Silver and Gold Holiday Decor

 teal sectional sofa and christmas centerpiece

This post is sponsored by Gordman’s. Any opinions given are completely my own.

The last minute decorating is done. The last minute shopping is done. Time to kick back and relax for the beginning of the holiday week. Can you believe it’s here already?

I did my last minute shopping at Gordman’s this year. It was fun to pick out a few new Silver and Gold accents for our home.

Actually, I picked out more Gold than silver.

 

gold pillow and center piece

This season, gold is the color for me!

I loved this huge gold and red gazing ball. It’s not really a Christmas decoration, but I love how it reflects warm light around the room in this big bowl of greenery on the coffee table.

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The sunshine comes in the window and hits the gazing ball, it warms up the entire room with it’s gold, orange and red tones. I must admit I completely underestimated how much I would love this ball, I think it will stay on the table well past the holidays!  In the spring, it will find a new home out in the garden. I love things I can re-purpose!

Moroccan Ginger candle table display #designerssweetspot

I was thrilled to find this Moroccan Ginger candle, I love the gold mercury jar that it came in.

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When the candle is burning, it sparkles and the light reflects off the gazing ball and the jar and the other ornaments in the bowl. I will definitely find a home for this beautiful jar after the holidays! Did I mention that the candle smells amazing?? AMAZING!!

Well, it does.

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The gold ornaments came from Gordman’s, too. I love ornaments that are non-breakable. They are pet proof and child proof and work great for a million reasons. Mostly, I love them because they are sparkly and full of bling. And they look fabulous in the candlelight.

We all need a little bling during the holidays!

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I snatched up this gold printed pillow for accent on the sofa. I love it! It works great with my hand knit afghan.I also couldn’t resist the gold polka dot notebook.

“Happy Thoughts” was exactly what I was looking to focus on over the holiday season. Sometimes we need a little reminder of the season to focus our mind on. I love these inspirational notebooks for writing down New Year’s resolutions and goals. I fill several notebooks a year with my writing and notes, but it just seemed right to start the New Year with a new notebook! Goodman’s had lots of coordinating gold desk accessories, I may need to go back and stock up after the holidays!

My last find at Gordman’s was in the kitchen isle, I spotted these stemless Champaign flutes and loved them immediately. They are swirled with gold trim around the glass, and I think they would even make pretty vases for a flower or two after the holidays.

For now though, they hold champaign. Dipping into the bubbly already, can’t wait for a holiday celebration!

Thank you Gorman’s for sponsoring this post!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Reusable Gift Bags

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When we were kids my Grandmother always reused her gift wrap. She would patiently open each gift, gently removing the tape piece by piece. Then she would fold it up and store it away for the next year to reuse.

This made the gift opening process take forever, as opening gifts in this manner is very, very slow. It’s also nearly impossible when you have little children.

This year, I decided to go tiny with Christmas. Tiny decorations, and tiny gifts.

Then I decided that Thrifty was almost as good as Tiny, and I spent my day making a few Reusable Gift Bags for Tiny gifts.

They were very easy to make, and inexpensive.

The great thing, is that you can reuse them and they essentially become a practical part of the gift. Just think how much money you could save without buying ribbon, tape, paper, boxes and tissue each year!

polkadot bag

These bags are sewn from scraps of fabric, or fat quarters that I had lying around. I cut the fabric pieces 7″ wide by 18″ long.

 

With right sides of fabric together, sew a 1/4″ seam on each side.

Turn down the top edge of the bag 1/4″ and stitch (FIY the sewing foot is about 1/4″ wide, so you can line your fabric up with it).

Turn the new seam edge down further, to 1″. Sew again, on top of your first line of stitching. This way you have a nice neat seam, and you won’t have to measure or pin each time.

Leave about 1/2″ of a gap between the sewn edges for the ribbon to slip through the casing.

Use a safety pin, attach the pin to the end of a 1/4″ wide ribbon. Thread the ribbon through the casing, cut and tie ends together to keep it from slipping out.

gift bags with tags

I added some greenery and berries for a festive look. The burlap gift tags came from Target, and I hope to use them again too!

 


Felted Wool Ornaments

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

I am pleased to be on the Christmas at Home blog tour sponsored by Hometalk and Country Living! I am so glad you are here!

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I have been working on a couple of tiny Christmas projects. We are in the middle of moving and I don’t have much time or space for a lot of decorating this year.

So, I decided to go tiny.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

You have probably seen the trendy HGTV show, Tiny Houses?

Just watching that show makes me claustrophobic. I like tiny decorations, I do not like tiny houses.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

I started my project with some rather tiny balls of wool roving. The wool is thick, unprocessed yarn, perfect for felting.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

The first step was to make the balls by twisting the yarn around my hand, then shaping it into a ball. I used several colors of roving for some of the balls and used just one color of roving for some of the others. I used red, green, grey and winter white yarns.

After I made the balls, I used a large sewing needle to secure the end of yarn inside each ball.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

The last step was to put the balls of yarn into a single sock and secure the open end with a rubber band or twist tie. The sock needs to be stretched tightly over the yarns ball in order to felt properly.

The balls in their socks were then washed in hot water in the washing machine with a small amount of laundry detergent. The agitation of the machine helps in the felting process. When they were done, I put them in the clothes dryer on the hot setting.

The dry balls were removed from their socks and decorated with pearl head straight pins in different colors.
<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

I used different designs for the pins including a snowflake, a star, a tree and just some random designs.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

 

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://wwwhttp://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

The glass bowl sits on our coffee table and allows the balls to be admired from all angles.

Who knows, maybe going tiny for Christmas will be the trend next year.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Viennese Coffee

 

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It’s been a lovely holiday week. We have had a “stay-cation”, not going too far from home but instead enjoying our time in luxurious ways. Such as sleeping in late, staying up late, napping, and indulging in all sorts of fantastic holiday treats and spending quality time with family.

It seems like days since I had a really good cup of coffee, and today I decided to spend the extra time to make this special Viennese Coffee. I was listening to the public radio station yesterday, and they were playing the most beautiful waltzes straight from the Vienna Symphony by Johann Strauss. Apparently, special music is a New Year’s Day tradition in Vienna. I love these tunes and have frequently played them with our local symphony. There is nothing more relaxing than listening to classical music.  Hearing them being played inspired me to do some research on Vienna and their traditions. The Coffee House is a very important part of culture there, coffees are served with a glass of water on the side and it’s not unusual for people to linger for long periods of time at the local coffee house reading the newspaper, talking, writing, listening to poetry readings or even listening to live musical entertainment.

Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? I encourage you to spend the last day or two of your holiday week enjoying these simple pleasures.

Here’s how to make the best cup of Viennese Coffee you have ever had:

Ingredients you will need:

3 cups brewed dark roast coffee

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup whipping cream

Dash of Nutmeg

Whip 3/4 cup of the cream until stiff peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup of cream to a small sauce pan along with the orange juice, honey and chocolate chips. Stir over medium heat until melted and combined. Add the coffee and heat until warm. Pour into warm cups (makes 4 servings) and add more whip cream on top and a dash of nutmeg.

Our 14 year old son loves the symphony, we added visiting Vienna during the holiday season to our bucket list for 2015. Do you have a bucket list for this year?

Relax and enjoy!

10 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

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I am ready for the Christmas season. The house is decorated, and the cookies are baked, the ham is ready to cook. We are so blessed to have each other, our health and so much more.

We have made a few simple gifts to give, but have not purchased gifts this year. This year, we are focused on serving others more than ever before.

For this reason, we are very joyful this holiday season.

We contributed our family’s normal gift budget to a couple of important causes. We bought a goat for a family in need through World Vision. Each year we “shop” through their catalog to purchase a livestock animal to give to families in need so they can support themselves. It is one of our favorite family traditions.

This is the first year I have noticed American children listed among those in need, it’s not just a world wide cause anymore.

We contributed through our church to the Advent Conspiracy program, and joined the masses of people who have decided to give more than they spend. Dozens of our local charities as well as many national ones benefited from the funds our church helped to set aside for them.

We baked cookies to give away and are serving on Christmas eve at church as well. These are our simple family traditions.

There are so many places you can serve no matter how little time or money you have.

I asked my fellow bloggers for some ideas on how they are serving this season. Would you like to join us in serving others this holiday season?

Here’s what they came up with:

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1) Commit Random Acts of Kindness: Ellen over at Confessions of an Overworked Mom has 25 great ideas for giving back to those in need. Commit at least one random act this season, or all 25! The more you do the more joyful you will become, guaranteed.

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2)Buy a pair of pajamas and a storybook: Contribute to the Pajama Program’s One Million Good Nights, NYCJenny blogged about her family’s experience buying a pair of pajamas and a children’s story book for this charity. There are so many children who have never experienced the simple luxury of wearing a new pair of pajamas and being read a bedtime story by a parent. This is so close to my heart, I can’t imagine a child not being tucked into bed by a loving parent. This is her husband in his footy pj’s promoting the event for a local news station.

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3)Teach Your Children to Serve: Briton from Rad Mom Cool Kid has ideas for children and how they can be of service. Teaching your children servitude helps to combat bullying and disrespect. Start now!

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4)Take part in Operation Christmas Child: Melissa from Fab Haute Mamma shared her family’s experience taking shoe boxes and filling them with simple gifts and basic hygiene supplies for Operation Christmas Child. This is also a great family activity! This is a national campaign, look for a drop off site near you and change a child’s life today!

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5)Give Back to your Community: Nichole from Simply Nicole has simple ideas for sharing the holiday spirit such as volunteering at your local senior center and cleaning out your closet for charity. I love the Campout for Hunger program she describes. Volunteers collect and distribute large amounts of canned food for a 5 day period! Wow!

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6)Search the Web for the perfect giving option: Ange from Inspiring Hearts and Homes put together a long list of places you can serve, including the Humane Society and the Make a Wish Foundation. Check out the list, and find an option that works for you in your area.

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7)Decorate a Tree for your favorite Charity: Vanessa Brady from Tried and True decorated a tree for her charity Project BRAVO which benefits the poor in her region of Texas.

Beautiful idea, I can’t wait to do something like this next year!

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8) Donate needed items to a food pantry:  Paula Biggs from the Frog Price Paperie has great suggestions for what is needed at the food pantry this time of year. Did you know that Almond Milk is greatly in demand at pantries? I had no idea! I will buy a couple extra bottles on my next trip to the grocery store.

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9) Ask others to buy Holiday Gifts for Giving Back: Stacy and Eric from Anastasia Vintage Home share their request to family members to give to others instead of themselves. They had some great ideas not on other lists such as Heifer International and Oxfam Unwrapped.

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10)  Be a part of the Drive Thru Difference: Our local Christian radio station started this idea. All you have to do is pay for the car’s order behind you when you are at a drive thru restaurant.  Visit this site to print out a letter of explanation and give it to the cashier when you pay for the meals. This little random act of kindness could change someone’s life today!