So this week has been a bit crazy with work and life. And to make things a bit more interesting, I wrote three gift guides for the blog and another publication. I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is the weekend! Starting a blog during the holidays was kind of an insane move. But I’m hoping that come January, things will be smooth sailing. Fingers crossed.
I had full intention to write about all the wonderful local events I was attending in early December. But,um…that didn’t happen. Life buzzed by and all these goodies just stood in the blog queue. So today’s post is quite simple. Here’s where I have been as of late.
My first December event was the Porter Flea Holiday Market and preview party. Porter Flea Holiday Market is an annual modern handmade market that happens the first weekend of December. It’s a much anticipated event for most Nashvillian’s. All of your favorite locally made items in one place for the holidays. Such a great concept!
This year, Madewell Nashville hosted a preview party featuring Handmade Studio TN and Consider the Wldfwrs. I love preview parties. They are intimate and a slower pace, allowing you to take your time.
Handmade Studio TN is dear to my heart, as I was the first to carry her beautiful pottery line. All her new wares are gorgeous and stunningly simplistic. Consider the Wldfwrs is the newest jewelry kid on the block and on everyone’s must-have list. Beautiful, delicate designs that just make your heart swell.
My favorite thing at Porter Flea was the fantastic props! The first thing you saw as you entered the market were the 3-D prism shapes designed and created by the Craftcourse Nashville duo. Over-sized paper prisms hanging in the entry, exit, on tables, in corners and the backdrop for the most fabulous photo booth. Impressive ladies!
And a big shout out to my dear friends at Bright Event Productions for the handmade Porter Flea light sign. Well done!
Every year, my husband and I attend the 12 South Winter Warmer. Also on the first weekend of December. Tickets go on sale in October and sell out in minutes. Yes, minutes. It’s hands down, the best beer festival of the year. You bundle up in your finest winter attire and drink the whole day. It’s kind of awesome.
Oh! And I finally chose boots for my Montreal trip. After trying on a million boots, the Sorel Conquest Carly won me over. They made their debut at the 12 South Winter Warmer. My toes were toasty, and I received so many compliments on how stylish they were. Definitely chose the right ones.
Finally, the annual gingerbread house (okay, graham cracker house) evening. For the last few years, my dear friend Kristin has hosted a gingerbread house night. It’s pretty much an excuse to shut our brains off, drink wine and build ridiculous structures made of sugar. There’s only one rule, leave your crazy life and perfectionism at the door. This night is not about creating beautiful things, it’s about enjoying each others company. And laughing a lot! As you can see, there is nothing perfect about my crooked house that has no door and a weird open loft on top. But it’s full of memories, and that’s all that matters. If you haven’t created something without giving a shit, you should try it sometime. It’s very freeing.
How are you spending your December days?
I’m a huge fan of shopping local, but I also love a good trip to Home Goods & Target. Over the last few weeks, I have had to shop both stores numerous times for design projects. And along the way, I’ve been picking up gold, white and natural decor for my home.
For as long as I can remember, my house has been decorated in white for the holidays. I pair the white with a few red and natural elements, creating a rustic modern wonderland. This year, I am all about bringing gold & brass into the mix. These glitzy colors have been popping up all year in home decor. And I can’t get enough!
The fresh approach to these metallic colors is the use of white and beige. The combination gives a soft, neutral palette. Allowing you to mix and match them with bold or monochromatic colors, as well as other metals. It’s modern, playful, and sophisticated. What’s not to love?
Stay tuned for my Gold & White Gift Guide this week. It’s so good, you’ll want everything!
This time of year, we are all scrambling to get our homes ready for the holidays. It’s exhausting, I know. In the last few weeks, I have thought a lot about how out of control I feel in November & December. I LOVE Christmas, but the chaos can be downright overwhelming. I have decided to take control of the madness, and find ways to make life more enjoyable during this season. This means I need to get my ass in gear and get organized.
For almost a decade, I have been decorating other people’s homes, store fronts, museums and events for the holidays. And somewhere in between, I decorate my home. My home is always last on the list. By the time I reach for those attic boxes, I am ready to go into winter hibernation. So much to do and so little time. That rush to get it all done is a dreadful feeling. And I am over it.
So, this year I am decorating my home early (and more wisely). I will be hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas, which means decorations for two very different events. With my busy schedule, there is no way I am going to set my house up twice. Instead of two different looks, I’m going to gradually transition my home with the season. Adding and subtracting various elements as the weeks go by. The key is to take notes from nature. The earth transitions from Autumn to Winter with such ease and grace. It is not a chaotic event. It is the same scene but with a simple swap of colors and textures.
The first thing that has to happen before any decorating begins is a deep clean. Scrub, purge, put away and organize the house. Decorating in a messy house is miserable. Wrapping gifts in a messy house brings me to tears. Hosting all the unclaimed furnishings & décor in my bedroom to accommodate the holidays is incredibly frustrating. And yet year after year, this is how it goes. I refuse to succumb to this cycle one more time. So, early cleaning and organizing is a must.
After the house is clean, take away all the decorations that will not be used for the next few months and pack away. This is the stage I am in this week. Freeing up space for holiday décor. To simplify this transition, I have two empty bins that I keep in my office closet. It’s easily accessible. If it’s too difficult to pack things up, it will never happen. I’ll just have a miscellaneous pile of décor sitting on the floor of my bedroom for two months. Think ahead, make this process as painless as possible.
Once you get those first two steps out of the way, you’ll be surprised how free you will feel. I’ve just begun step two, and I already feel like I have gained a few extra weeks on the holiday season.
Now, to decorate.
First, cozy up the home. Place winter throws on the sofa, burn candles, brew hot cider and welcome the chilly weather with warm touches. Next, bring out the Christmas decorations and use everything that is holiday neutral. Aka, winter décor. Winter décor mixed with autumn flowers, pumpkins and leaves look fantastic for Thanksgiving. Throw in a few gold touches and you have a lovely combination. There’s no need to buy a bunch of décor for Thanksgiving. Just look to nature and keep it simple. And after Turkey day, throw out the fall elements and replace with the glitzy Christmas pieces.
As for the Christmas tree and lights on the house, there are no rules. If you want to put them up before Thanksgiving or the day before Christmas, it doesn’t matter. Just plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get it done.
I encourage you to do whatever makes you happy this holiday season. Find ways to bring the stress down. Prepare a little earlier, so that you have more time later. Stop playing by everyone else’s rules. And most importantly, enjoy the days to come with your friends and family.
*photos via A Pumpkin & A Princess, The Daily Basics, Resonances and La Petite Cuisine