It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigLotsHoliday #CollectiveBias

Christmas is coming!!! Usually I wait until after Thanksgiving to get all of my pretty holiday décor out, especially since my husband doesn’t like for Christmas to overrun Thanksgiving, but he was out of town, and I was so excited about my amazing Big Lots Christmas decoration finds, that I couldn’t wait to decorate just a few areas of the house.

(that picture above is shoppable by the way! So if you see something you like, just hover over it!)
If you’re like me, you probably have already added in some pops of red to your décor as fall and Thanksgiving started coming in, and it makes for such an easy transition into Christmas. One of the main areas that I really wanted to go all out decorating this year was my mantle. A couple of months ago, I woke up one day and decided to add the faux-shiplap paneling to it, and two hours later, my mantle went from meh to a total statement piece in our downstairs living room. I couldn’t believe what a difference that little bit of wood made, and I have had this big, beautiful blank canvas just waiting for boughs of green and pops of red. DSC_0012

When I was shopping in Big Lots, I came across their display of Holiday lanterns and I had to have some of them. I honestly could have bought them all, they were all so beautiful, but I chose a few of my favorites to mix and match.

Big Lots Christmas Decorations (2)

Aren’t they all so cute? I spent forever right there choosing which ones I was going to get and which ones would go best on my mantle. I seriously considered buying one of each! Before I put them up on my mantle though, I started off with two of these pretty, sparkly garlands that I got at Big Lots. I was tempted to buy like 10 of these things, they are so pretty and could go just about anywhere in my house for winter décor.  An employee was even super helpful by getting down more boxes of them from off the top shelf so I could buy a bunch haha.

DSC_0017Big Lots Christmas Decorations (1)DSC_0020

I love incorporating natural elements like pinecones into my Christmas décor, it gives that rustic, cozy feeling to my mostly white home. To give my garlands that extra something special, I also bought a couple boxes of these dainty little lights and wrapped them around my garlands. They are so thin, you can barely even seem them when they are off, but at night they give off such a pretty glow.

DSC_0057

Next I added in my lanterns, trying to vary colors and heights to give it a mismatched, yet uniform look. I love the pretty bows and candles in the two red ones. In the wood one, I later added a red candle and more of the tiny lights for a little color and shine.DSC_0034DSC_0040

One of the first things that grabbed my eye while I was shopping at Big Lots for Christmas decorations was this reindeer head. I love the rustic vine wrapped around the antlers, and I’m always a sucker for white.

DSC_0051

I originally planned on putting it inside the wreath shown above, but when I got home, it wouldn’t fit! Luckily, I have quite a few everyday wreaths through out my house, and just decided to borrow the one that is usually above the sink, and I’ll have the Christmas one above the sink for the holidays!DSC_0064DSC_0067

How amazing are those Big Lots finds, and I was able to do my entire mantle without going over budget, so basically what I’m saying is run to your closest Big Lots so you can get them before they’re gone! Once I had all of  my Big Lots finds, I added in a few more small decorations that I had collected over the years like a little sled, my candlesticks (which are usually always on the mantle),
DSC_0092lighter

What do you think? Are you a classic reds and greens decorator, go with the silvers and blues, or have your own awesome holiday taste? I’d love to hear! One thing I loved about that sparkly garland is that it would match anyones holiday décor.DSC_0125

It looks so pretty in person. I think the lanterns are my favorite part. Once I had snuck some Christmas lanterns into the downstairs living room, I figured I was probably safe to add some red and green into the upstairs living room as well. We spend most of our time in our upstairs living room, and that is where we put our real tree and open presents on Christmas morning. There isn’t really any where up there to hang stockings, and while we were working on fencing in our yard, I had a great idea- why not build a stocking holder myself out of fence pallets? The boards are around $1.25 a piece, so they are a really great price for some pine wood.

DIY Stocking Holder Easy

Here’s how I did it: Easy DIY Stocking Holder

Supplies:
5 fence picket boards (more or less if you want to make yours smaller, we have 5 people but I used double hooks so we can use it still if we have more kids)
1X3 board- two 25” pieces (if you use a different amount of fence pickets, you’ll need to get a different length, multiply the number of boards you are using X5. You’ll need two boards that are that many inches [For example, I used 5 boards, so 5X5=25, I needed two 25” boards}). This is a great chance to use any scrap pallet wood you have sitting around. They are usually right around 24” (which would work just fine) and are the perfect size.
2X2 board– The length of these is going to depend on how straight you want your stand to stand up, mine were 10 inches long each before cutting them. You’ll need two (you could also use some scrap pallet wood here, I used 2X2’s because I had some scrap pieces of it)
5 Hooks (You can usually find these for like 90 cents each)
10 Screws- these need to be 1.25 inch wood screws
2 Screws- these need to be 1” wood screws.
White Spray Paint

Total cost of supplies if you don’t have any of this on hand: About $20.

Step 1: Cut all of your boards. Decide how tall you want your Stocking Holder, and cut your fence boards that length. Mine is right at 40” tall, which is the perfect height. Make sure you are measuring from the picket down, so all of your boards have the cute picket at the top. For your 1X3’s, use the measurements above. For the 2X2’s, you are going to need to cut each end at a 45 degree angle using a miter saw or miter template. You want both of the long ends of the miter cut on the same side. For reference, look at my 2X2’s in the picture below. If you’re boards need sanding, run some sandpaper over them to get off any splinters or rough spots.
DIY Stocking Holder (3)

Step 2: Lay out your fence boards side by side, making sure to put all the good sides down. Level the top (I simply used one of my 1X3’s to level as you can see below) and make sure your gaps are even in between boards (I put my boards all right up against each other, it inevitably leaves a tiny gap and I liked that look).DIY Stocking Holder (4)DIY Stocking Holder (5)

Step 3: Lay your first 1X3 across the fence boards, about six inches from the top of the pickets. Screw a 1.25” screw into each board. When you’re done, lay your second 1X3 about two feet down and screw it in to each board as well. DIY Stocking Holder (6)

Yay! Most of the work is done! I told you this was easy! If you want to just lean your stocking holder up against the wall you can skip the next step but I wanted mine to be freestanding, so I added some legs to hold it up. NOTE: I realized later it would have been much easier to spray paint my boards at this step and put on the hooks before adding the legs. Feel free to do steps 5 and 6 now and then come back to step 4.

Step 4: Alright, you’re gonna have to really follow along with me here, because I couldn’t take pictures of myself doing it, but I think if I show you the final product, you’ll get it. It’s simple. Stand your stocking holder up vertically. Deicide how vertical you want yours to be, I wanted mine to lean back just ever so slightly. Take one of your 2X2’s, and while your board is up, slide the 2X2 up against it so that you can see where it needs to be to hold it at that angle. Draw a straight line along the top of the 2X2. Do the same thing on the other side. Now, lay your stocking holder on the ground, hold your first 2X2 where it goes along the line you drew and screw a screw about 1.5” up the 2X2 to secure it to the holder. Do the same on the other side. Stand it up and there ya go! Yes, I do realize that I split my wood on the right side, I fixed it later. I thought I could be all sneaky using drywall screws because that’s what I had, but lesson learned. Only use wood screws in wood.DIY Stocking Holder (1)

Step 5: Spray paint your stocking holder! You of course can use any white paint you have sitting around, if you’re like me, I have lots. It took me right at 3 cans of spray paint to finish this. I think rolling on some home point would work even better, but I’m all about using what you already have!

Step 6: Add your hooks, making sure that they are all even, and hanging up your stockings!DIY Stocking Holder (9)DSC_0602

I can’t wait to see my boys faces on Christmas morning when they come out and see their stocking filled and hanging there. I love what a statement piece it makes too, and I think I’m going to use it for other holidays too. I can see little Easter baskets hanging here in the Spring.

DIY Stocking Holder (8)

Now you can stand back and take at look at your handiwork! I’m sure yours will turn out so cute, probably even better than mine! Add some Big Lots decorations and it’s the perfect little Holiday corner. It’d be adorable background for all your Christmas morning pictures too! So, the real questions is, how soon are you heading to Big Lots to get your décor and make this cute little display?

Updating the House with Annie Selke

This post was sponsored by Annie Selke as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

DSC_7708dsc_7751

I am always looking for great, All-American brands to bring that light, happy home feel. When I got introduced to Annie Selke’s brands, I loved everything. It all has that light, airy feel and there are tons of amazing rugs, bedding, and more. Browsing the beautiful catalogue (sign up to get one here which will get you 15% off your purchase too!), I loved the comfortable, relaxed feel everything had and knew it would fit great it our house. To update our spaces, I got this gorgeous Dash and Albert (one of the Annie Selke lines) woven rug for our living room. (ignore my rocking chair- it is halfway through a chalk paint project)DSC_7669DSC_7696

It’s perfect for letting the baby roll around on and for wrestling the big boys and better even is that it’s washable. That’s right, the rug is washable. I also got one of their great rug pads to go beneath it to protect the floor and make it even cushier. I protect our hard wood floors from our boys as much as possible.

DSC_7673

I love how it adds some pattern  to the room and makes a statement, but stays neutral at the same time. I’ve had so much trouble finding rugs that are more neutrals pieces and fit the aesthetic I want. Annie Selke has tons that did, and is committed to style and quality. This rug definitely embodies both of those things.

DSC_7712DSC_7690

I  only planned on getting the rug, but then I fell in love with these pillows for my master bedroom It is the one room of our house that just keeps getting pushed aside, never getting any attention, but when I saw these pillows, I just had to have them. DSC_7721

I have looked everywhere for bedding that looks farmhouse-y, and that little stripe on the shams reminds me of feedsacks. I’m trying to go for a farmhouse/boho feel so to mix up the colors, I also got this great blue pillow to go in the front. It’s kind of a different look, but I feel like Joanna Gaines would approve.

DSC_7734DSC_7741

I know you are dying to get your hands on some of their awesome goods, and I’ve partnered up with IC so you can enter to win one of three $500 Gift Cards to Annieselke.com. Contest runs through October 25th so get your entries in below while you can!

Annie Selke Giveaway

DIY Fall Garland How-To

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions and ideas are mine alone. #LoveAmericanHome #cbias #CollectiveBias

fall tablescape candles placemats decor decorating apples

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on slowly transitioning my home décor into fall. I’ve been adding pumpkins, wheat bundles, and fake leaves, but it’s still 90 degrees outside so it didn’t feel very “fall” yet. SO, I went out and bought some fall scented-candles to bring in the real feel. Isn’t that one of the first things that we notice about fall? That crisp smell in the air? I love how smells transport you to a different place or bring back great memories, like how a small jewelry box I have from my Great-Grandmothers house still has that musky smell that takes me back every time I open it.

As I’ve been placing everything, I found the perfect place to put my new candles, and thought I would share the how-to of this gorgeous fall garland that I made for my table.
apples in decor

Supplies:
Fresh cut boughs OR three of the “greens only” or “growers bunch” flowers from the floral department, trimmed
Grape vine (it’s sold in the floral craft department)
Floral Tape
Candles (American Home™ by Yankee Candle smell so good!)
Apples (Mine are Gala, and I used four but if your space is bigger, you might want more)
Scissors
DSC_7391 (2)DIY table garland (2)

Step One- Take your Grape vine, measure it out as long as you want your final garland to be (I made mine a few inches shorter than the table), double that length, add six inches, and cut it.DIY table garland (3)

Step Two– Fold your grape vine in half and twist it together.

Step Three– Lay your grapevine on the table. Take your greenery, and lay it out so that you can see if you have enough and decide approximately where you want to place them.
DIY table garland (5)

Step Four– Working from one end, hold your first piece of greenery on the vine, and secure it with floral tape. Try to do it behind a leaf if possible to held hide the tape. Moving down the vine, add a second one on top of the stem of the first, layering them to hid the stems. I like to start with my greenery that has the biggest leaves first, as a nice lush base.DIY table garland (4)

Step Five– Keep moving down the vine, until your entire garland is done! When you are done, if there are areas that need to be filled in, you can tuck in extra pieces and tape them behind the other branches leaves. I also like to add in some thinner stems with other textures to make it look even more lush.
DIY table garland (6)

Step Six– Lay your garland on the table. Bend it so it makes a nice “S” shape. Take your apples, and place them in the bends. Next, take your candles and place them a few inches away from the apples. Wa-la! A beautiful fall garland!DIY table garland (9)

I used the American Home™ by Yankee Candle candles sold exclusively at Walmart because they smell so goo, are a rich, high quality and burn clean from start to end. Even before I lit them, the fragrance was already amazing through out the room. It smelled just like fall even though it’s still be ninety degrees outside.
DIY table garland (8)

They come in a variety of life-inspired fragrances that are classic for fall, the fragrances I used with my garland are “Apple Cinnamon Cider,” “Homemade Pumpkin Pie,” and “Pumpkin Apple Harvest.” Not only are they pretty and so fragrant, they would make great gifts or a great way to set the mood for a fun fall dinner or friends-giving. Just make sure you follow the instructions to a tee, I don’t want anybody getting hurt this holiday season! For example, did you know that you’re supposed to trim the wicks to 1/8th of an inch to make sure the flame doesn’t get too big?
DIY table garland (10)

Once I had my garland all complete and set on the table, I added in all of my favorite fall table décor. Placemats (neutral burlap ones are my favorite), Dishes, and Pretty glasses are all you need to compliment such a pretty centerpiece. It would be beautiful to add some small sprigs of fall flowers to the plates and fall fabric napkins if you have company coming.DIY table garland (13)DIY table garland (16)DIY table garland (17)DIY table garland (24)DIY table garland (23)DIY table garland (14)DIY table garland (1)DIY table garland (21)Apple

I would LOVE to see your fall tablescapes and what you’ve been making for fall. Do you use candles to bring the fall feeling to your home too? Or to look pretty on your mantle? Tag @gmlhome so I can see them, and check out Walmarts candles by American Home™ by Yankee Candle to fill your home with amazing fragrance and welcome fall!1020

8 Things to Have Ready Before Your Holiday Guest Arrive

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigLotsHome #CollectiveBias

With the holiday season coming up, I thought it would be fun to do a post all about what to have ready when you have guest coming! We love having family and friends come stay with us, and so I try to have everything ready for last minute guest and wanted to share with you my favorite tips and ideas!

Almost everything that you will see in this post is from Big Lots. They have everything you need to get ready for your holiday guest at great prices. It makes for an easy one stop shop to grab everything below and get it home, and to make it even easier, you can shop straight from the image above, just hover over what you love!

BigLots5Big lots Sheets

1. Sheets. Nothing makes your guest feel more comfortable in your home than having a comfy bed with nice sheets. I like to make sure I always have fresh, nice sheets for my guest to sleep on and an extra set folded up nicely in the closet just in case. I think sheets are a pretty standard thing in most homes, so you shouldn’t need any kind of options, just make sure they fit the bed!DSC_6464

2. Pillows. It seems like the one thing you can never have enough of when guest stay is pillows. I have a niece who is a self-described “pillow addict” and so I have to have at least three pillows on hand just for her. It’s smart to have an assortment of types of pillows because everyone seems to like a different kind, for example, my Mom likes really flat pillows, while I like really big, firm pillows. I made sure while I was at Big Lots to grab a Serta Cool & Comfy and and a Serta Super Firm so my guest could have options. Even throw pillows can be used as sleeping pillows for little guest.Throw

Almost every time we have guest, they are usually bringing little kids that will be sleeping on the floor or on air mattresses, so I try to place a nice stack of pillows with extra sheets and bedding in the guest bedroom closet and let them know that they are in there, that way everyone has a pillow and bedding, which brings me to my next must-have… DSC_6498

3. Extra Bedding. Like I just said, you want everyone to have bedding, and you want everyone to be warm, I try to have an extra throw blanket on the bed in case my guest get cold, and a few extra blankets in the closet for extra guest. If you’re like me, you can’t sleep without a blanket, so I try to make sure everyone has one! If you don’t have an air mattress or pack and play for little ones, most of them are completely happy to sleep on a couple of folded up blankets on the floor as well. This damask throw that I got at Big Lots is soooo soft. Anyone would be happy to sleep on or under it.
BigLots6

4. Curtains! When your guest are coming from around the country and they’re sleep schedule is way off, they’ll thank you for having good curtains to block out the sun, especially if they have kids with them. Big Lots has a huge assortment of black out curtains in all kinds of colors and patterns. I bought these linen-esque curtains because I like that the length matched the ledge that is in our guest room. These café-style curtain rods are really popular right now, but I had such a hard time choosing between those and the other cute styles they had at Big Lots.Curtain Rods

Curtains are a must-have in any guest room.

5. Blinds. This goes hand and hand with the one before. You basically want your guest to have the option of making it as dark as possible whenever they need it. I love the bamboo blinds that I got at Big Lots. The light curtains with bamboo blinds is really in right now and I think they look great together. I also loved that these were SO easy to install.

6. Slow-Cooker. One of my favorite things about having family in town is eating all of our family favorites, but with so much going on, sometimes it’s hard to get much time in the kitchen. I use my slow cooker all the time when guest are in town to save time. I’ll put everything on the cook in the morning, and then we have the whole day to go have fun, and come home to a great meal. It gives me one less thing to stress about, and a lot more time making memories with family.DSC_6518

7. Towels. When my guest arrive, I love to have the bed made up pretty with a tray on it, and the towels rolled up nice and pretty. When you leave them in a tray, your guest can simply pick it up and move it to another surface when they are ready for bed, rather than throwing their clean towels over a chair. Make sure that you have enough towels for every guest to have at least one bath towel plus at least one washcloth. I like having pretty coordinating colors as well. Luckily, Big lots has a great selection of plush towels, washcloths, hand towels, and rugs that all coordinate!
towels

8. A Fan! I know I can’t be the only person out there who can’t sleep without a fan, even if it’s –10 degrees outside. Having a fan in your guest room can cut down on noise and make a nice breeze, plus there are tons of people like me who CANNOT sleep without a fan- so have one ready for guest! I have gotten so used to traveling to houses that don’t have fans, that I bring my own sometimes. Your guest will thank you if you have one ready!BigLots2

That’s it! 8 great things that you do not want to forget before you guest come into town.

I also wanted to share another update that I did in our guest bedroom- a DIY Jute Cord Cover. Our guest room doesn’t have any overhead lighting, so I have added a cute lantern style light that swags down the wall. The cord is really utilitarian looking, and it was kind of ugly, so I wanted to do something about it. I saw a jute cord cover for sale at a store, and figured I could make my own a lot cheaper, and it turned out great! Here’s what you need:DIY Jute Cord Cover

Supplies: 1/2 inch thick Jute Cord (however many feet of cord that you want to cover PLUS a foot or two just in case), and electrical tape.
DSC_7334

Step 1- Take your jute cord (which I bought by the foot from a home improvement store), and separate the stands. Mine was made of three strands which was enough to cover my cord, if your cord is really thick, you might want to buy twice as much Jute cord so you can have extra.DSC_7330

Step 2- Start with one strand. Tape it to the start of the cord, and wrap it around. Because of the twist in the cord,  it will fall naturally in a certain place, but try and keep them as tight together as you can without gaping from the cord. Continue all the way down, and then tape in place.DSC_7338

Step 3- Repeat with the second strand, wrapping it right next to the first strand. DSC_7342

Step 4- Repeat and try to fill in any gaps. Tape nicely at the end, and trim any excess jute cord away. Done! Hang your light back up and it’s beautiful!DSC_7358
Doesn’t that look so much better? I hope you and your guest love it- I think it adds just the perfect extra touch of comfort and coziness, instead of a big black cord handing down the wall.

So, do any of you have any plans for holiday guest coming? What are your tips for getting ready for company? If you’re missing anything from the list, make sure you head to Big Lots for a one-stop shop for everything you need! Their assortment of home goods, including furniture is great!

The New Magnolia Home Kids Line

Where was I when the Magnolia Kids Line was released? Here I’ve been drooling over the whole Magnolia Line and somehow I missed that Joanna designed an entire line of kids furniture! I’ve been swooning over it all week and now I’m ready to re-decorate all my kids rooms (which is great since I haven’t even posted their current room design yet), now if only she made a few cribs to go with it or some bunk beds! I linked straight to each piece on the picture so you can just click right on the item to take you to it’s site, or check below the picture to get the links too.

Image Map

Top Image: Galvanized Envelopes, Cubby Bookcase / Schoolhouse Desk / Wishing Well Bucket / Metal Tool Caddy (would be perfect for pens, pencils, and scissors!) / Cubby Bookcase

Middle Image: Cameo Dressers / Metal Bed / Blue and White Wishing Well Buckets / Galvanized Bookshelf / Shattered Glass Chair / Side Table

Bottom Image: French Twin Bed / Cameo Dresser in blue / Cameo Armoire / Children’s Table / Kids Bench / Scalloped Mirror / Magnolia Clock / Schoolhouse Rack of Coat Hooks

This post contains affiliate links. Just keepin it real, yo.