Sunday, November 30, 2014

How To: Decorate for the Holidays

The weekend after Thanksgiving traditionally marks the time when my family will begin to pull out all of our Christmas decor and start sprucing up our home for the holidays. For the most part, my mom gives my sister and me free reign when it comes to the decorating because we both love to do it and she seems to like what we come up with {or so she says...}.

While we purchase new items and update our decor from year to year, there are always decorating staples that my sister and I put up first. Pottery Barn and Target are my go-to's for Christmas decorations, but you can also find some of the best things when you shop around at small, local boutiques. There's nothing groundbreaking, but below are some of my essentials:


Garland: Garland is one of my favorite decorations and an instant game changer for your home. Throw some around your front door and banisters and on top of your mantle for a put-together and elegant look. 

Ornaments: The obvious use for ornaments is on the Christmas tree, but they can be used for so much more. I like to add them as filler for bowls and vases, nestled into garland or clustered on top of  the mantle. It's always a good idea to have plenty on hand in a variety of sizes and colors. 

Glitter Snowflakes: Speaking of having plenty on hand, these little suckers can be used for everything. Stick them anywhere that looks a little sparse in your garland, tie them on top of gifts or cards or hang them from the tree.

Stockings: I love the clean look of matching stockings hung on the mantle, and of course they are beyond necessary for a place to hold stocking stuffers ;). 

Christmas Tree: A given for this time of year! Artificial trees are easier to deal with and some come pre-lit, allowing you to avoid the hassle of stringing lights, but in my opinion those struggles are worth it in order to have the smell of pine wafting throughout your house. My family and I just bought our tree today, and I am looking forward to bringing it inside and filling it with lights, ornaments and ribbon. 

Holiday Candles: I used to be obsessed with candles to the point where I purchased an obnoxious amount, but I'm now very particular to the scents that I buy and find that a lot of them are too over powering and disgustingly sweet. Holiday candles are my one exception. I love candles with the warm aromas of pine and spice, and this diptyque candle subtly spreads amazing scents throughout your home. I'm currently burning the Winter scent in my bedroom as I write this. 

Fur Throw: There is nothing better than snuggling under one of these in front of the fire place with a hot latte while watching Christmas movies. Absolutely nothing. I also keep one in my bedroom and throw it on top of my comforter for extra warmth during chilly winter nights. They are the best!

What are some of your favorite holiday decor items?

With Love,
Ellyse

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November Popsugar Must Have Box

After months and months and months of waiting, I finally decided to go ahead and treat myself to an early Christmas gift by purchasing a Popsugar Must Have Box this month, and let's just say I'm in love. I mean who wouldn't love getting a full-size box of goodies in the mail every month? Exactly.

G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popcorn // Tiny Prints Stationery // Dominique Ansel "The Secret Recipes" Cookbook
K. Hall Simpatico Shea Butter Cream // Wine Glass Writers // SORIAL Wallet on a Chain

The box arrives packed with full-sized products...they really don't skimp. I mean they sent me a whole bag of popcorn for crying out loud! Here are a few of my favorites from this month:

K. Hall Simpatico Shea Butter Cream
My skin gets so dry and cracked in the winter, to the point where when I wash my hands at work, by the time I get back to my desk, they are already all dried out and gross. I'm always slathering lotion on to my hands, and this stuff does not disappoint. 

Tiny Prints Stationery
I'll keep this brief because I'm sure by this point we all know my obsession with paper products...I LOVE!

Dominique Ansel "The Secret Recipes" Cookbook
Craving for Cronuts? Then go ahead and whip up a batch. This cookbook alone was about as much as I paid for the whole box, so this was such a great deal. I'm currently pursuing the pages to see if there's any dessert that I can make this week for Thanksgiving.

With everything that came in November's box, it's safe to say that I'll be signing up for December's too. And obviously hoping that there's a few Christmassy things included!

With Love,
Ellyse

Sunday, November 16, 2014

sunday snippets 01

The holiday season is literally barreling around the corner, and I've been taking every available moment to soak everything up and get ready for the upcoming celebrations. This is, without a doubt, my favorite time of the year, so I try to make the festivities begin as early as possible in November and stretch them as long as I can into January. 

things i've been loving lately:





starbucks holiday cups
The familiar red and white cups are back, and I can't begin to tell you why Starbucks changing the color of their cups to match the time of year has such an effect on me, but it does. I mean seriously, the contents inside the cup are no different, but for some reason the emergence of the holiday cups is easily one of my favorite things about this season. Such a girl, I know. 

christmas music

"Too soon?" you ask, to which I answer, "it's never too soon." As I mentioned, I'm a firm believer that the Christmas season should be celebrated for as long as possible {see: above statement and Twitter bio}, so naturally I love getting a head start on listening to festive music. Whether it's listening to Michael's Buble's Christmas CD while I work or blasting the Holiday Hits Pandora station on the TV throughout my house, I can't get enough. 

iphone 6 
finally left the stone age and joined the 21st century when I bought the iPhone 6 this past week. My old phone was a 4s, never held battery, apps crashed constantly and the number of times per day that I could be found muttering "I going to chuck this {expletive} piece of crap out the window" was outrageous. I love having a bigger screen and it's amazing how fast my phone runs now. Certainly a much-need update! Also, if anyone has come across any cute 6 cases, please let me know. The pickings are reallllll slim right now.

have a great week!

With Love,

Ellyse
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Monday, November 3, 2014

november goals



to be better at documenting
I absolutely suck at taking pictures. To be honest, a large part of why I blog so infrequently these days is because I never have any photographs to share, and I find that pulling pictures from Pinterest day after day is so uninspiring and makes my blog so impersonal. A blog is supposed to be a journal and what's a journal if I can't physically see evidence of what happened in my life?  

In November I will take more photos. I will take photos of everything, even if the subject is boring or I think the photo will turn out bad. I can't get better if I don't start somewhere. Plus, I've finally upgraded to an iPhone 6, so I no longer have to deal with grainy iPhone 4 photos. Hallelujah emoji.

to do just a little bit, every day
I'm working on a pretty big project right now and quite honestly it might be a few months before I'm ready to launch it or make it public, but in November I will be making an effort to work towards my end result every day, even if I can only devote 10 or 15 minutes per day to it. My hope is that with this ritual, spending time daily on this project will become a habit, which is exactly what I need.

to slow down
Commuting and working in the city turns me into a mad woman. I mean I'm not like foaming at the mouth or anything (sorry for the visual), but I'm always late, always in a hurry, never walking fast enough. Granted, having a bit of hustle is necessary sometimes, but in November on the days where there's no reason to bust my booty to get from point A to point B, I want to make sure to slow down a bit more and enjoy the journey. 

What's on your list to accomplish this month?

With Love,
Ellyse

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