Sunday, December 30, 2012

Winter in our WISCONSIN home

Our holiday season started off with a photo shoot with our adorable Pudgie Pie!  We bought the lights for cheap.  We wrapped pudge in them, asked him to sit in our popazon chair, covered the extension cord with a stocking, and held a treat by the camera.  The head tilt is his typical, "hungry" face.  awww we love our Pudgie Pie

To decorate for the holidays, we put white icicle lights along the roof with the plastic light hangers.  They do still work with the gutter covers.  In front of the front step, we have a spotlight shining on the house.  In the front porch light, we put a red bulb.  Finally, Alex wanted to have a "candy cane forest" so we bought the candy canes to go up our walk.  We bought these the day after Thanksgiving for 50% off, which was awesome.

I loved our winter mantle.  I kept our wedding photo up.
I bought brown beads and have then twisted and turned on the mantle.  I then did the same thing with a single set of lights.  I bought a driftwood tree at 50% off at Kohls. That is in the right hand side.  I love the old and natural look.  I have a glitter candle in the candle holder from our wedding, this is also from Kohls.  I have the same vase from our fall mantle but filled it with purple glitter fillers from Walgreens ($3).  I then hung our stockings from Kohls, and Pudge's stocking bought at a mission sale second hand for $2!  The faith and hope signs are from Walgreens last year and they were on clearance.

The vases were filled with white icicle lights on a white cord and scented pinecones.

We cut down on own tree this year.  This place is awesome because you show up, get on a horse or tractor drawn wagon and they take you to the field of trees that you are looking for.  Once you find "the one," you cut it yourself, tag it and drag it to the road. There, the wagons pick you back up.  You put the trees on one wagon and sit on the benched wagon where they bring you back to Santa's workshop. Your tree is shaken and baled and you pay based on the type of tree, not the height.  It was so much fun and we found the PERFECT tree!

We then brought the tree home to decorate!  I bought the Faith, Love, and Peace ribbons from Pottery Barn.  The tree is wrapped in burlap I bought from  We used warm white LED lights to light the tree.  Every year since we began dating, I have bought Alex an ornament.  These are the ornaments decorating our tree (10 including this years!)  Plus we got some special wedding ones and Pudge go one this year too!  I love our tree!

Alex is still in Pharmacy school.  He is currently in his final year, which means he is completing 6 6-week rotations.  He did the first 2 in Illinois.  He then had number three off (the fall).  This is rotation number 4 and, unfortunately, it is 2 hours away.  The hospital he is working at is providing him with FREE bed and breakfast to live in for that time, but that means he is not home with us during the week. Pudge talks to Alex on the phone (almost as much as I do!)

I went on and had A BLAST!  I found many things that I have been wanting to craft with.  One thing I fell in love with was this chalk board and chalkboard markers.  I have seen many blogs where people use them in a variety of ways and could not wait to get started on my own!  Here is a message we send Alex during the week.

The following week, Blizzard Brianna hit and I was home alone.  I bought my peanut butter, filled my water jugs with water and made sure I was ready to be snowed in.  They were anticipating 12-15 inches of snow so we were prepared for anything.  School was cancelled the Wednesday night for Thursday so I knew I could just get comfy and get stuff done.  Boy did I get stuff done! I cleaned, I organized, and I shoveled myself out of said blizzard (once).  Alex and I started dating when we were 15.  Since we  were so young, we obviously lived with our parents.  Then we moved to college and had maintenance crews that took care of everything.  The last blizzard that hit, we lived together.  Basically, I have never had to "fend for myself." Therefore, I was so proud of myself when I woke up at 8am, saw 5-6inches of snow that had fallen since midnight, and went and shoveled it.  I shoveled the entire driveway, sidewalk, and walkway up to the door.  I was so proud, until I realized in the process I had thrown out my back and was unable to get up.  Due to my scoliosis, my muscles do not all do their fair share of work so when I over exert myself with things such as shoveling, I can throw it out and throw it out pretty bad.  I wasn't able to move much during the rest of the day, but that didn't take away my sense of pride!

We had a wonderful white Christmas thanks to Blizzard Brianna.  We spent time with all of our families and had our first Christmas morning waking up in our own home EVER.  It was so wonderful and we truly enjoyed being home for the holidays.  Pudge was so cute in his Christmas sweater and all was merry and bright!
I found this idea on Pinterest, to tie ribbon on the cupboards and post holiday hards. Thank to again, I had mini clothes pins I used to pin up the cards.  We have so many people who love and care about us.  It was a very merry Christmas.

Fall in our WISCONSIN Home

It was wonderful to celebrate our first fall in Wisconsin as a married couple.  We apparently live on the lot with the most trees EVER!  Even our neighbors are amazed at how many leaves we accumulate each year.  It took us raking as many leaves as you see in this pile 3 separate times and then a smaller clean up one at the very end of fall to get it all done. Pudge is NOT a fan of playing in the leves and to get this photo to coaxing, moving leaves, and much love.

I LOVE the look of a mantle.  Our house did not have a fireplace nor a mantle, so we made one!  I loved decorating the mantle according to season.  I love the look of the fall mantle I created.

The tall vases on the side were at our wedding with purple orchids in them.  My mom found these tall plants/leaves and they stick out perfectly from the top of the vase.  The small antique table also came from my mother.  I have a variety of candles on the table to look like my fire place.

The large photo is actually our large wedding guest book.  All of our wedding guests signed the frame with the engraving pens giving us this amazing centerpiece and great wedding momento to display. (Guestbook)

I purchased my vase from a small store in Greenville, SC.  This store travels the world and buys goods from the people selling them.  They then bring the goods to the United States and sell them, proceeds going back to the original seller.  I love the look of the authentic hand carved vase.  I bought some vase fillers on sale at Walmart to give the fall look.  The Indian Corn is real corn purchased at the grocery store last year.  When you keep it in a nice dry place it lasts more than a year.  I bought a fall leaf garland and draped that across the mantle.  The acorns were a gift from my mother in law, though I think they were approx. $9.

I purchased the Give Thanks turkey on sale at Walgreens on Clearance for $3.  The pumpkin is a real one from my parents garden.  The vase is from a local grocery store floral department. It is a chalkboard vase so I can write on it according to the season as well.  The flowers were actually a wedding bouquet in my friends wedding.  They were the the real touch bouquets and they are amazingly real down the small browning areas on some of the roses.

The total cost to decorate this mantle was only approx. $42 and able to be used year after year!

Our Pudgie Pie turned 5 in Septmeber. It was also his first birthday with us we we threw him a birthday party.  We got up a pupcake from the farmer's market and put a hat on and let him devour his treat.   It was a great birthday for Pudge!
Family photo on his birthday!
I found Shanty-2-Chic, an amazing DIY website.  I am in love with all they do and as my husband gets more tools, I will be doing more of their projects.  Their style is so what I want my home to look like.   They had printable banners that I thought were really cool.  I printed according to their directions and think they turned out pretty cool!

We got to do a fun fall photoshoot.  My friend Ellie is a photographer and for my birthday (25 ahhh!) she gave a mini-session.  Please check out her facebook and if you live in the Fox Cities Area, please consider contacting her! EllieFay Photography and Design.  Like her page for updates and samples of work.  Pudge was a hoot to work with.  He would stare down the camera if Ellie said "hungry."  Hungry is what our family refers to as "the 'H' word" as if he hears it he gets all riled up and excited.