Christmas tree

Deck the Halls

I thought I’d share a few vignettes of the rest of our holiday decor.

Here is one vignette “in the nude,” before we moved in.

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And here she is in holiday best:

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This was the backdrop for our Cocktail and Cookie Party for Two.

Now for some close ups. I was able to use my “O Come Let Us Adore Him” phrase that I felt was too many letters for this project.

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For the picture to the immediate left, I was able to use one of the leftover fat quarters from the pillow project. Look at the charming metropolitan shoppers!

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On the top left, I threw together one of those obligatory wedding anniversary signs. This will be upgraded to some sort of official Etsy version at some point (I personally love this one), but it’s nice that it’s not Christmas-exclusive. I plan to fill the other frames with wedding photos after the holidays.

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The top right frame was another DIY project. Borrowing the H and O from my Christ Is Born bunting, I traced the letters onto glitter paper, velvet, and felt, cut them out and glued them onto a piece of white scrapbook paper.

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The topiaries received a holiday makeover as well. As seen in this post, they came in simple white terracotta pots. I wrapped each in a leftover holiday fat quarter and tied them with festive plaid ribbon.

Facing away from this wall, you can see remnants from Parisian Christmas motif of years past (swag, metallic candles galore, fur and sequin stockings):

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Side note- taking pictures of candles is hard. My cell phone has about the best camera on the market (which was why I bought it). One day, I might just make the move to a “big girl camera,” but in the mean time, bare with me. Any cell phone photography tips are welcomed :).

Up next – our Christmas card debut! And then we can all take a nap until New Year’s.

-t&T

T&T

A Torie & Tristan Tree!

This year, I was really inspired by the worded bunting trend, and wanted to incorporate it into our tree-scape. I just made up both of those terms – “worded bunting” and “tree-scape” … but you still with me?

This Michael’s Dream Tree from eighteen25 is one example of worded bunting:

Michael's Dream Tree

Here’s another:

Tree Inspiration 1

And Pottery Barn:

Pottery Barn

As I mentioned earlier, I really wanted to spice up my Christmas decor with some red this year; a tree sign like the above being one of the simple DIY ways to accomplish this. Since you need to buy each letter separately ($1-$2 each), I originally was going to do “FA LA LA”  as the words, since less letters equals less $$. But, I wasn’t sure how well that would lay spacially across the tree.

Since Tristan and I are Christians and my shopping/gift-obsessed self can always use a reminder of the Reason For The Season, I thought something Christ-y would be ideal. “O Come Let Us Adore Him” would’ve cost a small fortune in wooden letters, so I ultimately went for the abbreviated “Christ Is Born”:

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Torie & Tristan's Tree

Here’s a close up. The red is a bit brighter and more coral in person, to match the new pillows on the couch.

Torie & Tristan's Tree

For this project, I got the whole family involved. Tristan and I painted two coats on the back and front of each letter, then I hot glued each letter to twine, leaving about a foot on each end of extra twine. I have CHRIST on one strand; IS BORN on the other. It was actually easier than I thought it’d be to affix the sign to the tree; I just tied the extra twine to a branch.The total project cost $20, not including the glittery bow ornaments on each end.

I give this worded tree trend a shelf life of one more year, after which time I will need to find something else to do with the sign. I think hanging the bunting on a mantle, table or piano will be quite charming. Some peeps are already on board:

Etsy:

Tree Inspiration 5

Pottery Barn via Glitter Guide:

Tree Inspiration 4

What do you think of this trend? What holiday trends were you crushing on this year?

I’ll share the rest of our decor in the next post; I’m thisclose to finishing our inaugural Christmas cards as well.

Happy Christmas Week!

-t&T

T&T

Christmas Cocktail & Cookie Party for Two!

Since August, I’ve dreamed of this post. I was glancing through my copy of Sips & Apps by Kathy Casey and came across the Douglas Fir Sparkletini, which uses a Douglas Fir Branch-infused gin. I thought, how darling would it be if I made the gin with a branch from my Christmas tree and then drank the cocktail whilst decorating the tree?!

A few weeks ago, we went and got our tree, and then the REAL work started.

Torie and Tristan to Tree Farm!

I pruned off a branch and some garnish twigs and gave them a rinse in some Trader Joe’s produce wash. You know… so as not to contaminate the hard alcohol with anything bad for my body…

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After they’d dried off a bit, the longest branch went into the gin bottle for 24 hours – festive, no?

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As it turned out, my gin got extra flavor infusion, since I wasn’t able to decorate my tree for a full week after purchasing it… long story. I was REAL ready for that cocktail when we finally had everything we needed for the in one place. #storageunitjoys

I gathered the ingredients, and per usual, I made it as complicated as possible for myself by wanting to make homemade simple syrup and lemon sour.

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I had also purchased some adorbs cookie cutters at an event earlier this winter, and at 76 cents each, they were right in my price range:

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Sooo “on brand” … how could I not?!

I didn’t exactly want to make homemade cookies, but did want a little nosh to accompany our cocktails. I purchased a Pillsbury break-and-bake package and attempted to meld the scraps together and roll it into another dough ball to try out my new cookie cutters. Not the worst idea, however my shapes kind of blurred in the baking process :(.

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Whatevs! I believe the pros would pipe the edges with icing and then flood the center to get the clean, sharp edge effect. And, they’d probably have a less ghetto way of baking than my strategy :).

Onward!

I doubled the cocktail recipe and it was exactly enough for two shooters and two small glasses. Oh yeah, and I lost the garnish sprigs I had set aside a week before, but those would’ve been a fun touch, or perhaps some sugared cranberries.

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Bon appetit and cheers!

Here are the recipes:

Douglas Fir Sparkletini

makes one drink

  • 1 5-6 inch sprig of fresh-picked Douglas fir branch; rinsed
  • 1 750ML bottle gin (note: this bottle would make 16 drinks)
  • 1-1/2 oz. Douglas Fir Infused Gin
  • 3/4 oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1-1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Sour
  • Splash of brut Champagne or dry sparkling wine (but let’s be real, I bought a huge bottle and drank the leftovers!)
  • Tiny sprig of Douglas fir or fresh/frozen cranberry for garnish

To make the infused gin, put the rinsed fir branch in the gin bottle and cap; remove branch after 24 hours. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Measure in the infused gin, cranberry juice, and lemon sour.  Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and top with a splash of Champagne. Garnish with a fir sprig and float a cranberry in the drink.

Fresh Lemon Sour

  • 1 c. fresh lemon juice (this was about 6 lemons)
  • 1 cup Simple Syrup

In a medium pitcher, combine ingredients. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Simple Syrup

  • 2 c. water
  • 2 c. sugar

Mix the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil 1 minute, them immediately remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature before using. Store in a clean glass bottle or container at room temperature for up to two weeks, or refrigerated up to three months.

Stay tuned for my next post for our TREE REVEAL! 🙂

-t&T

T&T

 

 

 

Top 5 Newlywed Ornament Ideas

I’m a sucker for “limited time only” crafts. Give me a deadline that will require an action plan spreadsheet and major stress when that plan deviates,  and I’m IN! I can’t seem to muster up the motivation to re-vamp my dresser, despite already determining the colors and hardware required for the end result, and the fact that I’d get to enjoy the new version 365 days a year.

No, instead I obsessively figure out my Christmas decor and all of the ways I can introduce the color red to my normally Parisian palette of metallics, white and ivory… and then take it all down three weeks later. Plus, the deadline of “this is the only year I’ll be able to do all things newlywed,” including make a newlywed ornament, and start all of the traditions that our future children will remember for the restoftheirliiiiiiiiiiiiivessjhdfkhsf!!! I get a little wound up. My poor husband.

So after major Christmas decorating stress the last two weeks, I’ve worn myself out. I’ve now decided that this is the Christmas of “good enough.” Nothing is perfect. But I got it all done and am happy with the results. I spent two hours researching the following newlywed ornament inspiration back in November, then spent about five minutes on the actual execution, which you’ll see at the bottom (it’s “good enough”):

Click on the image for source.

I love the hammered metal/engraved look, and cute wording, no?

Cute Phrasing

Spoon

Cute style

I am not wild about these fonts, but I am interested in DIY etched glass techniques:

Different fonts etched on glass

It looks like they used their save the date on this one … nice matching:

Different style

I love the wrapped look using a wedding invitation (and glitter, obvs), and ultimately went this direction:

Yay Glitter

Wrapped style 2

I think this one is just darling. I didn’t read the instructions, but a mini embroidery hoop would work well:

Monogram!

Here’s my end result. I kid you not – 5 minutes. I took one invitation and cut it into strips, put each slip writing side out in a clear ornament, dumped in some glitter and tied some bows. Then, according to Christmas Murphy’s Law, it took me a week to find my black number stickers. But once I found them, applying the 2013 took 30 seconds.

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New Ornament

Hope this post gave you some ideas for your newlywed ornament, or perhaps Baby’s First Ornament, or a gift idea!

-t&T

T&T

From the Island to the Stadium to the Tree Farm!

Here are some shots from our whirlwind 4-day weekend.

 

Headed to Camano Island, Wash. on Wednesday evening. The tradition is to eat at the Mexican restaurant the night before Thanksgiving. The next morning, my cousin Danielle made everyone lefse, a Norwegian flatbread, which she buttered and cinnamon-sugared.

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After lefse and some pumpkin liqueur coffee, I left Tristan on a chair watching football and went on a hike with my mother-in-law and aunt around Camas Beach. It was beautiful!

 

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We stopped at the most charming bed and breakfast on the way back to search for my father-in-law rumored to be enjoying a bloody mary at the bar.

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After we got back, I saw that Tristan was exactly where I left him. So I took his lead and parked myself in front of the fire with a magazine and fresh cup of coffee.

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Before we left for the hike, Danielle and I had collaborated on Ina Garten’s mulled wine recipe. I know I married into the right family because they just so happened to have vintage gold-embellished mugs AND festive glass stir sticks on hand. It was the perfect stress reliever as I made …

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… my first-ever stuffing! Talk about grown up. Last year I brought a salad.

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On the table it went:

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After dinner and a power nap, some of the gal cousins and I went into the hot tub, and decided to paint our nails and watch a Christmas movie. When there’s teenagers involved, the color quota goes up by like, one million:

 

 

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Lots and lots of glitter. Stay tuned for my DIY Manicure #3 post with the sparkly results.

The next morning, we left the island bright and early to head to the annual Apple Cup between University of Washington and Washington State University back at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

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Here’s our stadium’s view. As I mentioned in my last post, we are never far from water and/or boats. When he was a kid, Tristan’s dad used to bring him out on their boat  next to the stadium and they’d listen to the game on the radio.

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The next morning, we met some friends at Trinity Tree Farm, where we picked out (and chopped down) our very first tree as husband and wife.

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Ta Da!

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We will be decorating the tree this upcoming weekend because I only grabbed one of my Christmas boxes from storage, and apparently it wasn’t the one with the ornaments. So, I can’t get very far without them!

Does anyone else feel majorly behind already since Thanksgiving was so late this year!? I’m trying to be so festive but there’s NO TIME!

-t&T

Monogram