Easiest DIY Ever: Peace on Earth

How's this for incredibly easy holiday decor? I spent about one minute applying these letter stickers to my globe. Now my office has a subtle holiday touch!

The best part is, you can spin her around for a totally different message.

I hope you are enjoying a relaxing holiday! We are recovering from both the stomach flu and a sinus infection, but we're almost back to full speed. We have a very low key Christmas ahead, and I'm grateful for the rest and recovery time. Work has been so crazy lately, so I'm hugely grateful to have some time off to recharge.

I'm feeling very sentimental lately and am very appreciative for those of you who read this blog. You're the best! *tear*

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Christmas Inspiration: Arizona Holiday

We had the most wonderful, restorative getaway in Sedona, Arizona this past weekend. We had a few hours before sunset when we first arrived, so we wandered around a charming shopping village called Tlaquepaque (Te-la-ka-pack-y).

I was immediately smitten by the unique southwestern-style Christmas decorations. There was some serious inspiration to be had, so of course I snapped some photos!

 Right when we walked into that arched entryway above, we came face to face with two huge doors decorated with massive, colorful wreaths.

Upon closer inspection, I saw that they had sliced up brightly colored serapes and made them into wired ribbon, intertwining them throughout the wreaths. These serapes were the common thread throughout the entire shopping plaza.

I have gourds just like those that I use for my autumn decor, but I would never have thought to incorporate them into my Christmas decorations. I love how well they mix with the pine needles and pine cones.

More serape ribbons adorned the lanterns and doorways. How amazing is that tile?

They took advantage of the empty fountains throughout the shops, filling them with festive greenery. I loved how the glossy red gourds popped against the blue pattern of the tile.

One of the shops had some particularly lush garland around its window display incorporating gourds, red chili lights, pine cones and other dried plants. It's nontraditional, but it totally works in the beautiful desert landscape of Sedona.

I fell hard for this display because I am a big fan of green apples. 

And then I told Scott I wanted him to make me a family sign just like this one!

If you want to see more photos from our trip, you can find me on Instagram. It's so darn scenic over there, I couldn't stop taking pictures!

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A Tale of Two Trees

I've been lobbying the husband for a second Christmas tree since last year, when we put up our regular tree and it suddenly didn't feel like enough. It was our first year living in this much bigger house that had both a living room and a den, so I thought, "Why not have a tree in each space?"

The other reason I really wanted a second tree is because I change my mind every year about how I want to decorate the tree. But we also have this hodge podge of random ornaments we have either been gifted or collected during our travels (we get an ornament as a souvenir for each trip), and none of them match or fit into my trendy, ever-changing Christmas decorations. I figured the perfect solution was to have one tree with all of our sentimental ornaments and another tree that I could decorate in whatever trendy style I like each year.

Scott was against my plan from the beginning. His only reason was that he didn't want to store another tree in the attic. Apparently he is very possessive of the attic real estate.

However, he totally changed his tune once he heard that Home Depot was having a doorbuster Black Friday deal, this 7.5 ft Martha Stewart Living Matthew Fir tree for $80 instead of $180. Suddenly he wanted me to go with him to Home Depot at 5 a.m. to get this amazing deal! I'm not one to argue, so I tagged along in my pajamas and enjoyed the free donuts as he bought me the tree.

 Here's my quick review of the tree: It's really cool that it switches from clear to colored lights at the push of a separate remote control button. You can actually choose between clear, colored, alternating or off. I'm not a huge fan of the colored lights (just not my personal style), but I think it's nice to have the option. I bet if we had kids, they would get a huge kick out of the remote and switching the lights around. It has this cool Quick-Set technology with plugs inside the pole, so you don't have to fish around for plugs to connect each layer to the next. It's super fast and easy to set up.

Now when will they come up with a fake tree that fluffs itself? That would be amazing.

So, here's my new tree! It's colorful and fun and sentimental, filled with all of my favorite ornaments. I topped it with my DIY paper star from last year, but I sure would like to find a light-up star for the top. Any recommendations?

In a nutshell, it looks a little bit like this:

Cozy Christmas Tree

As for our other tree, I put it on top of a wooden box to make it taller. It looked like it was too small with those tall ceilings, so I figured we could MacGuyver a solution to make it work.

As far as decor, my rules were simple. Any ornaments that were neutral or metallic (gold, silver, brown, beige, white, tan, green) were allowed. Absolutely no red ornaments allowed!

The best thing about this color scheme for the tree is that it doesn't clash with the existing decor, which has a lot of blue and grey. I felt like red was an overpowering color in this room, so I'm really happy to keep the red in the cozy den and keep this room with a neutral palette.

Green & Gold Christmas

Do you think I'm a little over the top to have two trees? Which tree is your favorite?

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