Randoms & Happy Weekend

Well, this week flew by! I was busy getting my table ready for our church holiday tablescapes event, which was last night. It was really fun! My equestrian-inspired table turned out just the way I hoped, which is always nice. Here's a little sneak peek– more details to come with a full post next week!

photo by Renée Fernandes

The husband and I are jetting off to San Francisco this weekend for a quick little post-football season getaway. We only have a couple of days to tour the city, and the forecast looks really rainy. Does anyone have any good suggestions? What's the best area of town to admire the Christmas decorations?


Don't forget about my Printcopia photo canvas giveaway. You have until midnight on Monday to enter!


We had to move the chair in the corner of the living room to put up our Christmas tree, and now our dogs have to share a bed. (One of them used to sleep in the chair.) It's about the cutest thing I've ever seen. I'm biased, I know.


I stumbled upon this diet personality test this week, and I thought it was pretty interesting. It's like a Myers Briggs test, but it's centered around how your personality traits affect your dieting style. I'm a "Diet Feeler," someone who "does best with a holistic approach—that is, when considering her mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical well-being as interconnected aspects that each influence the other." True! You should try the test if you have a couple of spare minutes– I think it's educational. Of course, I always took the quizzes in my teen magazines with incredible interest, so take my advice with a grain of salt. Haha!


Our Christmas decorations are done, so I can't wait to share those with you next week. I had my lovely photographer friend come to take pictures of my holiday tablescape, so I'll have a post with those details, too. Hooray for the most festive time of year!

* Can't wait to see the Golden Gate Bridge! *

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* Photo Canvas Giveaway! *

Everyone knows someone on their Christmas list who would like to receive a photo canvas, right?

Friends, siblings, parents, grandparents, significant others– they all like photos. They all like them even better when they are printed on canvas! In fact, when I told my mom about this giveaway, she said, "I'm going to try to WIN!" So watch out everyone, my mom really wants to win.

Printcopia is an awesome company who sells canvas prints, among other things. I fell in love with their website (so well designed!) and the fact that they can print photos from your Instagram account. How convenient is that? I love Instagram photos, so I thought that was a fantastic option.

Printcopia offered to let me review their product first, so I pulled out one of my favorite Instagram photos that I've been meaning to have printed. This photo was taken during our trip to Italy last Thanksgiving, and it captures my favorite moment of the trip– eating and drinking to our heart's content at a beautiful winery in Tuscany!

We liked it so much that we used it for our Christmas cards last year, yet I never had any photos printed from the entire trip! What a travesty. Thankfully, Printcopia helped me fix that problem. 

Here's my 8x10 canvas print. It's so nice! The quality is great, and I love how the photo wraps all the way around the canvas so you can mount it on the wall without a frame. It comes with the photo hanger on the back, so you don't have to do any extra work.

I'm still debating where I want this print to go inside of our house. I'm thinking I will create a new hallway gallery wall with this as the centerpiece. But I didn't want to delay this giveaway until I had that ready (since it would make a great Christmas present), so here it is!


Printcopia is offering one of you awesome readers a free 8x10 canvas print (just like the one above)!

Here's how you enter:

1. Leave me a comment on this post telling me what you would do with this photo canvas. Keep it for yourself? Give it to your friend for Christmas? Put it up in your office?

2. Overachiever? You can get more entries for doing each of the following:

          • Follow The Happy Homebodies on Twitter
          • "Like" The Happy Homebodies on Facebook
          • Follow us on Pinterest!  
          • And lastly, join the fun on Instagram!

You have to leave a separate comment for each one to get the max amount of entries. If you do all of the above things, you can enter up to five times! *Giveaway available only to US residents (sorry, no international shipping).  This giveaway closes at midnight on Monday, Dec. 3. Winner will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 4!

Just a couple more things to add about Printcopia...

I signed up for their email list, and I have gotten a lot of great discount offers so far. You may want to check that out if you're looking for extra deals on their photo products this holiday season. Beyond the canvas prints, I'm slightly obsessed with the acrylic framing options they have on the site. SO sleek! Imagine a wall of Instagram prints on that acrylic 12x12 option? That would look amazing.
 They also sell huge panoramic prints, and their sister sites offer car magnets, lawn signs and even vinyl banners. I could fiddle around on their website for a long long time, enjoying all the pretty visuals and cool products.

* Hooray for giveaways! *

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DIY Felted Christmas Trees

While admiring the lovely Christmas decorations at the Wisteria store, I was inspired by these Nesting Felt Trees to do a little DIY project. I loved the texture and look of the trees, but I couldn't afford the $126 price tag. I figured I could attempt to make my own!

It took me about two hours to make these, but it was really simple work. I did it while watching football games, so it didn't seem bad. I love how they came out!

My first step was to go to Michael's (armed with coupons, of course) to buy the supplies. I bought two styrofoam cones from the floral section, small brass pins from the sewing section and 10 sheets of off-white felt.

The first step was to cover the foam cone with felt. You can do this any number of ways, but I made little felt skirts and worked my way up. 

Then I started cutting out the felt leaves. I traced it onto the felt sheet (folded in half) and then cut them out, two at a time.

I started the first layer at the base of the cone, pinning each leaf into the styrofoam with the small sewing pins. I think it's a big part of the look to leave them dangling below the bottom of the cone like the Wisteria version, so make sure to pin accordingly!

I continued up the cone, staggering the leaves so each small brass pin was covered with another leaf.

Pretty soon, I had the whole cone covered!

The Wisteria trees didn't have anything at the top, but I felt like mine needed something to look finished. I decided to make a little felt pom pom as the star on top of the tree. 

Cut small strips of felt and then tie in the middle with fishing line. Then you just fluff it up and pin it to the top of the tree!

For the second tree, I decided to try a different technique for the leaves. This version looks more like feathers, but it still has great texture. I used the same process for the second, taller tree. It was much less time consuming because it took less time to cut out the feathers.

I placed each one on my wooden candlesticks and made a little vignette by our back doors, which is our main entrance. I think it looks really pretty with the DIY rope mirror since the textures and soft, neutral colors work so well together.

Homemade, DIY felted Christmas trees made to look like Wisteria Nesting Felt Trees

Homemade, DIY felted Christmas trees made to look like Wisteria Nesting Felt Trees

Homemade, DIY felted Christmas trees made to look like Wisteria Nesting Felt Trees

Homemade, DIY felted Christmas trees made to look like Wisteria Nesting Felt Trees

Homemade, DIY felted Christmas trees made to look like Wisteria Nesting Felt Trees

What do you think? Mine aren't quite as tall as the Wisteria ones, but I feel like we got the same effect for less than $20. Works for me!

* Winter Whites *

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Holiday Inspiration: Window Shopping at Wisteria

First off, I hope you and yours had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Have you had your fill of turkey and pumpkin pie? I've had enough turkey sandwiches to last me awhile, that's for sure.

Are you a Black Friday shopper? I'm one of the crazy ones who actually enjoys the frenzy and excitement (to a point- I don't enjoy the grumpy shoppers or lack of parking spots). We went to a midnight shopping event at our local mall and picked up a few bargains, but we were home by 2 a.m. Then we slept in and went shopping on Friday afternoon when the crowds had subsided.

My parents were in town, and my mom wanted to go to Wisteria. Of course I didn't argue because I absolutely love Wisteria despite the fact that I can't really afford anything in the store (unless it's an item from their Flea Market sale, like this or this.)

Anyway, Wisteria is decorated so beautifully for the holidays. You don't have the luxury of visiting the Wisteria store in person unless you live in the Dallas area, so I thought I'd snap some iPhone pictures of the gorgeous holiday vignettes. Decorating inspiration abounds!

When you first walk into the store, you're greeted with a huge wooden elephant inside a colorful winter wonderland. Here's a simple idea you can steal from this: spray paint a huge branch with gold or silver, and add glitter for a little extra shimmer. I loved the oversized ornaments hanging from the ceiling and the gorgeous white lights behind the muslin fabric on the walls. The whole room had such a lovely glow.


Here's a traditional fireplace vignette with a forest green and gold color scheme.

I loved the presents wrapped in kraft paper and tied with purple bows.

The boxwood wreaths in the china cabinet are so classic and beautiful. You can't go wrong with boxwood!

Lavender is a very unexpected holiday color, but it looks great with the white and gold tablescape in this vignette.

The gold chargers that looked like crowns were pretty unique. They are part of the Fra Angelico line that Wisteria has right now, inspired by the Renaissance.

This corner of the store was decked out in a coastal theme. The tree was decorated with starfish ornaments and touches of silver and turquoise.

The next area of the store had a bit of a mountain lodge feel, with large stuffed polar bears and a huge moose. It was super cozy and charming. Check out those cool metal star wreaths on the cedar wall!

How charming is this felted nativity? I love that shaggy sheep! I could see kids having way too much fun with this set.

These chartreuse  ornaments were a nice twist on the traditional holiday green, and I love that boxwood.

I was inspired by these Nesting Felt Trees to create my own version at a friendlier price point. That tutorial is coming later this week! I made them yesterday and really love how they came out.

I should be clear that Wisteria didn't sponsor this post and has no clue I would blog about them– I'm just a random shopper with her iPhone! :)

In between shopping trips and stuffing my face with turkey, I managed to get all of our Christmas decorations up. I also finalized my plans for the holiday tablescape event at my church this Thursday, so I can't wait to share my table decor with you. It's completely different from last year's pear green and gold tablescape, although I loved that one, too.

The husband worked hard on his honey-do list last week, installing a new ceiling fan and two hallway lights, along with a new wrought-iron garden fence. The new hallway lights led to a different arrangement of the gallery wall, so I'll be sharing those details on the blog.

I've also got a *free photo canvas giveaway* (yay!) coming from Printcopia later this week, so make sure to check back. I'm thinking it would be a pretty great Christmas present for someone on your list!

* Hooray for the holidays! *

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Have you thought about what you are thankful for this year?

I'm thankful for a sweet husband who puts up with my long honey-do list with a smile and a big hug.

I'm thankful for two goofy puppies who melt my heart even while digging up our backyard.

I'm thankful for a family who likes nothing more than to spend our evenings on the phone with one another, discussing my brother's latest basketball game and our next home improvement projects.

I'm thankful for another family who has accepted me into their inner circle with open arms, even though my white-girl taste buds can't take the heat!

I'm thankful for a best friend who doesn't mind when I send her emails about Craigslist treasures and who is always ready to critique the red carpet dresses with me.

I'm thankful for legs that can boot a kickball and help me run to first base, arms that can carry my groceries (all in one trip!) and eyes that let me see all of the beautiful things God has created.  

I'm thankful for Blue Bell ice cream sandwiches, frozen grapes and extra virgin olive oil.

And I'm thankful for this blog that allows me to connect with awesome people all over the country through a shared love of the home!

Friends, what are you thankful for during this holiday week?

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Curb Appeal Upgrades

We've been working on our home's curb appeal ever since we moved in almost 2.5 years ago. Quite frankly, the house was just a brown box on the outside. Light brown brick, darker brown siding, a brown door. It was really... brown.

I took this picture when we initially toured the house. 

The first major curb appeal improvement was simply removing the window screens and adding black shutters. 

And then this happened... Bye bye, big oak tree.

Then we painted the front door black...

And then another hail storm forced us to replace our roof a couple of weeks ago. We went with a darker color to tie in with the black shutters and door.


We took care of two other small upgrades this past week. First, we switched out the house numbers and moved them beneath the light by the front door. 

The new numbers a modern, san serif style that I really like. What do you think?

As for the planters, I took a little poll on the blog and on Facebook about what color we should paint them. I was leaning toward black to tie in the shutters and door, and my decision was reaffirmed when most of you chose black! To those of you who suggested more daring colors like red and turquoise... I'm sorry. You are more brave than me! I had to go classic and traditional this time– it just felt right. 

I snapped some pictures with my cell phone as the sun was going down, so they aren't that great. I'll try to get better pictures tomorrow! I still haven't rearranged the mulch and stuff around the planters yet, since I had to move it away to paint them.

I definitely think the black helps the planters "pop" instead of blending into the house like they did before. What do you think?



And now for a more dramatic before and after, let's see how far the front of this little 1979 brown box has come in the past 2.5 years!

Before (June 2010):

After (November 2012):

The nice thing about all of these upgrades is that they were really affordable. (Well, except the roof– but insurance paid for that!) The priciest thing we've added have been the shutters, and those were only $160. If you don't count the roof, we've spent less than $200 to get the front of the house to this point. I think that's pretty good!

The husband has the week off for Thanksgiving, so he's planning to tackle a bunch of house projects. (I have to work through Wednesday, and yes, I'm jealous.) 

What's on his to-do list? 

• Pressure wash and re-seal the fence
• Install new wrought iron garden fence
• Install new kitchen tv (just in time for all that Thanksgiving cooking!)
• Fix broken fan in living room (one of his boisterous football players jumped up while playing xbox and broke it about three months ago)

And what's on tap for me this week (once I get off work)?

• Mini-bathroom makeover
• New gallery wall
• New hallway lights
• Put the Christmas decorations up!
• Clean, clean, clean, eat, eat, eat (yum) and shop, shop, shop! 'Tis the season!

We should have a lot of projects to show you next week, so that's exciting.

What are your holiday plans? I hope they involve a lot of yummy food and quality family time!

* Can't wait for Turkey Day! *

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