I am a Christmas tree snob. I grew up in a household that took Christmas tree shopping very seriously. The date was picked weeks in advance, snacks were packed, and the four of us headed out for what we assumed would be an all day adventure to procure the perfect Christmas tree. We would travel to multiple nurseries, tree farms, and garden centers before my mom would give the final and much anticipated, “Yes, that’s it, that’s our tree.” This was after hours of, “How about this one? No, that one’s too <insert negative adjective here> stumpy/skimpy/flat/short.” As we all neared starvation and my kid sister got minute by minute closer to a full on meltdown the clouds would part and a ray of sunshine would illuminate the tree that was meant to be ours. At least that’s how I remember it…
Fast forward 20 years and my husband and I are now purchasing our own Christmas tree. I spent years harping on my mother about her ridiculously high Christmas tree standards and spewing such nonsense as “some day when I get my own tree I’m just going to buy the first tree I see.” Now, of course, I find myself saying to my very patient husband year after year, “No, that one is too stumpy/skimpy/flat/short…” while we’re at our third tree farm of the day, until the ray of sunshine finds our tree. When we first moved in together my husband advocated for a fake tree with colored lights, which I adamantly opposed stating that obviously we would be getting a real tree and adding white lights. We compromised and now always put up a real tree with colored lights which is perfect for us.
I understand that each individual’s idea of the “perfect Christmas tree” varies, but I’m here to tell you that everyone else is wrong and this is what every house needs:
- Buy a fraser fir. They have stronger branches and don’t drop their needles as quickly or as readily. Balsam’s are very pretty, but you will spend every day until Christmas vacuuming around your tree and nobody has time for that.
- It should be a struggle to get it home. I’m talking hand out the window holding it on to the roof of your car in case the ropes don’t hold kind of difficult that only takes place around the holidays.
- It should be ever so slightly uneven on the bottom so that you can stand there for an hour with your arms crossed saying, “Now I feel like it’s leaning back towards the wall. No, now it’s too far forward and slanted to the left”, as your spouse or child lays under the tree adjusting and re-adjusting the trunk in the stand.
- It must be slightly to very (depending on your comfort level) too large for the space it’s required to fit in. If you’re not arguing with your spouse on what should and should not be chopped of the top, bottom, sides to make it fit you are not doing it right.
- It should be tall enough that the tree topper of your choosing touches your ceiling. If not, you are missing out on valuable space that could be occupied by more tree.
- Most importantly it should make the room that it’s in feel like Christmas heaven and bring a sense of calm to the space and everyone it…at least until your cat climbs up the trunk, your dog eats the ornament you bought for your first married Christmas, and your kid kicks a ball into the center of the tree scattering all pets and ornaments within a five foot radius. Merry Christmas.
Before we moved into our house in April I had made a massive and comprehensive list of all the changes we were going to make. Painting walls, ripping up carpet, digging out flower beds, replacing counter tops, tearing down the old basement kitchen…and then we moved in and everything went out the window. We got almost everything unpacked within the first week and then our motivation to make changes dwindled and we just wanted to enjoy the new house, sit around on the porch, and deal with any necessary improvements as they came up.
In the Fall I decided to take a small step to personalize the house a bit more and gave our bathroom a little face lift. I had big plans to attempt to paint the tile because as you’ll see in the pictures below it covers the bottom half of the walls and is kind of a difficult color to pair things with. However, after watching several YouTube videos and scouring Pinterest for advice I decided to just work with what we have. I prefer more color than neutrals typically, but decided to bring in more neutrals than I normally would and add pops of color so it didn’t look funky with the powder blue tile.
I knew I wanted to stay within a pretty low budget because there are a lot of other improvements we do want to make down the line and the bathroom was not the first priority. It was however the smallest space in the house so I felt pretty comfortable that I’d be able to tackle the project and finish it within the week.
Thanksgiving is one of the best low key holidays because your only job is to cook, eat, and watch football. There are no costumes to prep, presents to buy, or baskets to fill. It’s just a good ole fashioned stuff your face holiday. Sitting around a big table with family and friends reminiscing about the year and reminding yourself what you’re grateful for while referee whistles can be heard blowing in the background and grandma is inevitably critiquing the decision to put sausage in the stuffing is what America is all about. So, before Christmas officially takes over for the next two months here is a round up of my favorite Thanksgiving items from Target! Click the pics for more details or to purchase.
If you’ve been reading my posts the last few weeks than you know that my husband and I throw a big Halloween costume party every year for our friends. The past two years we have decorated the interior of our small apartment and we’d throw some lights out on our tiny balcony. This is our first year in the house so we have been scattering decorations in all the main living spaces and have a whole porch to decorate too!
We are trying to be budget conscious because we end up spending a lot on food and booze, which let’s be honest is the most important part of any party. So, we bought a bunch of little lanterns Continue reading
My husband and I spent around a year and a half house hunting. We went through two realtors before finding one that fit our personality, spent most Sundays at open houses, and were full on addicted to Zillow. It was frustrating at the time, but I am so glad that we waited until we found the house that was right for us and checked off most of our “must have this” boxes. We’ve been in the house for seven months now and still have a ton of projects we want to do, walls to paint, and furniture to pick out, but we’re taking it slow and trying not to overwhelm ourselves by doing too much too fast.
Here is some advice from one house hunter to another Continue reading