Monday, December 28, 2009

Shopping Spree!

Don't you just love giftcards? I do! Especially with the new house. There are so many things we need/want, and so many things we just can't afford right now. We got a ton of giftcards over the holidays and decided to go out on a shopping spree to spend them yesterday.

At Lowe's, we got a ceiling fan for the master bedroom, and a chandelier for the dining room. At Kohls, we got some really pretty B&W floral photography prints for the loft, and some accessories for the guestroom, and FINALLY a welcome mat! At Sears, I let my husband have at it, and he decided to go with one of those huge Craftsman metal standing tool chests, and an under-car "creeper" (which I like to call the padded for when he's working on our cars. We also made a stop at the local Goodwill and spent $10 on two adorable white ceramic canisters, a small wire shelf tower that I want to spraypaint oil rubbed bronze and fill with bath products for our guest bath, and a seagrass basket for the guestroom. Woot! Thanks to giftcards, we only spent about $50 out of pocket for all of that!

Next weekend will be the BIG giftcard purchase! I got a VERY GENEROUS giftcard from the client I deal with at work as a Christmas bonus, so we will be finally getting ourselves a dining room set! I'm so excited. I have one in mind, but we want to do a little shopping around next Saturday just to make sure. I'm so psyched though. The dining room is the first thing you see when you walk through our front door, and right now it's totally empty, aside from my cat who has seemed to claim the room as his own. I'm so excited to start decorating another room. Maybe we could even get some painting done. MAYBE. I already know I want to paint it a deep grass green. Yay!

I plan to take some pics of our new purchases and share them with you very soon.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

I am excited to have the next four days off of work, followed by another four-day weekend next weekend. Yay! It's nice because I really need a break. Work has been INSANE lately (I work in benefits administration, and December and January are two of the most popular months for companies to have open enrollment).

But on the bright side, we were surprised (SHOCKED!) by a very generous Christmas bonus at work this year. I think we have decided to spend it either on a dining room set or finish buying replacement light fixtures for the rest of the house. We shall see!

After hosting a small five-person family Thanksgiving dinner 1 week after moving in, and hosting a 25-guest housewarming/Christmas party a couple weeks later, I am once again preparing to entertain. We have the whole family coming over tonight for a Christmas Eve baked ziti dinner. Luckily my mom is bringing bread & some of the dessert, grandparents are bringing salad, and my aunt & uncle are bringing some wine & beer, so I am not alone in this! Still, it means my Christmas Eve off from work will be spent cleaning & cooking like a mad woman! Speaking of which, I'd better get cracking!

Oh, and can you believe that we will be hosting ANOTHER big party for my husband's birthday the 2nd week in January??? It just doesn't stop! I promised myself that after that, we are DONE for awhile.

Anyways, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A little exterior sparkle...

Sorry it took me so long to post this next entry. We had our housewarming party last Saturday night and it was a hit! All of our friends seem to love our new house. We got so many compliments! And it was lovely to see everyone after spending so many weeks working hard on getting it ready. I felt like I hadn't seen any of our friends in AGES!

Anyways, we had to go smaller scale than I would have liked on the outside of our house. First, because we don't have a tall ladder yet to get to the roofline on the top story. Second, because we don't have $30194873108461438701 to buy all new lights & decorations! Hopefully we can pick up some good stuff for next year in the after-Christmas sales. We bought 2 strands of lights BOGO at CVS, bought some cheap greenery garland, used a wreath I had made three years ago for the door, PVC yard candy canes from the dollar store, and for the rest we worked with what we already had.

In-progress pic:

Door & walkway. Excuse our horrid lawn...again, the house was vacant for 6 months before we bought it (over the Florida summer too) and the lawn was grossly neglected. It's one of our priorities for after the holidays:

Close-up of door...We hope to get nicer & bigger porch trees in the future. These little ones were cheap finds 50% off at JoAnn's, embellished with berry/bead things (also 50% off).

And last but not least, the broader view of the whole house:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Merry & bright!

We are finally making some progress on our decorating. It is becoming more and more obvious that I will have to scour the after-Christmas sales this year in an attempt to really build up my holiday decor stash. But we are making due with what we have and having a ton of fun decorating our new house.

Last week I put up our tree:

I've been working on the miscellaneous stuff all week. Found these great star wreaths & the retro tree toppers on either side of the "HAPPY" sign at Dollar Tree!

Just got this little modular shelf unit for our foyer at Ikea for $39 last weekend! It was fun to add some holiday touches to it.

I bought these little snowmen tealight holders this weekend for $15 for the set. I knew I needed something for the powder room, since when we have our holiday parties, this is the restroom the guests will use. Aren't they cute?

Next up...exterior decorating!