Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Crazy Christmas Tree Lady

Hello Barbie dolls! I just checked my countdown app on my phone, and it's only 62 days until Christmas and ONLY 9 DAYS until my Christmas trees get to come out of storage!!! In case you're new to the blog, my biggest obsession in life is without a doubt Christmas. I have 26 Christmas trees, almost all of which are 6 or 7 ft and above, each with their own themes and color schemes. It's a little crazy. My friends have called me a Christmas tree hoarder and my dad thinks I need professional counseling because I love the holiday so much.
Our dessert/candy themed tree

Our first Christmas tree
Our Christmas photo from 2011 in front of the Dessert Tree

Here's a list of the themed trees we have: 
  • A very wide 7ft green tree from my childhood with all red and gold ornaments, red and gold ribbon and mesh,
  • 14 foot tall tree (also from my childhood) with solid red giant ornaments
  • Peppermint Christmas tree (all ornaments are peppermint themed)
  • Dessert tree 7ft (very colorful, features candy, ice cream, cupcake and lollipop ornaments)(this tree is flocked, which gives the look of being covered in frosting)
  • Solid black 7ft tree with all white glittery ornaments (lovingly referred to as "Black Beauty")
  • Solid white 7ft tree with all white glittery ornaments
  • Frozen 7ft looking tree - solid white tree with all silver and light blue ornaments
  • Spode tree - a small white tree with all blue and white china ornaments (matches our china)
  • 5 pink trees - all with all pink ornaments (lipstick, shoes, purses, etc.)
  • Peacock Christmas tree -green 6ft tree with all blue, green and purple ornaments
  • Sentimental tree - 6 ft traditional green tree with ornaments from both of our childhoods
  • Solid red 7ft tree with all lime green and polka dot ornaments
  • Cardinal tree ("red bird tree") - solid green tree with cardinal ornaments (my late grandfather's favorite thing)
  • Solid white 7 ft tree with all iridescent pink, green, purple and silver ornaments and several 8 inch collectible ceramic fairies and fabric butterflies
  • University of Texas tree - 4 ft tall orange and white tree with UT ornaments for Ross's garage
  • 6 ft green tree with nothing but glittery brown ornaments and brown bow
  • 3 identical 6 ft green trees with nothing but gold glittery reindeer ornaments
  • Mardi gras tree - 5 ft tree with mardi gras beads and masks and purple, green, gold ornaments
  • New 11 ft very full green tree we got on sale last year. Not quite sure what to do with it yet. Thinking maybe brown or brown and gold.
  • New 7 ft white tree, pre-lit with rainbow lights. Not sure what to do with it yet but I know it will be crazy!
  • I don't include in the 26 our 2 matching 5 ft tall porch trees since I don't decorate them other than with bows and because they stay outdoor.
When hubby and I moved in together in late 2008, we had one Christmas tree. It was a gift from my parents - my childhood tree that they were no longer using. So special. I decorated it with only red and gold ornaments (with matching stockings, nearby wreath, tree skirt and wrapping paper - also all red and gold) and was pretty pleased with myself. The next year on Black Friday (my second favorite holiday because it has so many ties to Christmas... and it's the one day a year when shopping becomes a sport, thereby making me good at sports for that one day only) I bought a pink tree, found a tree in the attic of our rental home a couple days later and bought an all white tree some time in December, making 4 Christmas trees in 2009. The next year we had 8 Christmas trees and it kind of spiraled out of control from there. After you become known as the crazy Christmas tree lady, the trees really start coming to you.

The most insane part about all of it was that our rental house in Texas - our home for Christmas 2008 through Christmas 2011 - was 2,100 square feet. In other words, by the time we left, we had more than one Christmas tree per every 100 square feet! I don't know why my husband allows me to indulge my Christmas obsession, overcrowding our house with meticulously decorated fake plants, but he does and I'll forever be grateful to him for it. In fact, its one of my favorite things about him is that he just lets me be me, despite how crowded/ridiculous it makes things.

I always begin putting up my Christmas trees on November 1, simply because it takes so much time to get them all up (and of course I want to spend as much time with them as possible). We kinda skip Thanksgiving aside from having a meal with family on the day of, which makes me no less thankful for my many blessings... we just don't really decorate for it.
This is "Black Beauty," my solid black tree with all white ornaments jammed into our little apartment last year
This year's countdown to Christmas is SO SO SO much more special than in any other year, because last year we were very disappointed and surprised to realize that our house (which was supposed to be ready for move in by Thanksgiving) was not going to be ready in time for Christmas due to builder delays. I cried, cried, criiiiiied and cried some more. So we spent last Christmas in our 700 square foot apartment, where I was unable to put up the majority of my trees (I think I got 10 up between my office and apartment). It was so sad. But this year, not only will it be the first time I've seen many of my trees in two years, its also our first Christmas in our brand new dream house! On top of that, we FINALLY actually kinda/almost have enough space to justify 26 Christmas trees. We won't have them crammed in awkward spaces and on staircases - they'll all have their own perfect corners! I mean, look at some of the awful places we had to cram them last year:

My peacock tree next to our bed! lol
My peppermint tree crammed behind the kitchen table 

My red and lime polka dot tree in my office at work!

So this year it will be such a relief to have enough room for all of them, or at least more room for all of them (I'm not sure you can ever really have enough room for 26 Christmas trees). Out of my sheer excitement, I've already begun to develop a map of where I plan on putting them all using our floor plan (yes, I'm that crazy!). Of course, I made this map of the first floor tree plan (several trees will have to be on the second floor) in September and I've already come across a few aspects of it that won't work, especially now that we've redone our sunroom. As you can see, I'm toying with the idea of doing a crazy 5 tree cluster in the turret of the formal living room, although it might be too much.

I also need to restock on wrapping paper, which I insist on coordinating with each tree. Do you know how hard it is to find peacock wrapping paper?

Then, sometime in late November, we'll pose for our 2013 Christmas card photo, which is so much fun for me, especially since all of the trees are involved, but hubby absolutely hates. See?

Last year, our Christmas card photo was relegated to this, so I'm THRILLED to have a proper venue for photos this year.

So there's your little peak into my craziness. It's a little nuts, but so much fun! Stay tuned for pictures and updates after November 1st!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunroom Makeover!

Hello lovelies!

I hope you're all enjoying this beautiful fall weather as much as I am! As I mentioned in my fall decorating post, decorating for the season is one of my favorite things about it, not to mention the food. I also love going to the North Carolina State Fair, which I've only missed a handful of times in my life. Even when I lived in Texas for law school I would fly back every October for it. Hubby and I plan on going tomorrow night, since Mondays are supposed to be one of the least crowded days (although the Scotty McCreery show at the Fair might change that). If you live in NC and are thinking of going, the State Fair's newly redone website with all of the info you'll need is here. Oh, and here are our newly carved pumpkins - I bet you can guess which belongs to which of us.

Fall fun aside, hubby and I found ourselves in the midst of an unexpected room makeover project last week. On Monday night we had an epiphany: our sunroom is probably the nicest room in our house (not to mention the only one that gets much of any sunlight with E/W facing windows) and we never ever EVER set foot in there... life ever. Why not? Because we used the giant room for our not so giant kitchen table, which we never eat at. I love the table - its a gorgeous hand me down from my mother in law and one of the prettiest things we own - but we just don't eat at the kitchen table much (which is bad, I know). We eat at our bar, on the couch (which we always resolve to stop doing but never do), sometimes on our front or back porch when the weather is nice and at our new
dining room table that hubby built when we have company, but somehow never end up at the kitchen table... possibly because it was so out of the way in the sunroom.

Our kitchen has a spot for a kitchen table, but we'd been using that as a sitting area, with two wingback chairs and a TV mounted on the wall (which was kinda cool because we could watch TV while we cooked). So on a random Monday night, we decided to move the kitchen table to the builder-designated kitchen table spot. To our surprise, it fit perfectly and looked great. We moved the cream wingback chairs that were there to our dining room as end chairs and we seriously couldn't have planned it any better. They matched our side chairs perfectly (which are also cream linen) and I had always wanted wingback end/head chairs. Then, magically and out of nowhere, we had a giant, semi-circle shaped sunroom completely empty, a blank canvas, and ready to be converted into whatever we wanted.  Here are the before pictures of the sitting area with wingback chairs and sunroom with kitchen table.



Since our house has no playroom and we're probably going to have kids sometime in the next few years, we wanted the space to be kid friendly (which to us, baby rookies, meant no sharp edges, fabrics that can be easily cleaned and are dark in color, patterned flooring to easily hide any future baby vomit stains). We also wanted the room to be really comfortable. The biggest and most seemingly unattainable goal of the room was to find furniture that accented the room's unique architectural shape: preferably a round couch.

To our surprise, we found a round (!!) leather sectional (we LOVE sectionals and always have) for sale on the cheap on craigslist! We then bought a coordinating blue, brown and gold damask rug from Garden Ridge, one of my favorite stores. I bought a lamp, but I think I'm going to exchange it. I'm also working on cream colored floor length curtains to replace the navy damask valences (which I love and hate to get rid of) because the room needs more warmth/softness I think. Last but not least, my handy hubby got a new HDMI cable and ran wiring for the TV from the kitchen sub-flooring to that room and moved our mounted TV from the kitchen into the sunroom. We still also need a TV stand, but the room is great! We're really enjoying having another comfy living space and I think it will be perfect for kids when the time comes. :) Here are the photos of the (almost) finished product! I can't believe that only 5 days and a small amount of $ later, we have a cozy new living space!


Last but certainly not least, our first born Gus turned 8 last week before we rearranged the furniture. Everyone please wish Gus the pug a happy 8th year! <3

Thanks for reading my ramblings barbies - xox!

Friday, October 11, 2013

2013 Wake County Parade of Homes

Hello lovelies!

Last weekend, hubby and I participated in one of our favorite fall traditions: the Wake County Parade of Homes! This year's Parade definitely did not disappoint - there were several more million dollar + homes than there were last year (a sign of our improving economy I hope) and they all featured beautiful details and amazing craftsmanship. Here are some of my amateur photos from the gorgeous houses we saw last weekend. We plan on seeing more this weekend or next - the Parade continues on Oct 11-13 and Oct 18-20 from 12-5pm each day. Check out the fabulous Wake County Parade of Homes Website for all of the details.

Our first stop, of course, was at the "Million Dollar Dog House." As dog lovers and luxury real estate fanatics, we couldn't miss this one. There was a raffle outside benefitting the SPCA and 20% of the proceeds from the sale of all of the furniture and décor inside went to the SPCA as well. The house had dog amenities and dog décor galore - it was adorable! This house was in the gorgeous, relatively new Rose Hall subdivision in North Raleigh.

Ross and I LOVED this large covered porch. We want something just like this. They're everywhere in Texas but harder to come by in NC.

Cream colored braided whicker furniture. Swoon.
Dog shower!!

People shower + claw foot tub in the master bath. I love a claw foot tub! The chrome looks so good with it. These people have great taste.

Dining room:
 Spiral staircase with adorable puppy :)
 I loved these giant topiary trees in the roman looking urns. Gorgeous! I want to copy this.
 Well decorated kitchen table:
 Living room:
 Interesting/cute Moroccan glass tile backsplash:

The next house on our Parade of Homes tour was in a new phase of Chatsworth, in the back of the subdivision. This row of homes, all of which seemed to be completed in the last couple years, were absolutely breathtaking. They all looked very European, with lots of stone, turets, stucco, porticos, etc. It was one of the prettiest streets I'd ever been on. This house had dark accents, trim and features inside (very German feeling - which I loved) and I thought it was very well designed.

 Gorgeous doors:
I LOVVVVVED this dark bottom pool and hot tub. Everything about this pool was perfection to me: the tile around it, the color, the beach entry, the elevated hot tub. Perfection. Not pictured: a nice bathroom off the house just for pool use!

Our next stop on the Parade was at a Bost Construction home in The Registry at Bailey Farms. This one was a couldn't-miss for several reasons: we thought it looked a little like the BDH from the drawing, we saw a Bost home in Hasentree on the Parade last year and were SO impressed with everything about it, annnnd before we decided on the BDH we seriously considered buying a lot in this subdivision and later considered a house that was for sale in this subdivision (pictured below). Just like last year, Bost delivered. This thing was gorgeous, tasteful and just overall very well done.

Loved this tile work on the master bath tub:
 Loved the faux finish on the wall and also then stenciling.
Living room - isn't this fireplace remarkable? There was a similar one in the Bost home from last year.
 I thought this oven/backsplash/hood combo was really unique and gorgeous.
The screened-in porch had some amazing views. Probably better views than in the Million Dollar Dog House's porch (The rolling hills at The Registry are just breathtaking) but we liked the arches on the MDDH's porch better. Still, both were amazing outdoor living spaces.
Here's the Registry home that we thought about buying. It has a really cool, California vibe we thought, and we had always been in love with The Registry. The inside was gorgeous, but very modern, which wasn't really our thing. Before we could ever go see it, it had been sold.

Last but certainly not least was this mammoth of a home in Wakefield Estates. I think it takes the cake for being our favorite. The floor plan was so unique and dynamic and the upstairs seemed to go on for days. This place was just mind blowing.
This spiral staircase connected the below ground wine cellar to the first floor and then went on to connect the first floor to the library, which was about 1.5 floors up from the wine cellar. Such a unique layout.
Loved this library:
The wine cellar was amazing. I would have done the wood and paint in a darker brown, but it was still so gorgeous. The stone work was first class and not pictured here was a custom painted wall of painted wine barrels. So cool.
For me, this closet wins best closet on the Parade award! This picture really doesn't do it justice.

Gorgeous ceiling detail and chandelier in the master bath.
Master bath:
Sorry I didn't take more photos of this one barbies. Maybe I was distracted by its beauty!

All in all, the 2013 Wake County Parade of Homes was a delight from the homes we saw. We hope to see more while the Parade continues. While you're here, be sure to check out my 2012 Parade of Homes Post from our exciting Parade adventures last year.

As always, thanks for reading barbs! You guys are the best! xox
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...