I just HAD to sneak in this post (a Christmas recap) before New Year’s day rolled around. And by the way…happy new year everyone!
Colby and I don’t live close to any of our family. Our nearest family members are three hours away (my family) and his family is a solid seven hour drive (to central Vermont). So each year we rotate our holiday travels. And most often, we spend Thanksgiving with his family in Vermont and Christmas with my family in “The County” (Aroostook County…Maine’s largest and Northern most county). And we spend it at the Bohovich family compound.
My parents, with my contractor brother’s help, built that house themselves. You can see where I get my DIY genes from. My other jeans come from American Eagle. Hmmm…that sounded funnier in my head. But anyway…my family likes to go a little Christmas crazy and this year was no exception.
There were so many great presents under that tree in my parents’ sun room…that they build and finished themselves. Maybe someday I should do a post about their pad! We’ll share our favorite gifts in a moment…but first…check out our GINORMOUS Christmas stockings.
My mom knitted all those. I get my craftiness from my mom. In the last couple of years she’s knitted seven stockings…if you’re counting that’s one for my Mom, Dad, brother Anthony, myself, Colby, the family dog Bailey and even one for Goose.
Lucky dog. And it was filled with all of his favorite things…bones, cookies, and squeaky toys. Although he promptly removed all three squeakers from all three of his squeaky toys within the first five minutes of “opening” his presents. But Goose’s favorite part of Christmas ins’t the bones or toys…it’s playing in the snow on the 30 plus acres that make up the Bohovich Family Compound.
We let him run free up there so it’s a real treat for him. Goose’s favorite activity is chasing away all the Chickadees that my Dad feeds. Goose even chased off the poor one-legged pigeon, who struggles eating seeds in the wind and has famously made an appearance in my Dad’s Christmas letter (I get my wit and charm from my Dad).
As for the goods this Christmas, here are a few of my favorite gifts.
*Images came from Amazon.com
- Good Bones Great Pieces by Suzanne & Lauren McGrath from my Grandma & Aunt Pat
- Happy Chic Color by Jonathan Adler from my Grandma & Aunt Pat
- Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney from my Grandma & Aunt Pat
- The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus from Colby
- Skil pink drill from my parents
- Sticky Buddy from Colby
Can you tell I asked for design books for Christmas? I may have pointed to the Nate Berkus book at Target and said to Colby “this would make an AMAZING Christmas present…hint hint”….several times…and texted it to him while he was Christmas shopping. But the Sticky Buddy was all his idea. It’s actually kind of an inside joke for us. We’ve always joked about Sticky-Buddy-ing our dog (he sheds like you wouldn’t believe). Goose doesn’t let me brush him…but he does let me Sticky-Buddy him…and IT WORKS! Haha! And I ADORE that pink drill…my parents 100% understand my love for both DIY and pink tools (they got me a pink tool bag and tools last year)!
And now for Colby’s booty (this is where I wanted to insert a pic of Colby’s rear end but sadly couldn’t find one…so just picture it…and in Carharts since that’s when it’s at its cutest).
*Images came from Amazon.com and Lowes.com
- It’s A Wonderful Life DVD from my Grandma and Aunt Pat
- Skil router table from my parents
- Leather mittens from my brother Anthony
- Muse CD from me
- Milwaukee jobsite radio from me
- Lowe’s gift card (one from my Aunt Pat and one from Anthony)
I know…I know…in the world of digital music I got Colby a CD. But we are both still loyal CD buyers so back off! Haha! I think it’s adorable that one of Colby’s favorite movies is It’s A Wonderful Life. I’ve still yet to see it…maybe tonight should be movie night. Oh…and since Colby has received that router table (he got a router last year for Christmas) and jobsite radio for his shop, I haven’t seen him. He disappears into his mancave/shop and emerges hours later in a sawdust stupor. He’s been working on a few projects for the house so stay tuned for details.
It was a great Christmas celebration up in the county filled with too much food, too many good times, and tons of family time. But now we’re back home and settling back in. I’ve been settling into all those design books. I can’t put them down.
Of the four I received for Christmas, I’ve already read three cover to cover and am about a quarter of the way into the Design Sponge book. I can’t get enough! I think the Nate Berkus The Things That Matter book is my favorite read so far. It’s all about the homes of his friends, family and clients and how they decorate their homes with meaningful objects. I love that.
With the additional Christmas gifts, my design book collection has more than doubled! They make great additions to the Ikea Beloved Homes, Domino, and Young House Love books already in my collection.
Pssst…But enough about us, how was your Christmas celebration? Any favorite gifts or reads you just can’t put down? Anyone else have stockings for their dog? Was the dog’s stocking more filled up than any other member’s of the family? Goose’s and Bailey’s stockings were the most fill in our house. It’s a dog’s life!
Timeliness has never been my thing. Obviously…since I’m bringing you pictures of our “ho ho holiday home” the day after Christmas. It could be worse. It could be July. But alas….decorating our home for Christmas was extra fun this year since many of our spaces (unlike last year) are in a somewhat finished, presentably state. Last Christmas we were still missing lots of major furnishings including walls. Needless to say…I went ALL OUT. Let’s start our tour with the outside of our home:
This is actually recycled from last Christmas, but we decorated the house exactly the same. Last year’s outdoor pic trumps this year because we don’t have snow here in central Maine…although storm’s a brewin’! To recap…snow pics trump no snow pics. Moving inside the house to the staircase….which we decorated the same as last year (you can see the comparison to last year’s staircase decor here…see…we had no balusters back then).
I love the DIY ornament garland on the staircase. It’s a cheap knockoff of the fancy Pottery Barn style, made from basic garlands from Lowes (the kind with no adornments, just garland) and a couple packages of shatter resistant ornaments from Target.
Our stockings were hung by the chimney with care…I mean…from the bookcase. Same thing, right?!
The paw stocking is a Goose stocking, the one in the middle is Colby’s (his grandmother knitted it for him way back when he was a wee one), and the glittery pink one on the right is mine. But you guys probably figured all that out on your own. We’ve been typecasted.
The decor at the top of the bookcase came from Target a few seasons ago during a post Christmas clearance sale. I adore combo of the reindeer with the bright red votives and glittery trees. Glitter makes me happy.
On the bookcase I added my latest post Christmas sale finds…a bunch of faceted, mercury glass bud vases. I got them from the Christmas Tree Shops last year for a super steal. They originally cost $2.00 each (I think) but I picked them up during a 70% off sale. I bought them all.
The dining room also got a little Christmas pizazz. You already saw the mini wreaths and garlands in this room and the kitchen, but have you seen our hutch decor?
The best part of this niche is the ceramic house. My grandma made that back before I was a blip on the radar. It also has some mini pegs that fit in all those holes but I didn’t put them out since I was afraid Goose would eat them. Totally something he would do. In Goose’s dog world, plastic equals yummy treat.
As a child, my grandma put this ceramic house (with pegs) out in her living room and I used to spend hours upon hours rearranging the pegs, color coding them, and rearranging some more. Apparently I was born with a tedious, organizational obsession. Last Christmas, my grandma passed the house down to me and I couldn’t be happier.
Then there’s the…wait for it…Christmas tree…by day and by night.
I swear I’m the anomaly in the Christmas tree decorating world. I decorate my tree the exact same way every year. I can’t help it. My Christmas tree decor is just so gosh darn sentimental that I can’t bear to mix it up. Most of the decor is passed down from my parents (including the fake tree). Then there’s my collection of Hallmark Mary’s Angels. It’s a collection my family started for me when I was four-ish and every Christmas I get a new angel. I’m up to 25. Even the Christmas train is sentimental. It used to hang out under my parents’ tree when my brother and I were kids. We used to play with that train relentlessly and now I proudly sport it under my own tree.
The one thing new this year to the Christmas tree mix was how I wrapped the presents. Me and present wrapping are tight. We’ve been BFFs since middle school and know each other’s deepest secrets. But seriously, I love LOVE to wrap presents. I get it from my momma. But as much as I love to wrap, this was the first year I ever wrapped our Christmas presents in theme.
I used one roll of red faux bois wrapping paper from Target, which was a splurge at $5 a roll. But I mixed in a $1 roll of brown mailing paper decorated up with some snowflake ribbon and some leftover wedding project jute. I cheaped out on the tags and printed them myself using this free printable sheet.
The present wrapping was a big hit at our Christmas this year at my parents’ house. So now that Christmas decorating 2012 is over, I’m off to Target to see what decor items I can snatch up for cheap to expand the Christmas collection.
Pssst…What is your go to Christmas decorating task? Do you decorate your tree the same every year or switch it up? I REALLY want to hear from those of you who don’t keep it the same. I need to know I’m not the only sentimental one out there who can’t bear the thought of decorating the tree any other way!
Merry Christmas from all of us here at Angie’s Roost (Angie, Colby and Goose too)! We hope you all enjoyed your Christmas celebrations as much as we did and got some extra awesome doses of family this holiday season.
I couldn’t help recycling this pic from last Christmas, a recreation from one of our favorite Christmas movies. Any guesses?! I’ll give you a hint…Colby is playing the role of Uncle Eddie. Maybe next year we’ll switch it up and recreate another scene from a favorite Christmas movie. Maybe the Christmas Story and the tongues on the pole scene…wait…no…that might hurt. Okay…and how about one more “from last Christmas” pic that’s a little less “obscene”.
I know this post is WAY late. The dog ate my homework…oldest excuse in the book. By this time of year, you’re probably immersing that turkey in for a good brine-ing and putting those finishing touches on all those Christmas cookies for Santa. But here at The Roost, we’re just putting together our Christmas wreaths and garlands. Doh! Holiday season procrastinators of the world unite! It can’t just be me?! Show of hands…who is still decorating their home for Christmas? Anyway…back to the wreaths and garlands. Here is what I made…wreaths for the dining room chairs:
And some garland for above the kitchen sink:
I love how Christmas wreaths and garlands inside a home bring out that rustic, Christmas is here, let’s pack in the sleigh (errr….family mini van) and go sing some Christmas carols at the neighbors’. Poor neighbors. And making your own Christmas wreaths and garlands is not only CHEAP but EASY. Here are your supplies:
Supplies included four mini wreath forms, which you can get at just about any local craft store for about $1.50 each. They also have various sizes so you can do a full on, monstrous outdoor wreath. You also need some green, floral wire, which also costs just a few bucks. Then, a walk int he woods yielded a few spruce boughs that I sliced up using a pair of snips.
I just took the bough and cut off all the little branches shooting off of it. The smaller branches were saved to make the mini wreaths and the larger branches were used for the garland. Then to make the wreaths, you just grab a couple of small branches:
And wind the floral wire around and around and around…..around and around and around….around and around and a….you get the point.
You just keep wrapping the floral wire around the wreath form, adding branches here and there, making sure to completely cover up the wreath form. But if you miss a little spot here and there, don’t sweat it (to the oldies Richard Simmons style). Adorn your mini wreath with your favorite ribbon, my glittery ribbon of choice hailed from Target for $1.98 for an entire roll, and hang.
I made four mini wreaths in total and hung them on the backs of our four dining room chairs. Christmas wreaths done…and just under 30 minutes total time.
Now stepping up to the plate…Christmas garland. You can make a simple garland pretty much using the same method as wreath making. Grab some branches, add some more branches, and twist the floral wire around them. Start with the tip of the garland and work towards the stem side, making sure all your branches are pointing in the same direction.
I tend to grab a small clump of branches for a fuller garland effect. Mostly because I don’t decorate the garlands after they’re made. But if you plan to cover your garland in twinkle lights, ornaments and bows, adding just a single branch, instead of a clump, would be fine.
As you add branches and twist the floral wire around, slide the new branches slightly further out to the base of your garland, away from the tip. This is how you “grow” the garland. So there’s a good six inches or so of overlapping branches. You can kind of see the overlap of branches in the pic below of the underside of the garland.
And just keep
swimming twisting and just keep twisting.
And little drummer boy drum roll please……the finished garland hanging over the kitchen sink window.
The garland looks extra awesome by night. For comparison’s sake, here’s the garland by day:
And the garland by night:
Cue up the oooooooooh! And strike up the awwwwwwww! Festive, no?! Now I just wish I had made these and put them up earlier on in the season so we could enjoy them more. Oh who am I kidding?! It will be July before I finish taking down all the Christmas decor anyway so I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Pssst…Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Hope you have a fantastic round of holiday celebrations with all your friends and family!
One of my FAVORITE Christmas traditions is making “Christmas” mints. What are Christmas mints you say? Glad you asked! While most ladies are slaving away in the kitchen making Christmas cookies, I’m dipping homemade mints in chocolate. And the Christmas mints have a great story…it’s a doozy so here’s the Reader’s Digest version. It’s a family recipe that’s been passed down generation to generation along with an antique doughnut hole cutter to cut out the mint dough (aka…the innards). Six years ago, the tradition was passed down to me from my mom. The mints are to die for. Trust me. They’re so good that I’m certain with the right marketing and supply chain management system that I could single-handedly take down York Peppermint Patties. They’re THAT good! Anyway…I make thousands of these things every Christmas season and package them up. And this year…I got a little creative with the packaging.
Recognize the treat boxes? They’re leftover boxes for our wedding favors. We thrifted it up this year and reused what we already had instead of spending $50-$75 on Christmas treat tins and boxes. And here is the outside of the box complete with baker’s twine and cedar clippings from the bush out front.
Crafting up the boxes was super simple. It all started with a few basic craft supplies and leftover wedding favor boxes. Note the message on the inside…”Whoopie, we got hitched”. Can you tell we gave out whoopie pies as favors?! And in the craft supplies pic below…ignore the jute and the glitter paint. These were replaced with baker’s twine and gold metallic paint. This is what happens when you start making treat boxes four weeks ago and frantically finish them last night in order to give them out today. #procrastinationmaximation
First step…I had to cover up the “Whoopie” message which is not Christmas appropriate. Well, maybe it’s late night, post Christmas party appropriate but definitely not the message I want to share with my friends and family this Christmas season. So I used some Martha Stewart chalkboard stickers that was leftover from labeling some office supply jars, to cover up the stamped on message.
Then I took some of the Martha Stewart gold metallic paint that I picked up at Michael’s.
Tested out how the paint looked on the chalkboard label.
And painted the message onto the labels, channeling my inner calligrapher. I’m not quitting my day job anytime soon in hopes of making it big in the calligraphy world.
After letting the paint dry for a little while it was time to assemble the boxes. I was pseudo worried about the paint getting on the mints and contaminating them. But I always line my treat boxes with parchment paper so I powered through.
Then out came the Martha Stewart, Christmas themed baker’s twine, also from Michaels. I swear I wasn’t paid or perked by Martha to use her products. I just have this strange infatuation with all things Martha. Martha’s my girl!
To polish off the treat boxes, I wrapped them in a double strand of red baker’s twine and then tied a few cedar clippings into the twine bow.
The cedar clippings came from an overgrown bush out in our front yard and is the product of shear laziness. I wanted to green up the treat boxes but it was pouring outside and I didn’t want to put a coat and shoes on. I told you shear laziness was involved. So off to the front porch I went where I simply opened up the door, reached over to the bush which is spilling out into the front stairway these days, and snipped off a branch. No outside in the rain time necessary.
And scene. Signed, sealed, delivered. Completed Christmas mint favor boxes ready for passing out. Okay, now send me your addresses so I can send you a box of mints. Kidding!
Pssst…What last minute Christmas projects are you whacking off your to-do list? Any family traditions that you’re carrying out? Or crafts still to be made?