Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I attempt to mail Christmas cards every year and fail miserably. One thing I do manage to do is to purchase a template on Etsy and post on Facebook. I figure all of our friends and family are on Facebook - it's not the most traditional way to go but it gets the job done.

  We would like to wish EVERYONE a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 Christmas Home Decor Tour

I LOVE Christmas. I love Christmas decorations. I love the season of giving. I just love it all!  I'm so happy Kelly is hosting a Christmas decor link up. . because I also loving looking at everyone's Christmas decor.  It's as if instead of seeing a Christmas tree lit up outside your window I get a tour of everyone's homes. So without further ado, grab a cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea sit back and enjoy the tour of our home:

*picture heavy post! If you'd like a video tour please visit our YouTube Channel - Nelly and her Nerd - (and subscribe!) to view a video of our home*

I put together entirely new mantle decor this year to replace the Texans mantle we've had previous years.  No worries! We repurposed the Texans stuff. . .you'll see later in this post.

I purchased the wreath from Home Depot and added flower picks (Michaels) and starfish (Amazon). The wreath is pre-lit but sadly does not give as much light as I want so next year I'll be adding an extra string!

I originally wanted to use the tree branches I purchased from Blooms and Branches (see this post) but they were too big.  Instead I used glittery picks I found at Michaels and put them in turquoise frosted vases I found at Hobby Lobby

Added the deer (Hobby Lobby) and candle holders (Walmart) to fill it out - though I have yet to light the candles.

The blue mecury glass looking candle holders were a steal at Walmart - only $6!

For the garland I wrapped 2 garlands on top of each other to help it look nice and full.  I then strung lights (Hobby Lobby), wrapped glittery garland (Michaels), added floral picks (Michaels) and the starfish (Amazon).

The deer were purchased by Mrs. Debbie (Life is Better by the Pool) a few years ago.  Out of everything on the mantle these deer get the most compliments! Now if only I could figure out a way to pack the antlers so they don't come out of the box broken. . .EVERY YEAR. 
Ideas anyone? I've tried bubble wrap, tissue and old receiving blankets.

The stockings are new this year and are from Hobby Lobby.  I was late and unable to get them monogrammed this year - definitely on the to-do list for next year!

And this is where the branches ended up! I repurposed the glass containers and tinsel to hold them.  I saw the Angel at Hobby Lobby and knew I had to have her.  This is on the table behind our sofa is one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door. 

Santa's bell hanging on the branches. . .can you hear it ringing? (Polar Express Reference)

Pardon the crooked Angel at the top of the tree.  I wrap our tree in white deco mesh, add the silver, glittery picks to the top and then let Hubby and Miss J go to town putting the ornaments on.

The ornaments are a combination of family heirlooms, childhood ornaments from both Me and Hubby, ornaments Miss J has made in the past few years and ornaments we've collected over time.  This one is extra special to us because Hubby's mom gave it to us in 2010.  When his Mom was alive EVERYONE called Miss J "Peanut". Well, after she passed away the name did as well so this is a special reminder that Miss J used to be ours and everyone else's "Peanut."

The entryway table is where we display our nutcrackers.  

Miss J's favorite is the Home Depot one. . .of course!

This tree is my "coastal" tree.  I purchased most of the glass sea ornaments from Strand Bass in  Galveston, TX. This tree goes really well with the portrait wall next to it.  The pictures next to the tree are of Miss J's first trip to Pensacola Beach and our honeymoon in Tahiti. (not shown)

Close-ups of a few of our sea ornaments.

For the tablescape on the dining room table I wanted to use more rustic colors to offset the white decor.

I call this my "clearance" table because it's a collection of decor I've picked up in after Christmas sales over the years.  It goes together well - don't you think?

We are huge Houston Texans fans and this wreath and garland used to be over our mantle.  After we repainted the living room this fall I decided to change it up and Miss J's doorway is where the decor ended up.  She is  HUGE Texans fan.  .  .or should I say JJ Watt fan?

I crafted the wreath out of red, white and blue deco mesh, added the footballs from the craft section of Hobby Lobby and printed out Texans clipart to hot glue onto the wreath.

The garland is red deco mesh with blue wired ribbon layered over it.  I floral wired the helmet and ornaments to it to keep it snugly in place.

Our Disney tree is located in Miss J's room. It is mostly filled with Disney's Sketchbook ornaments which can be purchased at any Disney store.(wait for a coupon to get a good deal) Instead of Mickey ears, J decided she wanted her reindeer antler headband as the topper. It's her tree so I let her do whatever she wanted.

Some of our favorite ornaments:

I inserted silver glitter picks all over the tree to give it more pizzazz.

That's it for now! Please leave a comment below with a link to your Christmas decor - I would LOVE to see it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Problem with trying to recreate Pinterest photos

is your 5 year old daughter looks at you like you've lost your mind and incredulously says, "Mommy. . .you bought 2 tree with no leaves??

In deciding how I wanted to decorate our mantle for Christmas I started with Pinterest.  Pinterest is a great resource in looking for inspiration - you can search for ANYTHING and chances are it has been pinned.  After combing through pin after pin I was determined recreate THIS PICTURE from Centsational Girl's 2012 Holiday Home Tour. I thought the branches would be perfect to anchor the mirror on my mantle and I set about to make it happen.

Did you know branches are the latest trend in wedding centerpieces?  Well I did not until I googled "DIY Branch" and came upon a plethora of ideas. My search led me to Blooms & Branches where I found myself purchasing 2 Sandblasted Manzanita Branches.

A big box showed up at my doorstep and the branches were perfectly packed and in great condition.

I will admit that once I saw the branches my first thought was, "What am I going to do with these?

They were huge and leggy - just what you would expect branches to be but they looked NOTHING like THIS PICTURE.  The base was also too big for the container I planned to use on the mantle:

At this point I started to think I've made a huge mistake and see if Blooms & Branches has a return policy.

The lesson in all this is you can never recreate exactly what you see on Pinterest and if you try you may just find yourself with 2 large tree branches wondering what to do.  I did manage to make it work and you'll have to stay tuned in how I did it. Hint: the branches never made it to the mantle

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Miss J!

In addition to her birthday party over Thanksgiving Holiday, Miss J had a wonderful birthday last Thursday.  Her school does such a great job at recognizing how special birthdays are and makes each child feel extra special by having their teachers go on stage for a Birthday Blessing.  Miss J looks forward to this every year and what makes it even more special is that not only her current teachers are giving the blessing but that her Pre-K and PreSchool teachers are in the audience as well.  Watch our Vlog from last Thursday to see her birthday blessing:

I have been putting together birthday pictures with her interests ever since she was 3 years old. (got the idea from Pinterest of course!) To save you from having to click on links I've included her birthday pictures from 2011, 2012 and 2013 below:

Time flies by so fast!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sunday Afternoon at the Cheer America Platinum Championship

Miss J had her first cheer "competition" yesterday at NRG Arena. She was so excited to perform especially since she came home sick Friday afternoon and spent Saturday resting so she could hang out with her team - the Lil Diamonds.  We had to be there just before 2:30 and the team Mom advised us to feed our cheerleader beforehand because there was a 3 hour gap between arriving and performing. No one wants to deal with 10, hungry, 4/5\6 year olds before they have to go on stage. :-P

Miss J had a small plate of PLAIN pasta and a little bit of orange juice. . . .or so we thought.  I then did Miss J's hair and makeup (her favorite part) and we hit the road for NRG Arena.  All the way there Miss J was in a great mood and spent most of the car ride singing songs from Taylor Swift's new album.  We pulled into the parking lot of NRG and as my Nerd handing over $10 to pay for parking she announced, "I have to throw up." and then proceeded to do so. . . . .EVERYWHERE!! It was all over her uniform, face, car seat and the backseat of the car.

Hubby quickly parked the car, pulled Miss J out and assessed the situation. . .In a word, it was AWFUL.  I told her, "You won't be able to perform. How are you feeling?" Miss J immediately broke into tears and insisted to me that she was fine and wanted to perform. She was wailing and the only way could get her to stop was to tell her, "we'll figure it out." or should I say I would figure it out.  You see, during this time, Hubby was in fine form using words that really should not be said in public, pacing around the car trying to air it out and clean up what he could.  I, on the other hand, was dealing with a little girl crying, NOT BECAUSE she had vomit all over herself, but because she wanted to perform BADLY.  All we had to clean up the car was a small packet of Purell wipes and 2 small packets of Kleenex - THAT'S IT.

I texted one of the team Mom's to tell her what was going on and she couldn't believe it.  I somehow cleaned J up enough so we could walk through the parking lot into the arena.  The team mom met us at the door and told Miss J, "You do not have to perform if you do not feel well. If you do not feel well you should go home." Well, Miss J, AGAIN, started wailing that she wanted to perform. So, Miss J and I headed to the restroom to clean her up.  Amazingly, probably because the uniform is made of a slippery material, I was able clean her up with wet paper towels and by sticking her under the dryer.

Looking at her hanging out with her teammates you would NEVER know she had gotten sick:

December 7, 2014: Miss J and a few of her teammates chatting before warm ups.

I, on the other hand, wanted to go home, take a shower and forget about this whole ordeal.  But instead, I fed my little girl stale popcorn and Sprite (she started complaining she was hungry) and sat through 2 hours of cheer performances before Miss J hit the stage.

In the end, seeing Miss J BEAMING from ear to ear when she walked on stage made it worth it.  My shy little girl, because of her inclusion in cheerleading, is coming out of her shell, gaining confidence and becoming more of her own person.

Lessons I've learned:

1 - Have Miss J wear a T-Shirt over her uniform or even have her put on her uniform top when we get there

2 - Bring scented bodyspray for me to mask any smells. . . .antibacterial soap only takes care of so much.

3 - No more orange juice! Miss J is known to throw up when she eats too much, has too many sweets or drinks too much juice.  For this reason, she's mostly a water drinker. But she's learned how to pour her own drinks and we had leftover OJ from her birthday party. Needless to say, the OJ has been poured down the sink.

December 7, 2014: Lil Diamonds and coaches after their performance.
Wanna see what I'm talking about? Watch yesterday's vlog!