Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Trees and Painted Trays...

I know I said that I would give more details on our anniversary trip and our ridiculous lovely hike that we took on said trip, but my heart just isn't in it today.  Bear with me.  A random "hiking" post may pop up unexpectedly this week...I know you are waiting on the edge of your computer chairs (Lisa and Twyla).  Did you catch that shout-out to our Moms?  They most definitely win the Most Dedicated Reader awards.  What would we do without them?

Anyway, I thought I'd talk instead about my favorite time of year.  CHRISTMAS time!!!  Yet another reason to decorate. :)  I got the ole Christmas tree up this weekend and she is looking much better than last year (if I do say so myself). 

We have accrued a few more ornaments (which helps), and I think I "fluffed" a bit better this year. 

I did the decorating of the tree with Duncan the dog while Andy was at the Bama/Auburn game on Friday.  As long as I could keep Duncan from eating my stuffed snowmen, things went smoothly. 

The tree skirt is one of my favorites.  I found it at TJ Maxx (where else?) last year for a smashing good deal.  Doesn't it feel great to pull out Christmas decor you still enjoy, even after a year in the garage?

We also have to continually speak with Duncan about how stockings may appear to be giant socks, but they are not for eating.  You see, Duncan LOVES chewing on socks...therefore, stockings are like a dream come true.  Needless to say, Duncan does not appreciate Christmas decor as much as I do.

I also love how you can literally throw ornaments on tables and it suddenly looks exactly like you want it to. 

While digging in my boxes I also found Duncan's Christmas tie we bought him last year.  Friends and family are much more accepting of him at holiday gatherings if he has a tie on.  Pair this with one of his sweaters and you have a very ravishing pup.


Decorating for Christmas was not the only thing going on around here.  I found a terrible wonderful crafty idea online and decided to try it.  Basically, you paint up a wooden serving tray to use on coffee tables to hold remotes, books, candles, etc.  Although I had a tray of sorts, I liked the idea of a larger tray that looked more homemade.  So, deciding the project would take no time at all, I purchased a tray and got started...

Well, I ended up with this.  Yes, it is as imperfect as it looks.  I had seen the same design on a favorite blog of mine, and although I got a similar look, I have convinced myself that hers must look much better than mine in person.

I painted the whole tray with a base coat of paint that I had on hand.  I had painted an end table with the same paint, and I thought it would be nice to bring that color in again in the room.  Then, I taped off the cross.  This took a bit longer than I thought it would because I am a bit of a perfectionist. 

Once the tray was taped off, I began adding the red paint.  Oh, how red paint won't cover well!!!  I won't go into the gory details, but I was painting on this sucker for days.  Ridiculous! 

So, many minutes and brush strokes later, I have a painted serving tray.  I honestly do like the size, look, etc.  I just would not recommend this project to anyone who is wanting a quick craft. 


The next little project I thought I'd share was a gift that I made for Andy (and myself) for our anniversary.  I had heard a lot about Shutterfly books but had never made one.  It is really easy and quick to whip one up.  I've even seen children's books on Shutterfly that allow you to put your child into the stories--how cute!

I basically went through our first year of marriage and highlighted the big stuff.  I showed several of our home improvement "before and afters" and the trips that we had taken. 

 I also wrote a sappy little something in the back for Andy's benefit.  I will spare you the details on that.  All that to say, Shutterfly is always running deals on these books and they would be great gift options for family members.


I have decided after all to leave you with a small video clip of our journey down the Appalachian Trail.  The clip is taken from the end of our first four miles of our hike (before we have to turn around and go back the way we came).  We have just arrived at "Charlies Bunion" (a lookout point on the trail).  It had been a long hike thus far and the Bunion was a bit more "breathtaking" than I was prepared for...

1.  I look rough.  No, I am not exaggerating (as you will see).
2.  Andy sounds like an eighty-year-old historian.
3.  I sound like a twelve-year-old. 
4.  Feel free to laugh at our expense along the way. :)

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