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Holidays

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O Christmas Tree!

I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving, and are filled with holiday cheer. Seriously, it's the most wonderful time of the year! This girl loves Christmastime, how about you? I spent last week decorating my home and tree for the holidays, which has me on cloud 9. Yesterday, I shared a photo of my family's tree on Instagram, and received such nice compliments that I thought I should share here on the blog, along with a few tips for those of you who haven't started decorating your tree just yet.

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, since childhood. I used to be so excited when my parents would take my brother and I out to the local Christmas tree lot to pick out a tree, and then we got to go home and decorate while singing Christmas carols. Those were such great memories, and now with having a family of my own, it's fun to create new memories and see the wonder of Christmas through my children's eyes.

For those wondering how to create a festive and "full" tree, here are my top tips to achieve the look:

1. Artificial Trees for the win

After I got my married almost 8 years ago, my husband told me in lieu of a real tree, that it was best for us to get a artificial tree from a local store, like Home Depot, and I think I almost passed out lol! How dare he try to change my childhood traditions? Well folks, he was right! After getting our first artificial tree, I was hooked! Although artificial trees don't have the smell of Christmas, there are several advantages to using them when decorating. First being, they are mess-free and easy to store after Christmas.

Artificial trees are a good investment over time. Real trees now of days start at $40+ and then are thrown away after Christmas. But decent artificial trees, depending on when you purchase and the size, you can get for $100 - $300 or more, and can last 6+ years if taken care of. When getting your artificial tree be sure to consider the height of your ceilings, and whether to get a narrow versus full tree depending on the size of the room the tree will go in. Also, getting a pre-lit tree is best, and be sure to make sure the tree looks somewhat full - nothing is worse than a bare looking tree.

2. Large, unique and variety of ornaments

A couple years ago, the day after Christmas, I took a friend's advice and decided I wanted to get ready for the next Christmas a whole year in advance. While some might think that's crazy, it's really smart because nice and large decorations can sometimes be expensive, but if you buy right after Christmas the savings are HUGE! So whether your tree is already decorated or not - no worries, just make sure to take this advice the day after Christmas this year. That year, I went to TJ Maxx/HomeGoods/Marshalls (great for unique ornaments and props) and Target (great for large and small plastic ornaments) and got 90% of the decorations I needed for the following year. The Christmas Tree Shoppe is another great store.

While I didn't go in the store with a theme in mind, because I just wanted to be inspired by what I saw, I would suggest going to the store with at least a color scheme in mind so that you make the best use of your time and money. I found 2 huge red, green, gold and silver ornaments and those became the inspiration that built the whole concept for the tree. They were unique, bright and made a big statement, so I wanted the rest of the tree to compliment that concept. I ended up getting a variety of ornaments and things I turned into ornaments (like a reindeer, sleigh and frosty the snowman), from big to small, in different shapes, but all within complimenting color families. Also remember, the more decorations the merrier so that your tree looks nice and full.

3. Have fun and take your time

The planner/designer in me loves a good design challenge, so tree decorating is naturally fun for me. My advice is to not get so caught up in making the tree perfect though, that you forget to have fun in the process. I turned on 97.1, since they are playing Christmas music all season, and had the Jackson 5 Christmas cd in rotation, too. The kids pretended to be little elves, and were great helpers - we had our assembly line rolling, as we decorated!

Also, be mindful to take your time, so that you don't get tired at the end and just throw stuff on the tree for the sake of just being done. I decorated my tree over 3 days - one day hubby simply set up the tree, the next day I decorated the front, and the final day I went to the store to get more ornaments and finished the sides and back of the tree. This process made it easier for me, and I was so happy with the end result.

I hope these tips are helpful! Share how you're enjoying the holiday season in the comments, and what you think about my non-traditional tree.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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3 Tips for Creating a Seasonal Tablescape

Two of my favorite holidays are almost here...Thanksgiving and Christmas! I literally can not wait to gather together with my family in a couple weeks over ham, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and more as we celebrate ALL the many things we have to be thankful for. I hope I didn't just make you too hungry :-) Plus, I may or may not be pulling out my Christmas tree next week (don't judge me)! If you too are totally enjoying this season and all it brings then today's post is just for you. 

Whether you are hosting your family's holiday gatherings at your home or not, this time of year is full of cheer - and likewise our homes should be, too! Obviously, the event designer in me is drawn to fun home decor projects, but often times with the busyness of life and executing sensational soirees and weddings, I don't get to implement everything I've dreamt up in my mind and/or on Pinterest. However, this time of year I make zero excuses, and LOVE decorating my home for the holidays. This year, I'm excited to let you take a peek into some of my decorating projects, and give you some inspiration to get you in the decorating mood, too. 

For all my homemakers, today I'm happy to be sharing my 3 tips for creating a seasonal tablescape, perfect for your dining room:

1. Come up with a concept first

If you are anything like me, places like Home Goods, Target, Michaels and more might get you into trouble if you don't go with a plan. To be honest, sometimes even with a plan, I might grab more items than I really need in a given store run. However, with a plan you are less likely to get tons of things you don't need. Trust me, winging it by coming up with everything for your tablescape while you're in the store is not the way to go. First come up with a concept, and it can be a loose concept, such as simply determining a Thanksgiving and/or Christmas related theme or the style of your tablescape. Then, determine things you might need to bring your tablescape to life and look around your home to see what things you already have, such as chargers, flatware, vases, etc. Lastly, headed out to the store with a budget and list, so that you can stay on track. Even if your store list isn't super detailed because you want to be open to unique items you might find in the store, that's totally fine, but at least have an overall concept in mind, so that you aren't trying to mesh the nutcracker and pumpkins together. 

2. Incorporate warm or festive colors

In terms of color palettes, Thanksgiving is recognizable for rich fall colors such as brown, gold, orange and other earth tones. Then Christmas just a month later is all about reds, greens, metallics, white and other bright colors that make you think of ornaments and holiday cheer. When putting together your tablescape, be sure to incorporate some of your favorite colors of the season to bring your tablescape to life.

3. Add decorative seasonal elements

What better opportunity than the holidays to express your creativity. Whether the style of tablescape you're going for is fun, festive, classic, rustic or glam, add decorative elements that bring out your style and reflect the season. You can choose anything from miniature reindeer figurines to pine cones to ornaments to add some flair and character to your table. When adding decorative elements consider small accents for place settings, table centerpieces or a full table runner of decor. 

I hope these tips have you all inspired to bring the joy of the season into your home! What other ways do you enjoy decorating this time of year? Share your ideas in the comments section, as well as how you think I pulled off my Fall tablescape. 

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Heart Clothesline Garland Tutorial

Valentine's Day is just 2 days away, so we are excited to share a cute and easy tutorial to help you celebrate! Visit the Forever Your Prints blog today, where we are guest posting, to learn how to create our heart clothesline garland. Our garland will be the perfect addition to your Valentine's Day party or home, and it will take you no time to create! heart1-1024x557

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Tell us what fun Valentine's Day crafts you plan on creating in the discussion of this post.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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5 Great Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine's Day is almost here, so today we're sharing 5 great ideas to get you all prepared to celebrate love...and sweets, too! If you are still working on treats for your child's class, planning a Valentine's Day soiree, or simply want to add some love themed decor to your home, then check out our round-up below: 1) Cupcake Favors - Dessert and candy are always a great go to when it comes to party favors! Guests simply can't say no to a sweet treat, which means your favors won't go to waste. I love this idea of adding a packet of sprinkles to this boxed cupcake favor found on Pep N' Paper Flowers.

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2) Opting to Ditch Candy - Although most children love candy, many parents try to limit the amount of sweets they give their kids to avoid unnecessary trips to the dentist. A great alternative instead of passing out candy treats to classmates are these cool bubbles Valentines from Five Heart Home.

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3) Family Friendly Soiree - Often times when you think of Valentine's Day parties, you think of a party catered strictly to children or an adults only party. Well this year, consider hosting a family friendly soiree that both parents and children can enjoy, such as this cute and clever Mommy and Toddler Valentine party found on Style Me Pretty.

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4) Tree of Love - This twist on a family tree by Echos of Laughter is the perfect addition to your home this month, and it's so easy to create.

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5) Love Coupon Book - A coupon book for your mate is not a new idea, but definitely a great gift to give every year. Consider creating new coupons each year that you know your significant other would be thrilled to cash in on, from romance, to things around the house, or even a vacation for the two of you! Check out this template from Kristen Duke Photography.

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We hope you're enjoying this Valentine's Day week so far! Share with us some other great Valentine's ideas in the discussion section of this post.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

 

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Bird's Party Magazine Valetine's Feature

February is here, so it's all about love and Valentine's Day this month on the blog! We'll be sharing lots of party inspiration and a few special features, so be sure to check in weekly. First up, we are excited to announce that we are featured in the latest issue of Bird's Party Magazine, which they have tagged as their love issue. The magazine is filled with tons of eye candy and ideas, so be sure to check it out and our feature on page 53 by clicking the photo below.

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Tell us what you think about this issue in the discussion section of this post.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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