It’s a Circus

I decided I would add a new tree inspired by the circus for 2017. I found a collection of circus themed ornaments a few years ago, and I’ve finally procured enough for a small tree. This has been a super challenging theme, because circus themed ornaments are readily available. It think it’s probably even more challenging now that the circus has ended.

The balloon dogs and ticket filled balls were among the first ornaments I purchased. I found the peanuts, balloons, and multi-colored glass balls at Hobby Lobby. The other ornaments are from my travels. I’ve got lots of ideas on how to grow this tree, and I can’t wait to see how it evolves. I wanted to capture the whimsy of the circus and the joys of childhood. I think I was able to do that. What do you think?

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This tree is actually in my office at work. I get to enjoy it more that way. Here’s a closer look at some of the ornaments.

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My decorating tip for you today is to look beyond the obvious. What I mean is that you can find some really unique ornaments in places you wouldn’t expect. Antique stores, general stores, online retailers, and even Amazon are great places to check. I even found an ornament for this tree in a culinary focused shop. One of my favorite online retailers is Trendy Tree. From inspiration to holiday sprays, they’ve got it all.

I hope you’re enjoying my trees as much as I do. I love how festive our home feels this time of year. Stay tuned, I’ve got one more tree reveal for you. You don’t want to miss Ryan’s Snoopy themed tree. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Elf on the Shelf

We decided a couple of years ago to join the masses and create our very own holiday elf experience. Although we do not have children, Ryan and I alternate moving our elf , Pigpen, nightly beginning December 1st. It really is a fun way to surprise one another and get into the spirit of Christmas. I honestly enjoy seeing how creative we get with this. We actually try to outdo the other as the nights pass, because we’re competitive like that. Ryan is really good at it!

 

I know many parents are irked by their elf, but I think preparing ahead of time can eliminate some of the headache. I like to plan out my activities for Pigpen in November, and I keep the list on my phone. I find a combination of simple and challenging activities make it easier. There are going to be some nights that I’m just too tired for the complicated stuff. My other suggestion is shortening the amount of time that your elf is in your home. I think the twelve days of Christmas is just as fun as the entire month. Here are some ideas for your household elf.

  1. Hide & Seek (leave a note and hide the elf)
  2. Game Night (place a board game and some stuffed animals on a table)
  3. Leave elf in the dryer (leave a note for ‘Dry Cleaning’)
  4. Watch television or a movie
  5. Build a Lego set
  6. Ride a train around the living room or Christmas tree
  7. Partially insert elf into a gift bag
  8. Leave elf in the mailbox with a piece of mail
  9. Hide in the Christmas tree
  10. Make breakfast
  11. Feed a pet
  12. Horseback riding (you’ll need a toy horse for this one)
  13. Snow fight with other toys
  14. Photo shoot
  15. Make a mess in the office or kitchen
  16. Sick day (bring out the Band-Aids & thermometer)
  17. Pack your bags (great if you are traveling for the holidays)
  18. Slinky down the stairs
  19. Read a book
  20. Treasure hunt (make your own or find a printable one online)
  21. Climb the curtains or shades
  22. Online shopping with the credit card
  23. Rearrange a room or shelf
  24. Sew some new clothes

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Pinterest is also a great resource for ideas. Be sure to check our Instagram account for ideas and pictures this holiday season. I think Pigpen and Snoopy will be quite busy!

 

 

 

Holiday Traditions

I’m all about creating holiday traditions or moments for your family. Ryan and I have over a dozen traditions, especially during the holiday season. I think it’s important to spend time with those you love and make memories together that will last a lifetime. I thought I would share our favorite traditions and activities with you all. Feel free to start one of these in your home!

For many years now, Ryan and I have enjoyed completing a Christmas activity during the twenty four days leading up to Christmas. I previously picked the activities, put them on small pieces of paper, and had Ryan draw an activity from a stocking every morning or evening. As our schedules have become more complicated, we now choose the activities together and schedule one for each day. Activities include enjoying hot cocoa together, seeing a holiday performance, opening a gift early, donating toys for children in need, and more. We even have a faux snowball fight in our living room! It’s a great way to celebrate the season and enjoy the holidays. (Side Note: We change up the activities every year.)

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Another favorite is riding the Polar Express. We like the experience in Bryson City, North Carolina. It’s also only a three and a half hour drive for us from Atlanta. There are a number of Polar Express themed train rides around the country. It really puts you in the spirit, and I look forward to it every year. Our experience includes meeting Santa, reading the book, taking a ride to the North Pole, and more.

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In recent years, we’ve embraced Elf on the Shelf. It’s not just for kids! Ryan and I alternate nights, leaving our elf somewhere for the other to find. I enjoy seeing how creative we get with this. Our elf, Pigpen, has hosted an ice-cream social, built Lego sets, sent postcards, ordered pizza, and more. In a couple of weeks, I will provide some ideas and suggestions for a fun Elf on the Shelf experience for the entire family.

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We recently retired an activity, because it got too challenging. It was a ton of fun when things didn’t cost as much as they do now. We would each buy between 12-24 gifts, valued at $1 each, to give to one other. We would exchange one of these gifts each day. Gifts would include hand sanitizer, candies, soda, etc. There aren’t too many things left that you can purchase for a dollar. We both struggled to not buy junk or repeated items last year, so we gave it up for 2017. It really was fun though. We could change it up to make it easier, but I think we have plenty to keep us busy.

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Not only do we really enjoy these activities and traditions, but it forces us to slow down and spend quality time together. My husband is my favorite person, and I look forward to all the fun we’ll have this year! There are so many ways to make memories, and I hope I’ve inspired you to try something new. Even one afternoon together baking cookies can become a cherished memory for years to come. Happy Holidays Everyone!!