The Life Styled Christmas Tree 2017

I try to avoid it every single year, yet here I am - deep in the holiday haze, racing to the finish line. I genuinely LOVE the energy of the holiday season and all the nostalgia, coziness, giving, sparkly outfits, and cheer it brings up. Yet somehow no matter how hard I try, I end up in the thick of massive To Do lists, falling behind on the gift shopping, and working day and night to finish projects that I simply can't leave undone come the 24th. I'm starting to think this is all unavoidable every year, and it's becoming more about just learning to love the chaos and do small things to keep my sanity in tact and the vibes high. No matter how crazy life feels at this time, I always manage to find some ways to bring the cheer into my home and style and today I thought I'd share a few of the ways I'm doing that this year.

The Life Styled Christmas PJ's

1. PAJAMAS! I went pajama crazy this year. There is nothing better than some cozy, festive, warm pj's to wrap yourself in at the end of the day. Honestly nothing. From Target alone, I bought 2 pair for $20 each, this velvet robe with retro dad vibes (I think my dad literally had a robe just like this in the 80's), and these fluffy slippers which I'm wearing as I type this. I also finally pulled the trigger on some Hanna Andersson matching family jammies which took me FOREVER to decide on the pattern we'd go with (I'll post a pic on Christmas morning). The key for choosing holiday patterns is to go with ones that aren't SO overly Christmas (no Santa's or reindeer) but just more generally festive, so we can still wear them after the 25th and not feel weird about it. Do you get into the whole Christmas pajama thing?

The Life Styled Tree and Slippers.jpg
The Life Styled Wreath

2. Handmade wreaths. This is only because I attended a super fun workshop with White Fig Designs and made two different ones. I love how this one came out! The other is hanging above our bed. I'm also burning that Ember candle from Simone LeBlanc nonstop! 

The Life Styled Christmas Wrapping
The Life Styled Christmas Tree 2017

3. A color scheme. This year it's all about white, blush, and metallic (the tree is mostly rose gold). I try not to be crazy about it otherwise I'll end up spending way too much time looking at ornaments online til the wee hours. Most of ours are basically the same ones we have used every year since 2011, and I always pick up a couple of new ones to add in. Maybe one year I'll switch it up and go in a different direction, but I wanted the tree to match our family room color palette. I'm really loving how the colors look in wrapping paper, and I'll still be able to use the leftovers for non-Christmas presents down the road.

The Life Styled Wrapped Gifts
Greenery bundle The Life Styled

4. Festive greenery. I went to Trader Joe's and bought 11 different variations of festive greenery and just made a whole bunch of arrangements to put around the house. You guys know I love neutral colored florals, so I'm not one to buy bright red flowers. Instead I stuck to eucalyptus, coniferous sprigs, and a few deep red accents like little berries to work into the bundles. Even some baby's breath which kind of looks like little snowflakes with the sprigs! 

The list goes on and on. Candles, festive essential oils in the diffuser, and my favorite winter teas (the winter one from Trader Joe's is even amazing). As for the holiday wardrobe, I'll be sharing some festive party outfits ideas next! Stay tuned!

Photography by Ashley Burns (except the wreath photo which I took with my iPhone)

Bar Makeover

I posted a couple of months ago in my Instagram story about giving our wet bar a makeover. My mom was here (aka, project time) and we were painting away. It might be a bit delayed, but I'm finally sharing the completed bar! We went back and forth for months about how exactly to do this. It always started with the "quick coat of paint" idea but would immediately spiral into "well what if we can just get new counter tops and add a wine fridge" and then "well, it should match our future kitchen design and the plans for the family room that it's in" and before you know it, I literally thought that I needed to design every last detail of the entire ground floor of our house in order spruce up this bar. That's the story of home projects, isn't it? Eventually we took a chill pill (do people still say that?) and decided to do that "quick coat of paint version" until we are able to figure out the rest of the factors. So that's how we gave this bar a makeover for about $150. Here's how we did it.

Before, it looked like this:

Well, without those black and white paint swatches. Those came when we started to plan this mini makeover but I will admit they stayed there for a good month or two before we moved on to the next steps. We finally decided to just stick to the same color we've been using for everything else (Simply White by Benjamin Moore which is a slightly warmer true white) in a semi gloss. It pained me to keep the same counter tops but I thought with some copper accents and a bit more of an earthy vibe, this color could actually work. My plan is to eventually redo the entire cabinet and shelves up top, but for now we just removed the top doors and sawed off the divider in the middle to create the look of open shelving. Then it was just a matter of swapping out the handles, which I got from Anthropologie and styling the shelves! Super easy. Now that the poop smeared cabinets are out of the picture, we can move this full reno to the bottom of the list.

Home Updates

Now that we've been living in the house for almost exactly a year, I can finally say that we're getting to the fun stage of decorating and updating. Luckily, the house already had good bones (plus) and with some minimal updates over the past year (floors, painting the whole interior white, adding a stair railing, landscaping, and some pool maintenance), we got it to a good place where it's starting to feel like our own. Now it's a matter of saving up the money to do the renovations we want to do one by one: all the bathrooms, kitchen, family room fireplace, and the pool needs resurfacing and new tile. For now though, we're a bit tapped out from the first round and are focusing on doing what we can with little decor touches here and there. It's amazing what plants, pottery, pillows, and countless trips to Home Goods can do to freshen things up without breaking the bank. I'll share more updates as we go of the finished rooms, but for now I thought it would be fun to show a few little spots in the house that have gotten a refresh. My style is definitely getting a little earthier in the home (not just in my closet) these days and it's therapeutic to add those touches, no matter how small they may be.


Photography by Ashley Burns