The making of a Christmas Wreath.

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If you’ve been on pinterest looking up Christmas decor as I have….. you’ll see a lot of these wreathes and they’re gorgeous!!! I have double front doors and needed two and…. let’s be real, the cost of wreathes is pretty high. But so can the cost of materials to make them. Here is where it pays to be savvy. Look for those 40% off coupons and sales at your local craft stores. It really does pay off to be patient in this regard.

For this look a grape vine wreath base is going to be the best, there are all sorts of varieties (and even some metal geometric shapes), but the good news is, these grape vine wreathes are fairly inexpensive. Then…. I think the trick to mastering this aesthetic feel is a variety of leaf shapes and sizes…. this one has some large magnolias, eucalyptus, fern, and some other….surprisingly I didn’t use a single pine. Part of this is that the botanical shapes give it a fresh, organic feel…. and so many people have ferns as house plants, ferns just kind of reflect something we’re familiar with…. and familiarity breeds nostalgia. So aside from the shapes and sizes…. the COLOR…. you want at least 3-4 shades of green going on. This keeps things interesting both color-wise and texture-wise…. and interesting things are beautiful things. This whole world of boho/ scandinavian style that’s finally taking the world by storm is all about “artistic” elements in every day things….. and in all things art, your eyes should want to keep moving around and soaking up what it is they’re looking at. They should want to stay and linger. There should be a story…. a message… a statement…. and with this look it’s the simple, natural, being reminded of the beauty that exists all around us, all the time….
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With this style of wreath you can go one of many ways…. a crooked “C” shape like I did here…. or a shallow “U” and just stick to the bottom half…. or go towards the top and drape over. The idea is that you want some “naked space”…. again….. for visual interest… a place to rest…. and the emptiness feels familiar, again, because it mimics nature, and nature is not perfect.

The kinds of greens used don’t have to just be stems…. I took a garland and cut it up, the ferns came in a “bunch”…. the gold magnolias were Christmas picks….. Really truly, this is something you can be pretty creative with.

If you’ve never made a wreath before you can attach things in a few different ways….. wiring it on (Which I do for my base layers) and then hot glue…. which works best when you have a nice surface to hot glue onto. And then also weaving stems into the wreath itself…. I’ve never yet had a wreath fall apart.

ENJOY!!! And if you want to check out my pin board inspirations for your own ideas, go right ahead!

Next up……. making some stockings!!
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Bo-ho ho…. Merry Christmas! (bohemian, eclectic, artsy, crafty, hippy, whatever Christmas tree.)

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As the title implies….. I tend to hang out in the “boho” camp more often than not…. my style is more inspired by global artisans, handcrafted anything, nature, color, eclectic energy, and an overall blending of the past with the present. But more than trying to adhere to a specific look, I try to achieve a specific feel…..  It takes time to gather the elements to really make it work… everything tells a story…. and THAT is why I love this look. You can’t go buy it in a store as is…. it has to be unique to you and your own life! It ages like a fine wine….

So, needless to say…. we do not have a traditional home…. so trying to decorate for Holidays really requires some thought. And while I love the elegant clean look of white lights…. I feel like colored lights adds some energy to this tree.

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Last year I decided to use scrap fabrics to make that tree skirt. I specifically chose to do triangles as opposed to squares…. something different…. and just happened to have a lot of pinks and blues…. I’d also noticed that the dominant colors in “colored” lights tend to be the blues and the pinks…. whereas the greens and yellows take a back seat.
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I did like the idea of using colors that weren’t traditional “Christmas colors” because that opened up the door to a little more creativity. So…. when it came time to decorate…. we were able to use ornaments that had been collected from a whole variety of looks over the years and tie them all together…. We didn’t overdo the reds, and still added plenty of green, but it’s the pinks, teal, navy, copper, and GOLD…. lots of gold that really make this come to life. I tucked in a faux fur garland this year… I didn’t want it to stand out too much against a solid green tree, so I tucked it back a bit… and strung a gold bead garland over top.

NEXT….. I added in all sorts of extras…. like silk flowers in green, bronze, white, and red… again, stuff I’d collected over the years…. and then some dried limelight hydrangeas and a few a few picks in there…..  and voila…. a very boho/ eclectic/ artsy/ gypsy-esque Christmas tree that works in our space! I now feel more inspired to get on to the table setting…. I’m thinking a pale muted aqua with a blush pink and a bright red would be so inspiring together.

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If you like this post…. let me know!! I know the images are a bit fuzzy and blurry…. If I have time, I’ll update them. In the meantime, happy decorating my friends! Be creative, be you. Feel out what you’ve got on hand, figure out what describes “you” and your own personal style, and build something from that! Don’t feel restricted by what’s in the stores….. carve your very own path, my friends.

Next up….. The making of my wreathes.
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Pasta Pesto Please. Brainless meals for busy nights.

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Not everyone knows this about me….. but I am ALL about efficiency… it’s like a thing that happens in my brain. It doesn’t make me organized, hahaha, but it makes me feel really queasy about spending too much time on something that could be done…. well…. in less time. Right? Who wants to waste time? The more time I have sitting on my couch and sipping on tea, the better….. kidding… totally kidding…. sort of. But my mantra is…. we have to budget time in the same manner that we budget money…. time is valuable folks…. and when you have four kids this becomes oh so apparent.

HOWEVER…. like most moms in the world, I do aspire to have my kids eat relatively well balanced meals and have plenty of fruits and veggies in their diets…. and I certainly don’t have enough freezer space (or the brain energy) to pre-cook meals and freeze them…. so here’s what my husband and I do (because he totally cooks too, this is a team effort). We make up meal ideas that take 20mins or less, have minimal prep, are healthy, and also…. relatively cheap….

I present: Pasta pesto and spinach salad.

Aldi….. ALDI…. I could sing it’s praises, I love that store so much!!!

Here’s what you need to buy:
G-Free spiral noodles
basil pesto
bag of spinach
Italian Dressing
Parmesan cheese
2 fresh tomatoes

That’s it….. that’s all she wrote. Go to Aldi and discover just how inexpensive that is. (And bonus, if nobody in your house is gluten-free….. regular noodles are even cheaper!)

Here’s how it’s done…. since the husband made dinner tonight I’ll do a Q&A with him….

“So, how did you make this delicious meal honey?”
“Just….. noodles pesto sauce, tomatoes, and stuff.”
“Like, did you have to do any prep work?”
“Cut up the tomatoes.”
“How would you describe making pasta pesto to someone else?”
“This is your recipe! You’re the one who taught me how to make it…… sweetie.”
“I know, but I want your words.”
“Boil noodles, drain and rinse. dice the tomatoes. Spoon in the pesto sauce. mix it all up. shake parmesan onto and that’s….. it.”
“What about salad, do you think that took long?”
“HAHAHA. I would’ve made a better salad if I knew it was making the blog. All I did was take spinach out of the bag and put Italian dressing on it.”
“Yeah, but it’s food….. and it’s totally how we do it.”

Pro Tip: Don’t over-think things. When you’ve been parenting for nearly 17 years….. efficiency is your best friend.

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