Decorating a Christmas Tree like a Pro!

Growing up my mother always took pride in decorating a huge, 9 foot, artificial Christmas tree. I believe, if I remember correctly, that it started out with multiple colors, different assortments of ornaments and bulbs, but the majority of the years it was a a gold and white tree with twinkling white lights with a beautiful electric angel that sat on the top with lit candles that moved when you turned her on. I think the thought of having any other kind of tree, but Gold and White, would just not be the Christmas that I remember. 

My Momma’s Tree

The last few years I didn’t have a Christmas tree because to be honest, we just didn’t have the space to store it. Thomas and I lived in a couple different apartments before the one we are at now, and before now we never had ‘extra space’ in any of our closets to store a Christmas tree box or a bunch of decorations, so I was limited to a small tote that had a few ribbons and candle holders. But this year we have room! 

This year will be the hardest for me since I will be celebrating Christmas solo, well with our two French Bulldogs, but Thomas won’t be able to make it up to Georgia until New Years, so I needed to decorate just for me, you know to keep my spirits up! I told myself, ‘this year no matter what, you will put up a tree’ and did I ever! I am so proud of my beautiful tree, not only because I did it by myself, but it includes a collection of beautiful ornaments that were bought and some that were homemade from me. I’ll show you a quick one I made a couple years for the puppies’ first in a later post, it was simple and came out so good. 

Ok, so back to the tree! So the type and look of tree is completely up to you as well as if you want it pre-lit or not. I chose a Pre-Lit Windham Spruce 6 Foot tree from Michael’s because they were having a big sale after Thanksgiving and the size is perfect for our apartment. I ended up going with the pre-lit tree because my mom told me it is a better option, but I think if I did it all over again, I would have done a tree without the lights because on my tree the lights don’t go all the way up on one side and I wish that they twinkled, but in the end it looks great and doesn’t matter. 

Building a Color Scheme

Next, you have to start with deciding on a color scheme, for me I wanted Gold and White which can include clear, some silver, the more glitter the better, and different textures, but mostly all Gold and White. I decided to buy 4 different kinds of bulbs in two different sizes, some gold and white jingle bells, and some hanging gold snow flakes. I also wanted to personalize my tree with some homemade ornaments, as I mentioned earlier, so I have my ornaments I make for our puppies each year, some hand painted ornaments, and some  that I bought from the store. I specifically chose a Silver Wonder Woman to give my mom a place on our tree (she dressed up in a homemade Wonder Woman outfit for halloween when she was my age and it just stuck with her because she looked so amazing in it and she is of course Wonder Woman in so many people’s eyes) a turtle for a nod to Florida, a slice of cake that I actually received a few years back from my sister in law because of my true passion baking, a gold and silver king/queen crown for Thomas and I, two reindeer heads, and a few older ornaments I had in my tote. 

I then wanted to embellish the tree with different kind of ‘picks’ things that are on a stick that usually are used in wreaths, but can easily be used in trees to add drama and dimension. I decided on some golden stars, gold poinsettias, white and glitter dipped pine cones, and white glittery beads on sticks. These all came together very nicely to fill the tree up and make the tree full and eliminate empty space. 

The last thing to decide on is the tree topper, the ribbon, and the tree skirt. The tree topper was a cheap $5 glittery gold topper from Target, and although it looks great, I wish it was just a little bit bigger. Next year I may get one that lights up, or an angel that reminds me of my childhood. The ribbon I added to my tree, and truth be told you should probably put this on BEFORE adding ornaments, but I just didn’t have the right one I wanted at the beginning and I wasn’t going to settle, was in place of where someone would put tinsel. You could  use tinsel, or a string of popcorn/beads, or anything else that will add some extra decoration to your tree that brings your eyes around your tree and from top to bottom, I just really fell in love with this ribbon. Here I used a roll of gold and white, non wired, ribbon (I feel like the wires make it look messy after year two because it gets bent out of shape) and draped the ribbon around the tree ( and actually didn’t even cut it off the roll – the rest is sitting on a branch in the back waiting to be rolled up after New Years! ). I started from the top behind the tree topper and then draped it down the tree in circles at an angle. I personally like when it moves in an angle down and around the tree because your eyes keep moving to something different that way, but if you like horizontal circles, that works to! 

Tree Topper and Ribbon

The last and final thing I added to the tree was a tree skirt! Ok, I guess this is the first time paying for everything that went into this Christmas tree and boy was I shocked when I found out good tree skirts were anywhere from $30-$75! NO WAY! I tried going to JoAnn’s Fabrics to see about making my own, but even then the fabric I wanted was $40/yard. so I kept looking and fell upon a cheap $10 throw blanket at Kirkland’s which was the perfect size and color. Ta Da! I have a tree skirt. I actually just draped it around the base, but next year I will cut it into a circle shape and maybe fill it to make it more prominent at the base of my tree. 

Quick Recap:

  1. Pick a Tree – You can choose from Artificial or Real, Pre-lit or Without Lights, and if you are daring Green or Color
  2. Choose a Color Scheme – Good options are Gold and White, Red and Gold, Multi-Color, Teal and Silver, Silver and Gold, and Purple and Teal.
  3. Start with a base of different sizes bulbs in your color scheme
  4. Add accent ornaments, homemade ornaments, festive picks, and fillers
  5. Add a decorative ribbon or tinsel
  6. Top the tree with a great topper 
  7. Finish the tree with a tree skirt – or in my case a blanket draped to look like a skirt
  8. ENJOY!
My Beautiful Christmas Tree

So there you have it! A tree that could easily be on the page of a magazine, or top of your Pinterest board, or whatever. It is easy with a little thought, doesn’t have to be crazy expensive if you work with things you already have, watch the holiday sales, and do some shopping after Christmas is over. I hope your Christmas tree brings you as much joy as mine has brought me! Merry Christmas everyone! 

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The EPIC battle of Guys vs Girls and this time Girls Prevailed!

Game Night

Game Night with our gym crew who has turned closer to family, always includes arguments over the rules, accusations of the women cheating, and hours of laughs and jokes. This past weekend wasn’t any different. I was able to visit Thomas in Florida these past two weeks for Thanksgiving and if I am in town, I want to make sure I get to see the gym fam! We hosted everyone at our friend, Laquan’s house, and I prepared my infamous Vegetarian Sheet Tray Nachos, you can check out the recipe here, along with a few other yummy goodies and a nice punch. I bought a few games, and we ended up having a great time! 

Top three games you need to have at every game night:

  1. Pictionary you may not think that this will be fun, but the inner artists of everyone comes out, and it get’s interesting! Well more like HILARIOUS! We had ‘honey bee’s with tails that looked like aardvarks, random numbers and a random hat shape that was sworn to be a taxi cab, and dinosaurs that were supposed to be kangaroos. *But note to self, get a notepad with blank paper to rip off and tape up on the wall (with masking tape) to draw on. The little boards in the Pictionary game you buy are way to small for a large group setting. 
  2. CharadesWe used the cards from the Pictionary game to make it easier than buying another game, but they were difficult and we had to write a key of the type of word we were trying to guess so it wasn’t impossible. Go with the charades game to get words that you can actually act out, it will make it a little more fun. But honestly, if you are ambitious to prep your own, make your own cards! Just write down a bunch of action words and put them in a bucket and have people draw. You can cater your words to your event, to a theme, or even a holiday. 
  3. Taboo OR Taboo After Dark (The adult version) –  Ok, now this was FUN! There is nothing more fun than seeing buff body builder men trying to have the other guys guess a perverted word without using the words on the card. The regular Taboo is a lot of fun, but the after dark version that we had bought, made it that much more interesting, to say the least! What made this game even better, we had the host of the house, Laquan, act as the game show host and manned the buzzer (for the words you aren’t allowed to say) and to keep time. But honestly, and the girls will attest, I think he was cheating to try to get the guys back in the game! 

You really get to see the levels of competitiveness of everyone when the game is on the line. Thomas and I are EXTREMEMLY competitive and we always battle on rules, cheating, and turns at game night, but truthfully we just love the game! It is all in good fun with everyone and I love the energy of everyone in the room. The best is when it is a difficult word and you hear people yelling different things, the guys walking closer and closer to make it easier to see what is going on, the girls yelling out time to make sure they don’t slip in an answer after the time has run out. We even had a time where Laquan was trying to get everyone to guess ‘Falling in Love’ by kneeling in front of me taking my hand and gazing into my eyes, the guys just couldn’t get it! So the ladies yelled time, I pushed him over and then the guys yelled out ‘FALLING IN LOVE’ we got it, give us our point! But of course it was already after time and they didn’t hear the lady yell time, and this went on for a good 5 minutes, we ended up giving them their petty point and moved on. Oh to be a guy!

Big thanks to everyone who came out, without all of you we wouldn’t have had an epic time! And guys remember, girls won fair and square – until next time y’all! 

Battle of the Sexes! Score Card Never Lies.

Girls Won by a Landslide!