby while the Christmas decor was still 50% off. Double score! I ended up putting them EVERYWHERE around the house this season and I could not have loved them more. $30 very well spent, I'd say!

The only wreath that I did keep lit up was my giant walmart wreath on my giant window. I mean seriously, between the size of this wreath and the size of the bulbs on those string lights, this thing alone keeps our den well lit all season long.

Obviously, it wouldn't be a holiday without me switching out my Rae Dunn mugs and it wouldn't be Christmas without my (not famous but I wish they were) Christmas cookies. I make at least a dozen batches every season and give them out to friends and family. It really is the most wonderful time of year!

Okay, last but most certainly definitely completely totally not least. This year, M and I got a new tree. A new FLOCKED tree. Now I know there are a million flocked tree options out there and most of them are PRICEY. I feel like the brand I see floating around most on instagram is the King of Christmas flocked trees. They are absolutely gorgeous but for this preschool teacher, the price tag is WAY too high. This gorgeous tree (which I really regret not taking a full length picture of) is 7.5 feet tall, pre-lit, doesn't shed, and is from WALMART. Yep, you heard me right. Walmart. We bought it black friday weekend and it is my favorite thing ever! I highly recommend for next year if anyone is in the market for a flocked tree that won't break the bank.

Something I couldn't possibly leave out of this Christmas post is my gift from my brother's PRECIOUS girlfriend. She and her roommate teamed up to make me this AMAZING portrait of our house with adorable hand lettering that reads "Love dwells here". I am OBSESSED and it is still displayed right this second because it's perfection.

Oh and also, one more thing. One of my besties got me a GROUNDHOG ORNAMENT for my tree this year. It is the most extra and it is the best thing that's ever happened to anyone's Christmas tree ever. The end.

I was totally not even going to include this but VALENTINE'S DAY. I literally have like 1 thing that I used this year to decorate for this day of love and that was this adorable XO Marquee from Michaels. They had them clearanced right around February and I was like YES, PLEASE. Oh and of course Rae Dunn mugs because...obviously.

Alright guys, thanks so much for sticking around and feel free to judge me for doing a fall/winter holidays post in April...I am judging myself.

Happy End of Monday!

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