CREATING NEUTRAL HOLIDAY DECOR

 neutral holiday decorations

Here we are, it’s nearly Christmas again and I’m continually stunned at how fast the months are going by. While I love the holiday season and everything it encompasses, I’m not really known for my knock out Christmas decorations. I guess it’s one of those odd things, considering I have zero chill when it comes to decorating for smaller occasions like the girls birthdays or even just a simple Halloween gathering. I can’t contain myself in those situations. I’m always festive! I’ve convinced myself that maybe it’s the overwhelming amounts of bright colors that cause me to be easily scared off or possibly just the overwhelming amount of options these days to choose from or maybe now with kids, I just feel like everything will get broken and pulled off the tree. So, I did a quick search trying to source some neutral holiday inspiration, and came to find, there weren’t a ton of options. This is where I decided to partner with Pier 1 Imports again and share some tips on creating an affordable neutral holiday palette, whether you’re doing everything last minute or just want some ideas for a simpler set up this year or also have tiny humans ready to destroy everything at a moment’s notice.

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 neutral holiday decorations

It’s no secret that I’m pretty minimal and tend to steer clear of bold colors or patterns in my clothing choices, and that is also reflective in my home decor. To begin, I chose silver, white and wood as my main ‘colors’ and used them as the common denominators when choosing decorations. [I’ll take the time now to mention that you should start a drinking game (with hot cider, of course *wink, wink*) and take a swig for every time I use the word ‘decoration’ or ‘decor’ or ‘holiday’ in this post!] I found silver ornaments that were a mix of glittery, matte and shiny and started with those. Check! I let Parker pick out one ornament that she loved, and she choose the little grey sweater, which was insanely cute. Then I added in some natural touches to the tree with these pinecone additions, that are in fact napkin rings, but don’t let them fool you… they can also be hung on the tree like ornaments. The ornaments are plastic and the pinecones are very sturdy, so the kids can help hang them and nothing will be broken. The final touch on the tree… bells. Why? So I can keep track of any tiny hands trying to sneak up on the tree or attempting to peek at presents. Genius, I know.

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 neutral holiday decorations

Probably my favorite neutral option for the holidays is birch. Anything birch. I was able to find these super chic birch pillars, that could honestly also be flipped over and used as vases for flowers. They also have birch wrapping paper, that helps keep everything uniform and not a mess of wrapping designs under the tree. Newspaper is also a great neutral option for wrapping if you have some laying around! To create the tree skirt, I used two of these super soft and lush blankets and just wrapped them around the bottom area. Pretty cozy if you ask me!

I spoke in my harvest post about the importance of letting your mantle take center stage during the holiday season and December is her finest hour. I snagged this extra long garland from our local tree stand and spruced it up with a couple of these white pinecone picks. They’d also be great to put in the tree with the ornaments. All of the products are classic in a way that they can be used year after year and even incorporated into a larger, more colorful, theme if you choose to go that route.

In closing, even if you’re a contestant on ‘The Great American Light Fight’, I would hope even this lends you some inspiration and always remember that holiday cheer can come in a small dose and still make a big impact! Happy Holidays, friends!

Other products featured: Cake stand / candle / twinkle lights / metallic basket / pillar candles / white mugs

*This post is in partnership with Pier 1, a brand we use around our home. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my little space of the internet. All of the products mentioned are available at your local Pier 1 Imports store location or www.pier1.com*

REAL TALK REAL MOMS :: FAMILY MORNING ROUTINE

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To be honest, I feel like our routine (or lack there of) is pretty basic and by the book most mornings. We have so many possible scenarios in our family depending on if one of us is traveling, who is going to an office for the day or who is working from home or does Parker have school or a class… and so on. It’s hard to really tell you exactly what our mornings are like [outside of general chaos], but let’s assume this is a weekday morning where I’m going into the office and Eric is going to be heading out to his studio...

I’ll wake at around 7am and nurse Sidney Sloane for around 20-30min. This may be the most serene time of my day and there’s nothing like starting your morning with some serious baby snuggles… I cherish them. Once she’s fed and happy, I’ll usually bring her into the bathroom with me while I put on makeup and she’ll play and babble. Once I’m done attempting to make it look like I’m not an exhausted human being, I’ll check in to see if our nanny has arrived and will take SS down to hang with her and eat some breakfast so I can get some clothes on. By this time, Eric is usually ready and downstairs making breakfast. He is always on breakfast duty as it’s his specialty. We gotta stick to our strengths! Coffee usually waits until I'm at the office already and I'll take a mid-morning break to run out and grab my necessary cup of decaf. Since Parker is basically a teenager, we’re lucky to see her before we both have to leave the house since she sleeps until like 8:30/8:45am most mornings. God bless her.

If Eric isn’t in town… we could remove breakfast at home from the scenario and assume I’m running 20 minutes behind.


Parker is starting in a two-day summer pre-k program in a couple of months and that will be our first venture into learning to juggle getting her to a designated place in the morning before we head to work. Not quite sure how that will all shake out, but I think having both of the girls at home makes our mornings pretty uneventful and full of the normal mornings stuff with kids! 

Be sure to check out and follow along with the other amazing mamas who are sharing their stories as part of this series. Also be sure to check out our previous topics: Travel, Feeding, Sleep, Relationships, Self Care, Working, Co-Parenting, Comparison Trap, Diaper Bag Essentials and Play. Links below! #realmomseries

Rebecca: A Daily Something |   Leah : Freutcake  |   Jen : The Effortless Chic

  Alex : Ave Styles |   Amri: Heymama  |  Megan: The Fresh Exchange

Chandra : Oh Lovely Day  |  Catherine: The Life Styled  |  Caitlin: Sacramento Street

AN EARLY VALENTINE'S DATE WITH OLD NAVY

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This will be our eighth Valentine's Day together and I can hardly believe it. Feels like just yesterday and also feels like forever ago, as life does these days. I can still remember our very first Valentine's Day when we were dating... it was epic. The month prior we had been upstate in Cold Spring with some friends doing antique shopping (the same town we would get engaged and then married in). I had come across this 110 year old family bible at one of the shops and was enamored by the pages and the smell and the elaborate leather binding and embossing. I loved it, but remember it was snowing that day and freezing and I convinced myself the last thing I wanted to do was haul this massive 15 lb bible home with me on the train. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. 

We returned to the city and weeks went by and I had started to forget about that hefty old bible and continued on with my days. That was, until Valentine's Day rolled around. We were only a few months into dating and were hanging out at Eric's apartment for the day. We had ordered in Chinese food from our favorite spot in Williamsburg and were watching movies all afternoon. Eric leaned over and told me he had a present for me... and to this day, I actually don't remember if I got him anything! He leans under his bed and pulls out this massive brick of a package. Inside... was the old family bible I had found in Cold Spring. I was shocked and had so many questions... mainly, how did it get here?! Apparently after we returned to the city, Eric got up early the very next day and took the train back upstate to the antique shop, swooped up the bible and sneakily came back in time to meet me for dinner that evening. That man, I mean... he could've gotten away with just asking me to marry him right then and there! 

As we reminisce about all of our grand romantic gestures we did as a dating couple, we also are very into cozying up on the couch and enjoying some quality romantic comedies for a Valentine's Day activity. If you’re in need of some rom-com recommendations, here are a few of my favorites:

About Time

Knotting Hill

Anything with Ryan Reynolds (rom-com or not)

Serendipity

A Lot Like Love

Sweet Home Alabama

When Harry Met Sally

Sleepless in Seattle

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As we’ve aged in our marriage and added children to the mix, sometimes the most romantic time together these days is just time spent together without others around. Anytime we can sneak out for even a solo coffee date or when Eric has a free moment in the afternoon and he’ll swing by my office to take me to lunch. Uninterrupted time to talk… we’ll take it! Dating can continue, even if you are married. And it takes on a whole new meaning and importance and ya gotta fight for it. I'll take any excuse to go gallivant around town with this man!    

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Me: Shirt / Jeans / Shoes (similar) / Jacket / Jean Jacket

Eric: Shirt / Jacket / Jeans


This post was sponsored by Old Navy and Heymama. As always, thanks for supporting brands that support this blog and my family!

Photos by: Ashtin Paige