As per usual with our holiday home tour, in the infamous words of Pops from the 1990 movie Ski Patrol, “I’m a day late and a dollar short”. Okay, so maybe Pops wasn’t the one who originally came up with those words but he still speaks to me in a sarcastically deep way. Anyway, before we skipped town to visit my folks for Christmas, I ran around our home like a madwoman and snapped a bunch of pics to share with you of our holiday home 2013. Despite Etsy store craziness, I somehow managed to whip together some semblance of a holiday home, mostly in the living room.
I picked up a couple of new pillows (the red ones were from Home Goods and the white ones from Target) and also swapped out the usual orange lamp for a more neutral one which had been living upstairs in the craft room. The coffee table was new this year (a yard sale find) so it was fun to style it up and add some baskets of ornaments to the bottom shelf. I also switched up some of the coffee table top accessories, opting to integrate a few sparklies here and there.
The media cabinet also got a bit of a festive upgrade with a pair of red candlesticks that I received as a Christmas gift last year (thanks Gram and Pat!). I’m such a sucker for turquoise and red as a color combo! It’s my favorite!
I picked up a whole mess of votives (we’re talking about 20) from Target this year. And by this year I mean about two days before Christmas. They were already on clearance for about a dollar each. I plopped them down all over the house, wherever a bit of festiveness/sparkliness was needed.
Including all over the bookcase.
How could I have a holiday home tour without the creme de la creme…aka…the Christmas tree. Side note…I hadn’t yet switched out the orange lamp for the neutral black lamp yet. But see why I did it?! Orange just doesn’t say “Christmas” to me. It screams high security prison instead.
I feel like such a weirdo in the blogosphere as I decorate our tree exactly…the same…every…single…year. But can you blame me?! It’s for sentimental reasons. Every year for Christmas since I was a wee one (we’re talking 26 years strong) I have received the Hallmark Mary’s Angels ornament. Here are a few of them:
I have them all. Every…single…one. And I can’t bear the thought of not displaying them over the Christmas season. But I am jonesing to do something different with the tree. Maybe a second tree is in order next year. Like maybe this one (which is a fake tree) can be our traditional tree and hopefully by Christmas 2014 the porch will be all done and we could do a “for fun” tree out there. Maybe even a real one (a small real one).
We can’t forget what’s under the Christmas tree…the Christmas presents.
Goose was scoping out all the goods and trying to figure out which one was his. Goose loves presents, especially ones that contain bones or cookies. This year’s presents were wrapped with a red/rustic motif which included red candy cane striped paper from Target, a floral paper from Hobby Lobby, and some kraft paper mixed in.
The dining room also got a tad of festiveness mixed in including a Target Christmas clearance 2012 wreath (it was 90% off and only about $3…crazy), an old centerpiece I’ve had for ages, and a few other touches.
I love hanging ornaments in the window every year. It’s pretty much my favorite piece of decor.
And let’s talk about the decor in the china hutch for a second. The ceramic house was a gift from my Grandma. It used to be hers and she passed it down to me because she knew I would appreciate it. As a child, I used to spend hours, HOURS, rearranging all those little “light” pegs in the house and in the tree. HOURS. #simplemind
Mosying down the hallway from the dining room, you’re greeted with a bit of Christmas art that we made during our first Christmas in the house (learn about how we made the art back here and here…caution…it was during our early days of blogging so the pics are a bit…uh…rough-ish). I love putting these out each year…especially the underwear piece.
And then there’s the jingle bell garland that we showed you earlier this week back here.
Even our kitchen, albeit a total mess in that space (hence the zoomed in/cropped photo) got a bit of festive cheer.
Including our new, bronzed Christmas reindeer that I found at our local antiques store on sale for $18. I shall call him Brutus. I love Brutus and couldn’t resist his charms, kind of like when I first met Colby.
I pretty much contained my Christmas decor to the first floor, but did add a few jingle bells to each of the four doors upstairs.
The bells were from Target (again purchased this year just a few days before Christmas already on clearance). Not only are they adorable but they make it impossible to sneak off to the bathroom in the middle of the night without waking the Goose from his beauty sleep. And we all know how much Goose needs his beauty sleep since it’s hard to get away with things when he’s not looking his cutest.
So that concludes our
cribs holiday home tour. You’ve seen our deer, you’ve ogled our presents, now you gotta go (now go back and read that channeling your inner MTV Cribs celebrity home tour).
Pssst…How did you guys decorate your home this year? Do you decorate your tree the same every year? Or mix it up? Maybe make your own ornaments? Do tell!
Pssssssst…Check out our 2012 Holiday Home Tour and compare notes. I love seeing how our Christmas decor collection grows just a smidge each year.
First things first…Merry Christmas (Eve) everyone! Second…it’s Christmas card time. Campbell family Christmas card time. By this time all our friends and family should have received our Christmas card. So if you haven’t received it yet, EARMUFFS…errr…eyemuffs?! Spoiler alert, we’re about to show the blogosphere our Campbell Family Christmas cards the 2013 edition. So avert your eyes. Without further ado, our 2013 Christmas card:
We purchased our Christmas cards from Minted back before Thanksgiving (totally early for us) but addressed them and sent them out last week (totally normal for us). After debating staging a custom Christmas photo (perhaps by recreating some of our favorite Christmas movie scenes…Colby as Elf anyone?!), we went the easy route and scanned through old Instagram photos to use in a smorgasbord of sorts. I decided to give Minted a try this year since I had heard so many good things about them, and was thumbing through their design options until I came across this one (the Chalkboard Quotes design) and knew it was the one! The “sample” version of the card even had the “squirrel” and “it’s all on my blog” quotes on it. Perfection! I plugged some of our photos into the card building wizard and done.
Sign, sealed, delivered ordered.
We even splurged a little this year and sprung for the envelope upgrade to kraft paper envelopes. I’ve never met a kraft paper envelope I didn’t like and the minted version of the envelopes is superior quality! Quite impressed.
I even had a bit of washi tape leftover from a few Christmas crafts circa 2012 so I slapped a bit of tape on each of the envelopes for another piece of envelope flair.
And is per our usual mo, Goose even signed each and every one of those cards. Such talent that Goose has! Spoiler alert…it’s a dog paw rubber stamp.
Since I have no photo outtakes to share with you this year (but you can check out all the ridiculousness that was our 2012 photo shoot), I thought it might be fun to check out what some of the other Christmas card contenders were.
Runner Up #1: We Are Family design from Minted
This card was actually my favorite. I loved the simplicity. But Colby quickly vetoed it because he thought we’ve overused that pic. He’s got a point. It’s everywhere. Our blog header, Facebook page profile pics, Etsy profile pic, amongst other locations.
Runner Up #2: Naughty or Nice design from Minted
Who wouldn’t love a Goose is naughty card?! Especially when he’s naughty about 98.5% of the time. The other 1.5% of the time he’s sleeping. But this card was mutually vetoed since we wanted to get our mugs on the card too. Goose can’t have all the attention around these parts.
Winner winner chicken dinner!
So from our little ol’ family to yours, we’re wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year! And a HUGE thank you to all our fabulous readers! Virtual group hug…awwwwwww!
Pssst…What did you all do for your holiday cards this year? Do you also go the photo card routed? Or do you buy the box of cards from the Target aisle every year?
Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg…. Sorry. Not really. I just couldn’t help myself. When I think jingle bells, naturally I think of that song. Which got me thinking about the origins of that song and whether or not it’s a “Maine thing”. I just don’t know sometimes! So I Googled it and there’s totally a Wiki about the song! Oh Wikipedia! You know all! But alas, this blog post isn’t about Jingle Bell song parodies, it’s about how I made a super easy jingle bell garland to deck our staircase this Christmas.
And when I say “super easy” I really do mean super easy, even though I started this decor project over a month ago and I JUST finished it. But in reality, it took me about an hour (active time) to do the whole thing. I typically swag our staircase with a DIY garland of plastic ornaments (as you can see back here in our 2012 Holiday Home Tour), but this year I felt the need to switch it up a little bit. Enter the jingle bell garland.
It all started back before Thanksgiving when I came across these jingle bells during a routine cruise through of Home Goods.
It was love at first sight. I saw the jingle bells down the aisle, batted my eyes at ‘em a few times (I cannot confirm nor deny that I started blushing), and couldn’t resist taking them home. Oooh la la! And on a first date?! I had been drooling over the Pottery Barn jingle bells as vase filler for a long time but couldn’t justify spending $15 for 23 small bells. These guys were bigger…MUCH bigger…and only $10.99 for each box. I’ll take four!
To make the garland, my supplies were pretty limited. I just dumped all the bells in a large bowl (so I could mix up the different colors) then grabbed some jute (which I always have on hand) and a pair of scissors.
I just pulled a very long piece of the jute off the roll, about three feet long, refraining from cutting it just yet in case I needed more length. Then grabbed random jingle bells from the bowl and started stringing them on the jute one at a time. Side note: the jute tended to fray quickly from pushing it through so many jingle bells. It helps to either trim the jute occasionally to keep the end easily thread-able and also twist the jute (in the direction that would tighten the jute strands) as you push the twine through the bell. Both totally help make jingle bell stringing easier.
Before attaching the jingle bell strands to the garland, I swagged the staircase first with the empty greenery. It’s 1,000 times easier to attach the greenery decor (ornaments, jingle bells, etc.) afterwards since you can thread the empty greens through the balusters.
Then I just attached a section of jingle bells right over the greenery, working it one section at a time, tying the excess jute around the staircase bannister.
See…easy tying action. I was slightly worried that the twine wouldn’t hold up or the jingle bells would be too heavy for it and snap. But thankfully, it’s held up just fine.
One section down and four more to go. I just repeated the process, making three additional sections of jingle bell garland, tying them to their appropriate section of the staircase. This allowed me to add/subtract bells as needed to make it just the right length.
I’m loving the jingle bell garland. Like LOVING loving the jingle bell garland. My only regret is not attempting to tie on some fun ribbon in those spots where the jingle bells tie onto the bannister. But I thought they would compete with the stockings so I failed to give it a whirl. And can we take a minute to talk about our stockings for a second?
From closest to farthest away…that’s Colby’s stocking, mine and then Goose’s. These are actually our stockings growing up. Thus, Colby has had that stocking for 30+ years and it was handmade by his grandmother. Mine’s store bought but it’s still sentimental and has been with me since I can remember. Goose’s stocking is hand-me-down…it was the family cat’s stocking. I’m not sure how Goose feels about that. Maybe that explains his bout of rebellion this past week.
One Christmas project officially under our belts and about 17 more on the list to tackle in the next…oh…three days. Hmmm…I sense I’ll still be doing Christmas projects in January, maybe February….okay okay…July 4th at the latest!
Pssst…Holy snow storm craziness batman! We’re definitely going to be enjoying a white Christmas this year! How about you guys? Any last minute Christmas decorating? Did you survive the ginormous snow storm/ice storm that hit us (fellow Mainers)?
We’re fans of exposing things around these parts. Well, let me clarify, exposing old elements of our home (sheesh…get your minds out of the gutter folks….although Colby sometimes…wait…I’m not gonna go here). So when we last left off on this little ol’ blog of ours, we left with a teaser of sorts and showed you the old wood sheathing that we exposed in our kitchen, as kind of an accent wall.
And today we’re here to get down to the nitty gritty of “how the heck did that happen?!” Let’s just say, it was a bit of an impulse project. We had a few more pressing duties to tackle, you know, like STARTING our Christmas shopping. So while I was supposed to be taking care of The Campbell Family Christmas, Colby’s Saturday project was to investigate what was going on in our kitchen (now that we have the final piece of our appliance puzzle, the new stove, we’re itching to start remodeling and planning the new kitchen). We know there’s some wonky electrical going on, our entry leaks like a sieve when it rains, and we’re DYING to start completely overhauling our kitchen. Before we could space plan the kitchen, we needed to know what we were dealing with structurally. Like what walls are load bearing and what aren’t. So in one of Colby’s attempts to check on our electrical situation, he revealed a sliver of the kitchen wall beside the dining room.
The original plan was to check on the wiring and cover the missing sheet rock up with a piece of “temporary” trim (air quotes temporary because what is intended to be temporary around our house tends to stick around like a bad brother-in-law). But when we saw the old wood sheathing behind the sheet rock, we both kind of looked at each other with a crazy eye, and decided we needed to expose it…ALL of it.
Our kitchen isn’t original to the house. It was an addition back in the 70s while the rest of our home dates back to 1910. So that old wood sheathing was actually the old exterior to the house. Technically it wasn’t the siding but an underlayment of sorts. Regardless, it looked cool.
Operation Expose Yourself (Wood Sheathing) or #exposeyourselfwoodsheathing (glad we established what the hashtag for this project should be…phew) began. It really was a simple process. Demo always seems to be quick. It’s the putting it all back together again process that takes forever! We were terribly careful about removing the sheet rock as we weren’t taking down all of it including the trim, but just this wall section. So we carefully scored the sheet rock with a utility knife, along all the trim and around the outlets.
And using a pry bar, pulled the sheet rock away from the wall, breaking up the chunks as we pulled them off and bagging up the construction debris.
Goose even helped us out. Although, I’m sure he was just searching out errant cookies that may have ended up behind the fridge during a rambunctious round of cookie tossing.
After all the sheet rock was removed, I went back over the wall and removed all the old nails, including these tacks meant to hold back exterior tar paper.
The only blip we experience in #operationexposeyourselfwoodsheathing was dealing with the pair of outlets in the wall. Because we were removing an entire wall layer, both of the electrical boxes sat a bit too high. For one of them, we were able to cut and chip away at the wood wall enough to recess the box.
The second outlet was a little trickier since it was in a corner and over a stud (weird…I told you our kitchen was weird). To rectify, Colby just trimmed around the outlet using some scrap pine cut to the same thickness as the sheet rock. This allowed the switch plate cover to sit flush with the trim instead of sticking out 1/4″ or so.
With the outlets prepped, the last steps included tacking down any loose boards using the nail gun:
Why did I marry him again?! And installing some trim to hide the gaps between the accent wall and the other surfaces (wall, ceiling, floor):
We typically just use simple 1″ x 4″ pine for trim but sometimes it isn’t enough #thatswhatshesaid. In the case of the ceiling trim, we added a piece of quarter round that we had leftover from other trim projects to help hide the slightly larger gap. And for the record, we totally know how much of a mess our ceiling is. I cringe every time I see it and strategically crop it out of most pics. It’s coming down someday…hopefully someday soon.
And voila…a trimmed up, exposed old wood wall. I love that it kind of ties into the exposed wood floor that we’ve got going on in the dining room which is another one of those “temporary” fixes that has been there for three years now.
The old wood wall was a bit dirty and super dry. It lacked luster and I was 100% afraid that wood chunks were going to flake off into our cereal bowls stored near the wall and would mistakenly get confused for Corn Flakes. It happens. So I cleaned up the wall and gave it a coat of poly. You can see how the poly helps liven up the wall a little bit, giving it some color and brightness.
Here’s the up close and personal glamor shot:
And from afar with the refrigerator back in place (and Goose not giving it up in the great cookie search):
So now that we’ve exposed the wall, what’s next? Well, Pandora, don’t mind if I do open that box you have right there! Colby doesn’t know this yet (surprise baby!) here’s what I want to do (in list form…naturally):
- Take down the ceiling. I just…can’t…take it anymore. We hadn’t anticipated doing this but I think it’s time. Plus, it will help us determine whether or not we can take down the entry wall and the laundry room wall in our big remodel.
- Paint the kitchen gray like the rest of the open areas in our home (we used Baywaves by Valspar).
- Install the new kitchen ceiling (I’m dreaming of planking it kind of like this, this, or this)
- Finish painting all the baseboards in the kitchen along with the new, accent wall trim.
- Build in the refrigerator making some storage shelves above (possible painting the side of the built in with chalkboard paint).
- Build some pull out shelves for the 20″ space between the refrigerator and the accent wall.
We do intend to completely gut out our kitchen, change the layout a bit (we really want to open it all up to make space for a GINORMOUS kitchen island), and even install new cabinetry. So I’m trying not to do too much in this space right now or (knowing us) we’ll just throw away that lid to Pandora’s box and just do the kitchen now. But if we can break down the whole project into chunks (like replacing the ceiling now), that’s one less thing we’ll have to do later and helps keep our kitchen usable in the process. But we’ll see where we end up once we pick back up on this project, probably post Christmas. I’m notorious for changing my mind.
Pssst…Next week I swear I’ll have a few little Christmas-ie posts for y’all (am I allowed to use y’all when I live in Maine?!). Is it sad that I’m just getting around to my Christmas projects? Please tell me some of you are just starting your shopping and wrapping now too?
So there was this time…at Lowes…where we impulsively bought a new stove (kind of like the time we impulsively bought a $400 stainless steel refrigerator…I sense a trend) which naturally led to us ripping down a wall. It was the stove’s fault. The wall would have never suffered it’s ill fate if it wasn’t for the stove. It will all make sense in a moment, but let’s just take a second to oooh and aaaah over our new, stainless steel, Frigidaire Gallery stove.
Ooooooooooh…..ahhhhhhhhhh! We’ve been passively in the market for a new stove in the kitchen for the last year or so. We weren’t in a hurry for a new stove since our old one worked perfectly fine. It was a white Amana stove which I’m pretty sure was relatively new. It came with the house when we bought it and was by far the nicest appliance.
But the stove was the last appliance to complete the stainless steel appliance trifecta…dishwasher, refrigerator, stove. We even replaced our washer and dryer last summer using some of our wedding money. And boy does it feel good to have the final piece of the appliance puzzle cozying up with the dishwasher in our kitchen!
We bought the stove the week before Thanksgiving and it definitely wasn’t a premeditated purchase. It went kind of like this. On a random Tuesday, I had gone to our favorite bar in town, Miguel’s to grab some lunch sans Colby. Fun-employment (aka self-employment) has its perks! I know, I know…shameless move…going to your husband’s favorite bar in the middle of the day while he’s away. In my defense…I was actually just dropping off his football pool picks since he plays every week in the Miguel’s pool and couldn’t go over to drop them off since he was at hunting camp. #thegoodwife While waiting for my lunch, I was going through a couple hundred emails on my phone (the down side of self-employment) and came across one from Lowes for a pre Black Friday appliance sale.
And since we were passively searching for a new stove, I clicked through and checked the prices. I knew we wanted to pick up one of the stainless steel stoves in the Frigidaire Gallery series. We have a Gallery dishwasher but a Whirlpool Gold refrigerator but prefer the Gallery series since it’s way less prone to showing fingerprints than the Gold. In the series, I had two options. I originally thought we wanted the cheaper stove which was on sale for $549, originally $849. But after cruising through the reviews for that stove, along with the reviews for the upgraded stove, opted to upgrade and spend the extra $100 for far superior reviews. Besides…I liked the larger window in the stove too. Sold!
With Colby at hunting camp, I did send him a series of frantic texts about whether or not we should pull the trigger. We were hoping to start a kitchen remodel this spring but didn’t want to make any drastic kitchen changes until we had acquired all of our appliances. And in the past year of passively searching, this pre Black Friday appliance sale was the cheapest we’ve EVER seen the stove. We agreed it was time and ironically the location of the bar I was in was just around the corner from Lowes. I took it as a sign as the right thing to do. In the span of an hour I had received an email, did appliance research, talked it over with the husband, made the purchase, and set up a delivery date. A few days later…
We were in stove business…new, gorgeous, stainless steel, stove business. Come to mama!
We were a little nervous that the new stove would just be a tad deeper than the old stove which meant that the dishwasher wouldn’t open. But thankfully we could shove it right in there and the dishwasher door just sneaks right by.
We’ve used our stove to make many meals since it’s arrival and we couldn’t be happier! So far, no problems. It cooks like a dream, bakes exceptionally evenly, cleans up in a flash, and even has an extra “warming” burner that we didn’t have with our old stove. Speaking of the old stove, we do plan to Craigslist the guy but probably not until after Christmas and New Year’s day. Until then, we have two stoves in our kitchen.
So what’s the deal with the wall coming down?! Glad you asked grass hoppah! Shortly after the stove’s arrival we started getting super excited about the prospect of a kitchen remodel. Which meant….planning time! Oh the possibilities! Ikea kitchen planners were downloaded, measurements were taken, and giddiness ensued. We plan on ripping pretty much everything out, going straight down to the studs, since we’re pretty sure we have a crazy electrical problem that we need to fix. Let’s just say, every time we open the microwave door, the outlet trips. Not good. Anyway, since everything is coming out, we started to punch into the sheet rock just a smidge, trying to determine which walls (entry wall, laundry room wall) are load bearing and which aren’t. Which is when we discovered this:
That’s the old wood sheathing underneath the sheet rock in our kitchen. Isn’t it pretty?! Our home is a solid 100+ years old but the kitchen was an addition from the 70s. When they added on the kitchen, the remodelers just threw sheet rock on top of this old, exterior wall which Colby and I decided we needed to expose…now. So we have a fun little upgrade for that wall planned, including adding more storage and boxing in the refrigerator. We can’t wait! We’re pretty desperate for some better storage in the kitchen. But more about the new accent wall and storage plans tomorrow. Nothing like a little cliff hanger for you on this Tuesday evening.
Pssst…Totally random Angie thought for you. Have you guys seen the Xmas Jammies video on You Tube yet?! Oh…emmm…geeeee! This family Christmas card video puts my sad little Christmas cards to shame! Can I get adopted into that family?! Now I NEED my own Xmas jammies!