Our Red & Green Christmas Tree

Christmas has arrived in the Jones house and y’all, I am so excited!

You see, Santa Claus has sent word that I am on the nice list (boy has he been hoodwinked) and has already delighted me with a couple of fabulous gifts.

First? I have an adorable new grandbaby who I get to cuddle and spoil and enjoy and treasure and love! Mariah has my heart wrapped around her little finger and she will be here the week of Christmas and of course Christmas morning. Her parents will be here as well, but I get the baby!

Second? Bradley has been approved for Christmas leave and for the first time since he joined the Marines, he will be home for Christmas!

I told you I had been a good girl.

It makes my heart swell knowing all four of my children will be home on Christmas morning. We will still be missing Madeline’s hubby as he is deployed, but as a military and police family we understand the sacrifice and know it will be ok.

These early gifts have me feeling even more festive and sentimental than normal, so I wanted that to reflect when decorating our trees this year. I also wanted everyone in our cul-de-sac to enjoy the holiday cheer, so my favorite tree is twinkling in the front picture window which happens to also be my office.

I know many of you are stopping in from Design Morsels , so welcome to Fiddle Dee Dee and my little space on the internet! I’m linked up with 20 other fabulous bloggers for a Christmas Tree Decor Blog Hop hosted by Michelle from Our Crafty Mom so let’s get this party started!

No matter the trends of the season I will have at least one red and green tree in the house. I love these traditional colors of the season that actually come from the ancient Celtic celebration of the winter solstice with holly and berries.

This year I had a lot of fun, pulled out all the ornaments we have gifted the kiddos and collected for ourselves every year, and stepped into a world of nostalgia. Twenty-seven Christmases of annual Hallmark ornaments, glass Santa’s we purchased in Iowa when our ornaments were left in Alabama in storage after a move, the shiny brites I scoured Nashville and Chattanooga to find, the Mickey & Minnie Heart Audley bought me in Gatlinburg on our honeymoon, sweet gifts from friends, couple ornaments for our girls and their hubbies, the blown glass Christopher Radko’s and a crayon box for our Marine.

This tree tells our story.

There is no uniform color or pattern to any of these ornaments, yet with a little ribbon, festive picks and colorful lights it all came together to form a beautiful tree that showcases our family’s story.

I would love to tell you where all the decor came from, but honestly, I cannot. Some of the Radko’s are from a little shop in Scottsboro, Alabama, a couple from Flat Rock, North Carolina, and still others from Snellville, Georgia. A few baubles came from a little local shop in Clinton, Iowa and a few from Rome, Georgia. The Shiny Brite’s are reproductions and I found them at HomeGoods. Some were gifts from special friends and family to mark occasions. I’ve had most items on this tree for fifteen years or more.

To pull everything together I found the wired green and red polka dot and the elf patterned ribbon on Amazon. The festive picks are from Hobby Lobby and the elf hats are actually cute holiday headbands. We added colored lights to our prelit tree to keep it playful and nostalgic. There is just something magical about brightly colored twinkle lights.

While this isn’t our main tree, it is in my favorite space, and definitely in a prominent location. My office is where I write, read and disappear for quiet time with a cup of coffee in the mornings. It’s where the music is located and the front room in the house.

This year the kids will hang their new ornaments on Christmas Eve and we’ll begin a new collection of ornaments for Miss Mariah to add her chapter to the tree. I can’t wait to watch her story unfold.

Be sure to check out the other Christmas Trees these talented bloggers are sharing today. I’m sure each have their own unique story to tell.

More Christmas Tree Decor Ideas

Christmas Tree Decor Blog Hop feature image

Be sure to visit all the participating bloggers for decorating inspiration for your Christmas tree…

Christmas Tree decor collage of four

Our Crafty Mom // Red Cottage Chronicles// From House to Home// Simple Nature Decor

Christmas Tree decor collage of four

Virginia Sweet Pea// 2 Bees in a Pod// First Day of Home// Across the Boulevard

Christmas Tree Decor Blog Hop collage of four

Simply Beautiful by Angela // Happily Ever After, etc.// Madness and Method// Zucchini Sisters

Christmas Tree Decor Blog Hop collage of four

Purple Hues and Me// Tribe of Burton// My Pinterventures// Modern on Monticello

Christmas Tree Decor Blog Hop collage of four

Jenron Designs// Design Morsels// Oh Fiddle Dee Dee // Redneck Rhapsody

10 Things September

September has arrived and is barreling through like a freight train! I need it to slow down just a little as we are entering into my favorite season of the year and I want to enjoy every moment as much as possible. Not only do we get to celebrate the end of summer and begin decorating for autumn, I’m doing a wedding cake (its been quite a while) in just a few days, and we are just six weeks away from the arrival of our first grandbaby.

So many exciting things coming up for sure.

But, lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. First, we must enjoy September and here are ten things on my to-do list for the season.

1 – It’s not to late at all to Visit a Flower farm. Did you know 80% of American flowers are imported? It’s time we quit shopping for out of season florals and support our local flower farms. Recently I spent time at Posie Fields in Roswell and enjoyed every last minute of seeing this local flower farm in action. If you aren’t a fan of dirt and bugs, check out you local Saturday farmers market. You are sure to find a local grower there!

2 – Celebrate the end of summer with a delightful girl’s luncheon. My girlfriend Tami, recently hosted a lovely nautical themed luncheon on Lake Lanier. Decorate the table and choose food to fit your theme. If you don’t have time to “do it all” consider hiring out one or more of your party elements. Royal Tea Picnics is a local business here in Atlanta who will create the perfect scene for your next dinner. Time with friends is precious and should be treated special.

Royal Tea Parties did a fabulous job on the table decor!

3 – Attend a 9/11 Memorial near you. This year marks 20 years since our country was violently attacked by terrorists killing thousands and sending us into a war that ended with tragedies as well. We should never forget and take time to honor those who were killed or gave themselves in sacrifice. From diginified memorials to climbing stairs as many of our first responders did that day, there are plenty of ways to “Remember” the anniversary.

Kennesaw Mountain Field of Flags honoring those killed on 9/11

4 – Take a late summer hike. Get outside. It’s good for your health, both physically and mentally. Here in metro-Atlanta I love going over to Kennesaw Mountain or Sweetwater Creek to hit a trail, but my favorite trail in at Foster Falls SP in Sequatchie,Tennessee.

Beautiful Foster Falls State Park

5 – Indulge in pumpkin spice. Yes, I am one of those girls, but y’all I really do love all things pumpkin! Whether you hit up Starbucks for a cold brew or whip up you own at home, take time to savor and enjoy. Add a pumpkin cupcake or muffin for an even more delightful treat.

If you want to make your own pumpkin spice coffee check out my recipe here.

6 – Decorate for fall. Go all out with mums and pumpkins and wreaths and witches hats…. Decorate to match you home or just have fun and keep it whimsical. There are no rules to decorating for holidays; just have fun & give the neighbors reason to talk.

7 – Tis the season for the county fairs to begin! Load up and head out for an evening of rides, exhibits, and competitions while celebrating summer’s end.

Gwinnett, Georgia County Fair

8 – If you want something bigger than the county fair, head down to Walt Disney World and Epcot for the Food & Wine Festival. Purchase a gift card to make life easier (cashless and touch-free) and enjoy delectable tastes from Around the World throughout the park! You might find a new taste you enjoy or inspiration to be creative in your own kitchen.

9 – I’m loving Bath & Body Works Sweater Weather candle. It’s still fairly hot in Georgia, but when I light a couple of candles and fix a cup of tea … I feel fall in the air!

10 – Lastly, take time for tea (or coffee). We stress ourselves out so easily with busyness, news, and the like so take time to unwind, gather your thoughts and relax. I’m loving Tevana’s Lavender Citrus tea. Add a little fresh lavender and honey to your cup and curl up with a good book. No one can take away your stress but yourself. Take time to do things to create peace in your life.

I found my Tevana at our local Ingles … and for a delightful read, pick up a copy of Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life by Marta McDowell

What is on you agenda for September? Let me know in the comments!

Creating a Whimsical Nursery

I love a good DIY project to add personality or character to our home, but with my traditional and eclectic (I was Grand Millennial before it was cool) design style I’ve never thought someone would ask for my help decorating in any shape, form or fashion.

This especially includes one of my daughters asking for help, because all three of them lean towards rustic and farmhouse style which just baffles me to no end.

Then, came a baby announcement. MacKenzie Grace and her hubby are expecting our first grandbaby in October and let me tell you, we are over the moon excited! After they found out a sweet little girl is headed our way, Gracie immediately hit up Pinterest for some fabulous inspiration which led her to tip toe out of her comfort zone.

She asked my for help.

The room that has become the nursery was their office/catch-all room. It was the room which had been stressing Gracie out with its purple accent wall, sloppy baseboards. random mounted deer head and furniture that didn’t match itself. With little Mariah on the way the problem of the extra room has been solved and we have finished all we can until after her baby showers. So, what have we done?

First, I let her and Michael clean the room out (my cleaning up after kids days are over). Many of the things in the space were leftovers from before they were married and didn’t fit into “their” home. These items they donated, sold and packed up what they didn’t need, or finally found a permanent space for them in their home.

BEFORE
The poang chair is getting new life so that it matches the nursery

After the great clean up they headed to Lowes to pour over paint samples. It was not surprising that they went very neutral and chose Valspar’s Swiss coffee for the walls. This was Michael’s first venture in painting, and he did a great job prepping the room. He patched holes and taped the trim and all so we could hit the walls and get them finished in one weekend. We had chosen a paint and primer in one, hoping to make the paint process go a little quicker, as well as give better coverage over stained walls; especially that purple wall! While the plain walls covered nicely, it took three coats to get that purple covered!

After the walls were dry we took the carpet shampooer and went over the floors twice, to make sure they carpets were clean and refreshed. Gracie took care of ordering the nursery furniture (Delta Children) from Target which we assembled the following weekend. I painted a bookcase with a similar color to the crib and dresser and we placed everything where they wanted it to go. Then we let the room set several weeks, just to make sure the first steps were successful.

This is where Gracie surprised me.

She decided that a wallpaper mural/accent wall was just what the nursery needed. Now me? As old-fashioned as it may be, I love a beautifully patterned wallpaper; but my GenZ daughter?!?!…

My heart did little fluttery flip-flops with joy!

Today’s wallpaper comes in every look you can imagine, from classic, neutral or minimalistic to bohemian, farmhouse and artsy. Digital printing has given way to huge changes helping make wallpaper relevant again in today’s design trends. There are so many great color palettes available and pattern size is giving way to bold and vibrant rooms. I didn’t expect her to go all English Country, which would have given me great joy, but I was so excited to see her playfully whimsical choice: a pattern she picked from Photowall called Summertime.

Photowall is one of these fabulous new companies that is producing gorgeous digital wallpapers to fit every taste and style. It was so simple to order. Michael measured the wall that we were planning to cover with the mural. I went on to the Photowall website and entered those dimensions, adding a couple of inches for margin of error and contractor design flaws. We chose the premium paper with an extra matte finish. Photowall’s paper does not fade in sunlight, is scrape resistant, antireflective and suitable for cleaning products. It’s also environmentally friendly. All these things are important when putting together a child’s room. After we placed the order it was only a week and I had the product in my hands! Such a great turnaround time! Everything was going great.

Except I have never hung wallpaper in my life.

We called in the reserves.

Nana (my momma).

And we now had three generations bringing this nursery to life!

The wallpaper came with paste to mix, so all we needed were just a couple of supplies. We put plastic down over the carpet to keep paste from getting on the rug, purchased a 5 gallon bucket, a couple of paint brushes (choose high quality so you don’t have bristles in your paste; we used Purdy), a large sponge for smoothing out wrinkles and wiping off paste, and a sharp razor blade.

Now when I say wallpaper has changed, I wasn’t kidding. Photowall prints the wall paper to the specific measurements and numbers the strips in the order you should hang them on the wall. It arrived in one roll and we cut the strips and laid them in numerical order. We painted the paste directly on the wall and hung each sheet, perfectly coordinated to line right up. When the paper was all in place I took the razor blade and trimmed the excess from the bottom and corner. My mother was floored at how easy it was and I was shocked that I could have hung my first wallpaper without her expertise.

From prep to cleanup was two hours.

I absolutely adore the colors in this whimsical print! It almost looks painted on the wall and not wallpapered!

And just like that, we have the beginnings of a sweet nursery for a precious arrival.

Because every proper southern girl is raised a football fan.

From start to finish, the whole process of pulling this space together was fairly easy. This includes the ordering of and hanging the wallpaper! In fact the most difficult part of my Photowall experience was choosing the design (fun fact … you can upload a personal picture & have it made into wallpaper), and Gracie handled that! I will definitely use this company again when I’m ready for another room upgrade!

And now we all patiently wait until October …

If you are looking to upgrade a space in your home, take advantage of 25% off and use my code ohfiddledeedee25 at checkout for your own Photowall makeover!

FYI I was given the wallpaper mural in return for a review, but the opinions I shared are mine and I will definitely be using Photowall in my home again!

A Candy Cane Christmas

It’s just thirty-two days until Christmas.

Can you believe it?!

There were times I thought this year was never going to end, and suddenly it’s Christmastime!

After this long and often stressful year, I’m really excited for the holiday season and will definitely savor every moment with our family and friends and especially the quiet, peaceful nights in with Audley.

Today, I’m teaming up with some of our favorite bloggers for the 4th Annual Christmas Tree Blog Hop hosted by Michelle from Our Crafty Mom. You’ll have the opportunity to visit 28 talented bloggers for plenty of Christmas tree decorating inspiration, so turn up the Christmas music, grab a cup of peppermint hot chocolate and get lost in Christmas inspiration galore!

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Here in our home we are crazy for candy canes.

For as long as I can remember we have decorated our home in some shape, form or fashion with a candy cane theme. It might be a tree… or two, it might be the top of my kitchen cabinets or the dining room, but ribbon or garland or ornaments or the real deal are always featured. It just “fits” us as a family.  Not only have my kids come to expect it (they would be so disappointed & try to “borrow” my decor if I didn’t), but Audley wouldn’t have it any other way!  

Are there more husbands out there who actually love decorating for Christmas?

This year the candy cane theme is adorning our living room tree. It’s our first Christmas season as empty nesters, so it is a great way to pretend the kids are close (all of them live out -of-state now).  They will all be in and out through the season … our Marine is home for Thanksgiving/Christmas leave this week … so I want them to know it’s still home when they come to visit.

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This is the second year I’ve used a flocked tree, and I really do like it.  The colors of Christmas pop and smaller ornaments stand out as well.  Besides, living in the south, this is the closest to a white Christmas we’ll get!

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From top to bottom I tried to incorporate the joy  and traditions of Christmas that are a part of our family.  We bake a lot, so there are plenty of nods to hours in the kitchen cutting out cookies, whipping icing, and indulging in fabulous holiday treats.

Audley and I tucked in ribbon and marshmallows and gingerbread and springy things all around our ornaments to create a full and festive tree.  

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Our tree incorporates twenty-six years of ornaments collected from all six states  we’ve lived in (14 moves total) to carefully chosen floral picks and ribbon plus a few whimsical elves tumbling down the side,  I can tell you just about everywhere we lived as we hang specific ornaments on the tree; lolipops from Rome, Georgia, peppermint teardrops from Clinton, Iowa, a Christopher Radko from our time in Bridgeport, Alabama, a handpainted treasure to reember our years in South Carolina and more recently a very large Mark Robert’s Elf from living in Loganville.   There are so many beautiful memories, in this candy cane themed tree.  I love how it all came together this year. 

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This year I have a sweet addition to my decor … this adorable crate created by my youngest daughter.  It’s so much fun and fits in just perfectly.

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The candy cane theme is wrapped-up (pun intended) with our presents under the tree. 

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I just love incorporating gift wrap that compliments whatever theme we are using, and Audley does a fabulous job with a lot of our wrapping!

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Buttercup seems to think it all looks perfectly delicious, and I’m a bit hungry after talking candy canes, so it’s off to grab a snack and visit all the fabulous bloggers who are sharing their holiday with us!

Check out their links below.  Be sure to leave a comment letting me know you stopped by!  I would love to hear from you.

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Christmas tree graphic (1)

 

Welcome To The Fourth Annual Christmas Tree Decor Blog Hop

Be sure to visit all the participating bloggers below for gorgeous holiday decorating ideas for your Christmas tree.

tree hop collage

Our Crafty Mom // Sustain My Craft Habit // Red Cottage Chronicles // Celebrate and Decorate

Christmas tree decor blog hop collage

Jenron Designs //  2 Bees In A Pod // Virginia Sweet Pea // From House To Home

Christmas Tree Collage

Tribe of Burton // Across the Boulevard // Intelligent Domestications // Simply Beautiful By Angela

Christmas Tree Decor

Modern on Monticello // Redneck Rhapsody // Purple Hues and Me // My Pinterventures

tree hop collage of 2Zucchini Sisters // One Thousand Oaks // Raggedy Bits // Southern Yankee DIY // Fiddle Dee Dee

Christmas tree hop

My Sweet Home Living // Pretty DIY Home // Michelle James Designs // Daily DIY Life

Christmas tree collage of four

Happily Ever After, etc. // Kippi at Home // Simple Nature Decor // Design Morsels