Have a Fabulous Weekend!

Christmas Puppy Awesomeness

Morning Y'all! The weekend is finally here. I have a wedding this weekend that I'm very much looking forward to (Wilson Phillips and Bieber have been promised by the bride).   I also hope to get a head start on our family's Secret Santa gift exchange.  We did it a couple years ago and it was so much fun! This year we used SneakySanta.com to draw names, since we couldn't all be together to actually draw names from a hat.  It's great because you can include a wishlist with links to things you want.  My youngest sister was all over that ;)  We also have really involved rules, too.  See here:

And you HAVE to follow them or you get the award for Grinch who stole Christmas, and we all live in fear of that title.  We take pictures and make a book out of it and it makes for a great Christmas memory.  I think it helps ease the pain of not having any kids who believe in Santa anymore.  My youngest sister, Laura, let us believe she believed in Santa until she was 16, but once it became clear we weren't fooling anyone we had to find a way to bring back Christmas magic. Anyway, I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend! I included some links to some of the gift guides I came across that had things I would actually buy on them.  Enjoy all these linkies with some spirited drinkies y'all!

If you watch this you will be happy all day - trust me

I love the design of the Laduree web site - tres fab

University offers stress-relieving puppy room during exams
File that under: total genius moves

Putting it out to the Universe - I would like to be a famous writer someday 
I wonder if there is an interest for a tome on my life with a toddler at Target 

GIFT GUIDE #3: For the Chef
note the placemats 

GIFT GUIDE #4:  Great ideas from friends of The Enchanted Home
including a fabulous blanket and monogrammed towels, which we desperately need 
A fellow blue and white lover shares her display

GIFT GUIDE #5: A really great Dude Gift Guide

Chinoiserie Nesting Tables for Cheap

GIFT GUIDE #6: For the Home 
love the monogrammed blanket and wall poster  

Do Your Eyes Light Up When You See Your Child? 
Always something I try to keep in mind 

Amanda from Dixie Delights always inspires me, especially her house all done up Christmas-style 

I'll take one cashmere party cardi in each color please
Credit: Thank you Leigh Burke for coining the term "part cardi"

* Next week: My Christmas Decorations, a pretty Kansas City home that happens to belong to one of Kip's bosses and a charity that I just found out my church does that you all should know about! 

Practicing my Gift Wrapping

I don't know about you but I have always considered myself to be a terrible gift wrapper. I almost always pass the duty on to my all suffering hubby. Well I've been practicing and I am actually getting pretty good at it, I think : ) I wanted to do something cute and color coordinated under the kitchen tree so I wrapped some random, empty boxes and added some super cute embellishments and voila! Now to keep Rhys from opening them and Princess from chewing the glittery doodads on top : )

I picked up some beautiful floral picks at Michael's the other day, all 50% off!! I think the ribbon was 50 or 60% off too which makes experimenting guilt free (relatively haha).

Just a few of the 'gifts" I wrapped under the tree. I've got more to do! I need elves ; )

How About We Not Go Bankrupt This Christmas

Ok y'all, I have about the same level of self-control when it comes to Christmas as this guy.  It doesn't help that Edward insists on watching Elf every morning when he wakes up.  Every. Morning.  It only feeds my enthusiasm.  So while everyone is sharing their gift guides (I'll link to some of my favorites tomorrow), I thought I'd share a couple ideas for Christmas decor that won't leave you completely broke before you even have a chance buy these gifts.

Most of it is from Target.  Why? Because shopping with a two-year-old is always a wildcard.  I need to be able to run 46 different errands in less that 25 minutes without getting Edward in and out of the car seat.  Enter Super Target.  I can keep him busy with a plastic tiger or dinosaur from the $1 bins, get a Starbucks, shop for groceries, baby stuff, clothes, shoes and holiday decor in one swoop.  The amount I spend at Target is a ridiculous, but necessary evil in my current situation.*

* Target absolutely did not pay for this semi-ringing endorsement.  I wish!

So here ya are, folks:

  1. Quilted Velvet Tree Skirt $30 - I bought this for under our tree in our kitchen.  I love the scalloped border and the white looks really pretty under the tree. 
  2. Red Gingham Wired Edge Ribbon $6.99 - Hobby Lobby is one of the most intimidating places on Earth, but they have lots of ribbon for not lots of money.  I went crazy with the ribbon this year, but more on that next week.  They also have a Hobby Lobby app that you can download on your phone and use to show them that 40% Off Coupon that you usually have to print out, but you always forget because who prints things anymore? Finally, Hobby Lobby is having 50% off all Christmas items.  
  3. Red Curled Wood Wreath $31.99 - Say that quickly 5 times.  I bought this for our front door.  It's a really bright, vibrant red that you can see all the way from space.  You'll see next week. 
  4. Gold Glitter Nutcracker $9.74 - I'm going to go get some today.  I love nutcrackers, except when they look angry.  I want them to look happy and gay, like these guys. 
  5. Land's End Needlepoint Christmas Stocking $29.50 - These would be a lovely placeholder until you finish the needlepoint stocking you are thinking of starting to make yourself.  I really need to get going on that.  We haven't actually had a family Christmas at home yet, instead switching off between families each year while we can.  But the time is coming for Edward to wake up Christmas morning in his own home.  It will be bittersweet for sure.  I'll need to have some proper family stockings by then. 
  6. Clear Acrylic Snowflake Tree Topper $20 - I have this for one of our trees, but I haven't put it up yet.  It's blingy, which I like.  
  7. Furbish "Jingle This" Handtowel $12 - Furbish is one of my favorite places to shop online and I'm still obsessed with this hand towel.  I think it's funny and holiday decorating should be funny sometimes.  
  8. Go to the grocery store, get some walnuts, put them in a glass hurricane with a white candle.  It looks festive and clever.  
  9. Royal Copenhagen Christmas Plate 1983 $25 - I love these because they're old school.  Also, because they're blue and white.  You can find them all over Etsy and Ebay.  You can hang them or use them on plate stands amongst the greenery to get your blue fix.  
Sorry, I didn't make it to 10.  The OCD in me is stressed by that, but the lazy part of me didn't want to deal with it.  I'm almost finished with my Christmas decorations, which I'll show you next week!  It occurred to me that we will probably live in this house for the next 30 years.  And while I could easily put a tree in every window, a wreath on every door and trim around every door frame, I need to save some things for next year and the year after.   That is soo hard for me to do, but we would like to buy presents for people and give to some charities, so I hold back ... for the children. 

    sketchbook drawing: tea bag

    Recent Decorating Pics

    I love this tabletop display in my front entryway. Vintage-look houses, bottlebrush trees and Santa highlighted by greens and, ever cheerful, multicolored lights. No LED allowed in this house ;-)

    I heart this! Big, glittery, vintage look ornament wall decoration. It is so cute and I've never seen anything like it which I love!! Not sure where I'll hang this guy yet...

    As I said, I love snow covered, paper houses. I grew up with vintage ones from the 1950's and it was love at first sight. I found this red one, along with the large vintage decoration above, at "Abundance" in Portersville, Pa. Amazing store especially at Holiday time!

    And finally, this cute centerpiece I made using mercury glass votives from Target (1.50 each), a silver charger from Target (1.99) and a bag of assorted glitter balls from Michael's that I got for 2.50. Note: whatever you do you must download the Michael's app to your phone!! Major coupons available I believe daily. And updates alerting you of upcoming sales. Love!!!

    Til next time, Stay Festive ; )

    website makeover!

    I've re-developed my website for a better sketchbook browsing experience, and fresh gallery view.  Check it out! 

    Best viewed in Chrome or Firefox :)

    Wordless Wednesday

    Finally My Kitchen Christmas Tree Reveal

    It's finally done, well sort of. It doesn't really "feel" done to me yet so I will more than likely be adding things throughout the season as I find them. I love trees that are jam packed, but not ridiculously overstuffed, with goodies. There's def a balance. For now, since I'm super tired and ready to move on to my living room tree and other projects, this is as good as it gets lol. I used many blown glass vintage ornaments from the 1930's that were made in the Ukraine. I was fortunate enough to win several boxes of them in an Ebay auction a few years ago. The rest of the ornaments are all from... you guessed it, Target. They have a gorgeous new line of vintage - look ornaments in beautiful pastels. balls, bells, candy canes and big , glittery snowflakes with tinsel accents. I used some beautiful, turquoise crystal bead picks to stick in the tree at various spots to fill it out and give it more depth. I especially love using the picks at the top of the tree around my vintage - look, silver glitter star topper.  I took a video because it captured the tree better than photos. I have zero idea why I didn't actually light the tree while I videotaped. Could be because it was 7am and I had a sleepless night. Unfortunately I have tried to upload the video, and that appeared successful, but I can't get it to play : -/  So for now I will post the video on my FB page and some pics here.  Enjoy : )

    The finished product. It turned out the way I had hoped and sits very pretty in our kitchen.

    Poinsettia are one of my favorite things about Christmas, I have always loved them. Pink and white are my favorite and look so sweet under a tree.

    I used some of the original vintage blown glass on this tree but saved most for our living room tree. I was trying to keep the color palette limited. I purchased most of these ornaments at Target. I love a good vintage reproduction and these are so lovely.

    Little touches of tinsel to make it sparkle

    Huge glittery snowflake ornament with tinsel accents-so sweet!

    Happy Tree Trimming!!

    Inspirations of Late

    Before I go all crazy Christmas lady on you, I wanted to share some images I've seen lately that I absolutely cannot get out of my head.  I picture these images whilst choreographing a dance routine to Kylie Minogue's Can't Get You Outta My Head.  For the record, my brain is in a constant state of choreography in addition to the images of Christmas, Edward's cute ham-hock legs, puppies and pretty decor rotating around up there.  So if anyone is ever wondering why I'm so spacey sometimes, that's why.  It's a lot. 

    Good God that door is beautiful!  That's what the entrance to Heaven will look like for me.

    via RDuJour

    via Paul Raeside

    via Habitually Chic

    via Habitually Chic

    via Eclechic
    via The Foo Dog Ate My Homework (if someone has an original source, please let me know)  

    I love the opulence of all of these images.  Even the spare, white bathroom has a shot of rich, cobalt blue and gold.  The black and gold desk is going on my wishlist for things I would like to have in my lifetime.  I'd like a small one for my bedroom or a larger one for the future library we're going to put in our formal living room. 

    Anyway, I just had to put those out there.  They are keeping me up at night.  How does one deal with so much prettiness in the world? (obviously if you're me, you start a blog about it and then write weird things in the white space)

    I'm almost finished putting up Christmas decorations! Also, we are painting the basement and I took a peek and I'm so in love with it. I'm having them paint everything Benjamin Moore Sage Tint - trim, doors and walls.  I could eat the paint I love it so much. Kip wasn't too sure about it, but I said, "trust me, my love, it will look amazeballs." (just kidding, I don't talk like that, I'm in a weird mood)  I'll share some sneak peeks on Facebook this afternoon! Have a loverly day!

    Ballard Designs

    I have been receiving the Ballard Designs catalog for years and spent many hours drooling over the pages; but, for some reason, never ordered. Well all that changed a couple of weeks ago. I finally , well Tim finally, removed our ugly living room ceiling fan. I had been wanting an amazing chandelier to take it's place. I didn't want to get one at a regular home store because sometimes they are somewhat ordinary and I wanted something a little different. I was thrilled to find The Lourdes Chandelier. So pretty, available in several sizes and quite inexpensive. Doesn't hurt if you have a Ballard coupon either, which I did : )  Because I had the coupon, I went a lil overboard and purchased some gorgeous bedding as well. Thank you Ballard!! Let the decorating begin!!

    Behold my new goodies : )

    Not the best pic, I will try to post only daylight shots from now on. A tip from friend and fellow blogger Alison Tweed Agnew of "Stuff and Nonsense".

    Morning Y'all!

    IIIITT'SS CHRIIIIIIISSTMAAAAAAS!!! (you know, in Oprah's voice)

    Y'all, I'm so excited.  I love Christmas.  It's the most wonderful time of the year.

    I can feel myself getting annoying about Christmas all ready.  I'm going to try to temper it when I write, but just know, in my head it's all candy canes and sugar plums (what are sugar plums).  My goal from here on out is to do something fun and Christmas-y everyday with Edward.  I want to take advantage of every moment I have with him, while he believes in magic, even though he doesn't totally get it yet.  Today, I'll be gathering some Christmas stuff and decking the halls.  I'll try and share bits here and there with y'all.

    I'm finding the process of decorating our new home for Christmas a tad overwhelming.  It's a different, more formal space than our previous house.  It's also bigger.  I want to do it justice without breaking the bank.  (Kip and I are in constant negotiation about how many a twinkle lights a tree needs)

    I'm inspired by the lights in my hometown:

    (images courtesy of my little sissy Laura) 

    How cute are my sisters y'all? 

    Elizabeth & Laura (a.k.a. Wizzie & Lulu)

    Kip knows that this is what I'm thinking when it comes to our house and it scares him.  So I'm going to have to compromise, but seriously, aren't the lights heavenly?

    Ok, I'll leave you with this:

    Trying to take our Christmas picture this weekend - not easy with a two-year-old

    More holiday inspiration to come this week!

    Have a lovely cyber-monday y'all!

    Lllllaaaazzzyyyy Sunday

    I basically got nothing done today : -/.  I did go to a clothing party for my sister which turned out to be pretty fun and eventful as I got a super cute jacket and a much needed formal winter coat. It is cut amazingly and feels like cashmere. Jockey-who knew? The best part was spending the afternoon with my sister because she is always there for everyone it was nice to be there for something that was important to her.

    So after a nap I took a quick run to Target and picked up a couple sets of pretty pastel ornaments. I'm hoping they will complete my tree. Tim built me a really nice platform to give it more height and drama it had nothing to do with keeping it out of Rhys' reach lol. He is busily covering it with a snow blanket as I type; such a sweetie! I have a suspicion thought that these last few sets will not complete my tree as it seems my design aesthetic, for Christmas trees that is, is "less is definitely not more!"

    The super pretty pastel balls I got tonight at Target. I think they were five dollars a box. They are plastic, which normally I would balk at, but they are so pretty and made well enough that you would never know. It helps that they are shatterproof and inexpensive. Makes me feel good that Rhys can't get hurt if he grabs one either. I always buy varying sizes and textures but keep the palette limited to four colors. Three seems not enough, five too many lol. I hope to have the tree completed by tomorrow with pics to follow. I hope you all are bustin out your decs and havin a blast!

    Trimmin Trees N' Such

     Busy day! I have my kitchen tree almost done and some tabletop displays finished. My fingers are covered in white spray paint which is always a good sign! One of the best things about decorating is all the cleaning and furniture rearranging that gets done simultaneously. Tim is upstairs cleaning the family room and rearranging furniture to make room for the LEGO table that is soon to be deposited up there. I'm super happy to get the table out of the living room as it drives me bonkers.I will be in a better mood daily when it is upstairs out of sight : )
    I have successfully tossed out any damaged ornaments and decorations or things we simply have no use for anymore and it feel soooo good. It is my plan to consolidate the eleven massive Rubbermaid containers we have storing the decs down to at least eight. I always feel like I can breathe when I toss old stuff. My sister and niece know, all too well, my "out with the old" philosophy. And they love me for it lol!! So here are some pics of my day so far. Let me know what you all think if ya have a moment. Hope your day was as productive and fun as mine : )

    This is a cute, little centerpiece I made with goodies from Target. I get creative at 3 am : )

    This is a closeup of the tree in my kitchen. It is almost complete. I wanted you all to see these amazing turquoise crystal spikes I bought. They look so cool poking out of the tree. It gives it a really fun, different look.

    Haha this is my hall filled with the Rubbermaid explosion! Eleven containers that I promise myself I will narrow down to 8.

    The kitchen tree almost complete.

    My super adorable nutcrackers from one of my fav stores: Abundance in Portersville, Pa. The have the most gorgeous and unique Christmas goodies. I will not miss their after Xmas sale!! I am planning on adding to my nut folk this year!!

    If you are around my age or older you will probably remember the old paper hoses we use to have under our Christmas trees. They were covered in faux snow and glitter and I loved my parents' so much! Well Target (big surprise I got them at Target), brought out a line two years ago and I bought a bunch. These are much bigger than the ones I had as a kid. I am soooo in love with them. This is a pic of two of them surrounded by vintage looking bottle trees (one of my favorite things) and a vintage looking glittery santa : )

    Let The Holidays Begin!!

    I hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as I did but now I'm ready to commence with my Christmas decorating!! Why yes this IS the most wonderful time of the year!!! We probably won't be able to put up the trees til Saturday, so for now I am adding little goodies here and there as I find and or buy them...more buy than find as of now ;-/ hehe.
    I got this tiny, sparkly snow fellow and shiny decorative assorted balls at Target and plopped them in one of my fave pottery bowls on a table in the entryway. I'm thinking I need a new camera as this does not look as shiny as it should hmmm...a possible Christmas gift from the hubs? I will probably end up spraying some of the balls myself with some white and silver spray paint. I'm pretty sure all of life's problems can be solved with a can of spray paint : )

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    sketchbook drawing : doodle

    The Definition of "Shiny"

    "Shiny", according to the dictionary, means : "full of or reflecting light".  I love shiny things and one of my favorites is tinsel.  Its glittery and pretty but kinda silly and cheesy at the same time. Tinsel reminds me of this blog, it doesn't take itself too seriously.  I hope it makes you laugh and brings you joy.     So when I speak of celebrating the shiny things,  it may be a child's smile, the companionship of  ever-faithful pets, a beautiful garden, delicious food, or a loving word. All of these things are "full of light"and "shiny", hence the name : )

     I hope you enjoy "Tinsel" as much as I enjoy sharing it with you.  xoxo ~ Melissa

    Have a Lovely Thanksgiving!

    Last year's Thanksgiving table from The Suze's house

    How excited are we to stuff our faces with turkey?  I love Thanksgiving.  I love to eat and be thankful.  I know, it sounds silly to say I love to be thankful, but I've found, as I get older, that it's the secret to my happiness.  When I'm thankful and appreciative, I'm happy.  It's actually very simple, but not always so easy.  I've found the age old adage, "you better check yo'self before you wreck yo'self" by the philosopher/rapper Ice Cube always helps bring me back to a place of gratitude.  I'm not even joking.  I really repeat that rap line when I feel myself getting a little bratty, which is never.

    This has been a year filled with blessings, too many to count, so being grateful has been fairly easy.  But at the end of the day, it all comes down to family and friends.  Are they happy and healthy?  That's really the most important thing to me.  Thank y'all for reading my silly little blog and for all your comments.  You is the bestest!

    Oh and do you know what else is important to me?


    She is so silly y'all. 

    You need to see this round-up of all her sillies.

    Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing this video.  It is one of my favvvvvooooorrrriiiitttteeee thiiiiiiiings!* (in Oprah's voice, duh)

    *I watched her Favorite Things last night and cried and jumped and danced.  I'm so glad it's back.  I knew it would be.  She has too much fun doing it.  It's a great way to kick off the season of giving. 

    I'm taking off the next few days, but may check in on Facebook

    Have a Fabulous Thanksgiving Y'all!

    P.S. I'm going to start replying to comments directly on the blog, so if you've asked a question check back here.  My email inbox gets crathzyathh full (I love it when Oprah says "crazyass" with her little lisp voice, that's how I'm saying it here), and sometimes I don't have a way to respond to comments that don't have an email address. 

    sketchbook drawing : red tip flower

    new sketchbook online

    Newest sketchbook has been uploaded to my website. Check it out

    House Updates and Stuff I like

     New England Home

    Hey y'all! That's not my house, but I like it. It's giving me inspiration for our own exterior, specifically, the shutters around the arched window and the potted boxwoods on either side of the door.  I bet this house looks really pretty at Christmas.  That's kind of how I judge houses now - would they be a place I'd like to spend Christmas?  The previous owners of our house loved Christmas so much that they left me a giant 6 foot tall Santa to display in our arched window.  I know, I know, it's rude of me to brag.  But really, 6 ft Santa's should come standard in every home.

    Moving on, I have kind of a random post today.  If you are a liker of Belclaire House on Facebook some of this may be redundant so I apologize.  Sometimes it's nice to show the non-likers what they're missing so then they'll come like me.  Also, sometimes I write weird status updates that I later wonder if I should have kept to myself so you definitely don't want to miss out on that. 

    So, first, some house stuff:

    I'm not totally sure I like this pillow situation.  I spilled red wine on one of my white Pottery Barn jute braid pillows that apparently you can't wash or dry clean.  When I went back to get another one, these blue pillows were on sale for $18 and the white capiz shell pillow was on sale for $8 - all together less expensive than my one white pillow.  So I bought those instead because you know the old saying, "the more pillows, the closer to God."  Yes, it's a saying.  I just said it.  The big sham in the middle is an old Ralph Lauren sham that I already had.  Our sofas are not in the greatest shape so clearly I'm trying to cover them with pillows in an effort to hide them.  Is it working?

    I am sure that I love this Erica Heather plant situation happening in front of my sink.  I found these at the grocery store, and they seem to be doing better than the basil and rosemary that I had in there previously. 

    The curtains look a bit wonky here (I need to rehang them), but I am very pleased with my new white dupioni silk curtains, also picked up on sale at Pottery Barn.   The need for drapery was semi-urgent.  Our lab has an unhealthy obsession with the neighbor's lab and she sits at the window staring into their living room for hours on end.  I imagine she's sitting there singing Eric Carmen in her head, "when I was young, I never needed anyone ..."

    In the spirit of trying to do some things on a budget,  I attempted an almost free Thanksgiving table for my girl's dinner on Saturday using nuts, candles and some yummy scented pine cones from Target.  I'm normally not a fan of scented anything at the dinner table, but these were very light and seemed to compliment the meal. 

    pardon the iphone-ness of this photo, but I took it with my iphone

    And finally, I painted the front door! We had a gorgeous weekend in Kansas City, and I decided I needed to just go ahead and do it myself. 



    The color is Benjamin Moore Twilight (totally appropriate for this Team Edward house). 

    Ignore the sad lonely pumpkin.  It's just sad.  Sad pumpkin aside, I love the color.  I'm excited to zhuzh up the front porch area now. 

    Ok, one last thing because I know y'all have more important things to do than read mah babblin', but I'm always looking for gifts for myself for others, and One King's Lane has a ton of fun gifts for friends and family and myself.

    Such as,

    Mint Julep Cups for $20

    Pink Lacquer Keepsake Boxes

    A snow leopard throw blanket (I can't get enough snow leopard lately) 

    This coral chinoiserie tray (they call it coral, but it looks red to me)

    And lots more.  Good hostess gifts, too. 

    Just thought y'all would like to know. 

    Ok team have a lovely day!!

    When I was young
    I never needed anyone
    And makin' love was just for fun
    Those days are gone

    All by myself
    Don't wanna be, all by myself anymore
    All by myself
    Don't wanna live, all by myself anymore

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