Holiday Season is Upon Us

Well I don’t know about you all, but I cannot believe that it’s already November!!  This is the busiest time of year for most people, so I decided that this month I’m going to focus on a series of topics and tips that I use to get prepared for the chaos.  I also decided that I’m going to use the next few weeks before Thanksgiving and again between Thanksgiving and Christmas to focus on being healthier and eating better.

My weekend was busy in Dallas, so I didn’t get a chance to prepare for my week as much as normal, but I’ve used tonight to try to do just that.  I got back into my healthy mindset with a short 30 minute run/walk with Muddy.  The weather has just been fabulous here in Houston!  I’ve also been cleaning out the garage since it became a dumping ground after my move.  I promised myself that I’d spend at least 30 minutes  each night cleaning out all my junk, so I did my time in there tonight too.

Holiday Preparedness

Make a Plan

I think it’s so important to get your ducks in a row, so the first step that I’m going to talk about is making a plan.  The holidays are a time of joy but they can also be quite stressful if you don’t get organized and don’t have a plan.  What I do at the beginning of November is sit down with a big pot of coffee and just write down ideas, important dates/events that I’m already aware of and a list of things that I need to accomplish or purchase.  I update my calendar with any dates that I need to save and any self-imposed deadlines.  This is also the time of year when I schedule the last of my health appointments and my holiday haircut since dates quickly fill up and many people take leave.

This year the holidays are very exciting for me because it is my first Texas holiday season.  I can’t wait to check out all the things going on in the city during this time!  Since I’ll have family visiting this year, my plan includes designing and finishing the guest room’s decor and organization.  As of now, it’s a disaster!  Don’t worry…I plan to have lots of before and after photos once I finish it all!  Since it hasn’t been that long since I moved in, my plan also consists of finishing my living room gallery wall, styling up the deck for the mild winter evenings (love it) and finishing cleaning out the garage.  This winter, I’ll be focusing on organization but more on that after the holidays!  I listed out a few items that I need to purchase for the guest room such as holiday bedding and new pillows.  As I organize everything, I’m also setting aside a donation box and eBay sale box. This is a great time to add in a reminder for any charitable donations you may want to make.

Once you have your overall plan in place, you can tweak it as necessary, but it’ll make for a great basis to keep you sane!  Good luck on those plans!  You’ll feel so much more organized once you have it done…trust me!

Keep reading this week for my next tip on how to plan for Thanksgiving dinner.

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All that Sparkles…

My holiday theme this year is “Let it Snow” and I’ve been working to get all of my outdoor decor up over the past few days while dodging ice and snow outside.  My color scheme this year is teal, navy and silver with white lights.  I wanted my house to sparkle when the white lights shine on all of the fun final touches.  One of those details is the wreath below.  I have been in love with the Pottery Barn ornament wreath for the past couple years, but I just have not been able to bring myself to pay $80 for it.  This year I decided I’d tried my hand at my own version and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!

Supplies

  • 1 wreath form (I used a large styrofoam one with a flat back because to me it resembled snow)
  • Shatterproof ornaments (I bought a large box from Target that were on sale)
  • Glue gun / glue
  • Optional – Bow (I bought my glitter bow at Michael’s 50% off)

Step 1

I laid the wreath form flat while I worked and decided that I wanted a somewhat random look to my ornament layout.

Step 2

Once I had a good visual idea, I used the end of the ornament ball (where you would normally hang it from) and pushed it into the styrofoam.  Then I hot glued each one into place.  A word of advice is that you have to be patient with the ornaments because some took a little extra glue to get them to hold well.  I worked my way around the wreath form and I left a space at the bottom of the wreath where the bow would cover it.

Step 3

After letting the glued ornaments set overnight, I added the glitter bow as my finishing touch.

Step 4

Hang on the door & enjoy!

This wreath took me about 30 minutes to make and the best part is that it cost me about $20 to complete!  Be sure to use Michael’s weekly coupons and check out the holiday sales for good deals on ornaments.

 

Ice..Ice…Baby

Hi everyone…I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland!  Everything had a nice sheen of ice coating it and the roads were very dangerous!  I am so glad that I put my Christmas lights up last night!  Here are a couple pictures of how beautiful my neighborhood was this morning:

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Even Muddy was in awe!  Hopefully tomorrow will be back to normal but more snow is forecast.  Stay tuned this week for some Christmas decorating ideas…

 

 

Colonial Williamsburg

Hope y’all had a nice weekend!  I decided to head down to Colonial Williamsburg, VA for a couple days with some friends.  I haven’t spent much time down there before, so I thought it might be fun and I was on the hunt for Christmas treasures.  We spent most of the day at the Colonial Williamsburg living history museum.  Now, I’ve lived in Virginia for over a decade and I found this quite interesting but also very fun!  Plus, the Christmas decorations added extra charm!  The actors are extremely knowledgable and in each building that you enter you hear quite a bit about what life was like in the colony.  Basically the entire colony has been reconstructed; often on the original building foundations that have been discovered.  You can walk around the colony and enter buildings at your leisure.  My favorite was the governor’s palace, but it was getting dark and since there are no lights inside the buildings it was very hard to see.  I also thought that a lot of very interesting information was provided during the tour of the capitol building.  There were even several young children who marched through town as part of a fife & drum band!

I would recommend Colonial Williamsburg to young and old alike, however I would definitely be sure to pack snacks and appropriate clothing. We were hungry and froze, but after dark here are a few bonfires that you can warm yourself by. There are a few restaurants in Merchant Square that are good, however there were very long waits.  If you like to shop like I do then you will love milling around in the shops where many of the wares that are produced by the colony workers are also sold.  Colonial Williamsburg is an interesting historical peek into life during this time period in Virginia and the experience will be sure to leave you with a greater appreciation for how our country began.

After touring the colony, we headed to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.  This was pretty cool and if you have small kids, they would absolutely love it!  The park is decorated with over 6 million lights and most sections of the park have a different country for its theme.  One section was called “Holiday Hills,” which ended up being my favorite because it was decorated with retro Christmas decorations and reminded me of my childhood.  Does that mean I’m old if it was supposedly the “retro” section?  Oh no…….!  Just as with Colonial Williamsburg, I’d recommend making sure you have enough warm clothing with you as it does get very cold after the sun goes down.  The park has several heated eating and entertainment areas, so it’s not hard to get warm if you need to.  The rides that are open can be very chilly too.  We took the train around part of the park and just about froze, but it was really fun because everyone was singing Christmas carols together!

Williamsburg is also home to The College of William & Mary and as such, you will find it to be a quaint college town where people stroll the square with their morning coffee while they walk their dogs and explore the farmer’s market.  The city is fairly close to Virginia Beach and there is also a settlement at Jamestown to explore.  I haven’t done that part yet, but hopefully once it warms up some I’ll get a chance to come back down to check it out and let y’all know how it is.  In the summertime, I’ve heard that the water park Great Country U.S.A. and Busch Gardens are a blast!  There is also a Great Wolf Lodge that many people stay at if they have children…I’ve heard there is an indoor water park there too.

Whether you’re from Virginia or not you will find Williamsburg relaxing and very interesting.  I’ve been to a few living history museums around the area, but Williamsburg is the largest and most well done that I’ve been to so far.  Hopefully this post will give you a few ideas if you were also planning on heading down this way.