Christmas Decor at the Todd Nest : Staircase Edition

I really love our house. 

Maybe that's a little vain sounding, but I feel like it should be a good thing too, right? We should be happy and content with what we have -- and we really could not be happier. This house is perfect for us. 

Decorating for Christmas has only made me more excited about this house, the house in which God has graciously made our home. We'll start out posting about our decor with the entrance to our home, which we have yet to reveal on our blog. Our house is a split level, so as soon as you walk in, you have the choice of either going up or going down. This was one of the "negative" features of the house, according to our real estate agent but we haven't found any fault in it. 

JD and I finished putting up the barnwood wall Tuesday night. This project has been on our list for a while. I hate bare walls, especially this one above the lower staircase. I realize there is a potential beauty in bare walls - and some people can really make them work - but that just won't do in the Todd Nest. Our plan is to put up a few large photos and interchange handwritten signs that correlate to the seasons. My vision for it is totally there, now it's just a matter of making it happen.


Color inspiration for this season: golds and browns


As soon as you walk in, you're greeted by this lovely arrangement. Basically, I went to Hobby Lobby's floral section, started piecing things together that appealed to my eye and topped it off with a neutral peacock feather. That's the main statement piece when you walk into the tiny foyer. 


We draped the handrail with garland and put a burlap bow at each break. Three ornaments are draped from each bow. One of the ornaments is a rustic jingle bell. You may recognize the larger white "ornament"from our Thanksgiving table centerpiece jar. It's actually a larger decor ball I found sitting beside the smaller box of decor balls in the home decor section at HL. I made it into an ornament by twisting in a metal hook (I had to hot glue the hook into the other two balls because they are a little different from this one) and then hanging it from string. Super easy homemade ornament. ;)


How amazing is this glass block wall? It's one of those statement pieces in the house that you decide to either hate or embrace. Surprisingly, I have very-much-so embraced it. As Mama E says, "This house will have no style (categorically) because it will be made up of sooo many different styles, which will then be created into a style of its own." With the barnwood wall perpendicular to this glass wall, we're combining modern and cottage chic. Hopefully my vision will turn out as great as I'm thinking.... 

Anyway, we draped garland from this wall as well and hung a burlap bow with three smaller ornaments hanging from the bows. 


What is your color / material(s) inspiration for this season?

PS: We'll try to post about the barnwood wall steps after Christmas. :) 

Thanksgiving at the Todd Nest

JD and I were super excited to host our families for Thanksgiving this year. My parents, his parents and Brandon and Theresa (his sister) all drove up for the weekend. We wish that Chase and Jackie could've joined us from Las Vegas but we can't wait to see them at Christmas! 

Not gonna lie here, I thought it would be a lot more stressful than it was. We woke up around 7 to put the turkey in the oven, hung out for about two hours and then started prepping everything else. I probably had about 10 minutes of stress spark through me, but I was pretty calm (and crazy focused) besides that. 


Mom and dad brought up this amazzzzing butcher block industrial island to fill the massive open space in our kitchen. I've been wanting an island with a butcher block top and this one was beyond perfect. I honestly don't know how we would've made it without this piece at Thanksgiving. We would've had to serve food off the floor. (You think I'm kidding... but I'm not.)


The Menu:
Honeybaked Ham
Cajun Fried Turkey
Cornbread Dressing
Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Spicy Mac & Cheese
Sweet Potato Casserole
Pancit (Filipino noodle specialty)
Eggrolls (both of these were kindly provided by Mrs. Josie)
Turkey Gravy
White Gravy
Rolls



JD was the carving master of the day. He cut that cajun turkey up like a champ. 


Of course, we had to set up the perfect table setting. Remember my charming jar with the buckeyes and acorns? Well, apparently you're supposed to let buckeyes dry out before you put them in a contained space. It didn't take long before the mold started to settle into the bottom of the jar. 

#decorfail

So I hand-washed the jar at least three times, threw it into the dishwasher, and headed to Hobby Lobby for a quick solution (thus, the neutral color palette of fun decor balls in the crisp and clean glass jar). 

My Gingin sent up this gorgeous tablecloth she cross-stitched years ago. It was the perfect touch to our table and meant the world to me that she passed it down to us.



Whenever my family comes to town - it never fails - we have a list of projects to do with Handyman Dad. Projects that we have thought up but aren't quite sure how to execute. But it also never fails that Dad knows how to make them happen. Here's a glimpse at one of our special projects from the weekend:


It's not completely finished but one of these days, I will give you a tour of the cool things we've done to the laundry room (after I get those cool things painted). ;) 

Oh, and one last thing before I go....
War Eagle!!


The Todd Nest : Dining Room & Fall Premiere

Welcome to our Dining Room! 

I've spent the last two weeks or so painting the walls and reupholstering our dining room chairs in preparation for a fall dinner and game night with some friends from JD's office.

You really can't tell in these photos but we painted the upper half of the room in the same gray (jogging path gray) as we used for the Jitney's Journeys studio. We painted the lower part a stark white. We considered using beadboard on the bottom half but we would eventually like to cover the old school popcorn ceiling with beadboard... you know, after we tear down two walls and renovate our kitchen in like seven years. ;) It'll all happen someday, right?


{sidenote: we are currently in the process of brainstorming for barnwood picture frames to cover that entire bare wall to the left of the built-in and looking for a super unique, rustic yet charming chandelier. we will update you via blogosphere as soon as we make this stuff happen.}

We've had so much fun (and probably way too much stress) with decorating both sides of the built-in between our dining room and living room. I've got to hand it to Mama E - she pretty much designed this side of the built-in too. Isn't it lovely! I honestly don't know what I would do without her. 

Below you will see the before and after shots of our reupholstered chairs. JD was such a champ for taking 300+ staples out of the six chair cushions. Gosh, I love that man. :)


The gorgeous fabric we used was from Hobby Lobby...

Here's another close-up:


At Shop with a Purpose, a new friend ordered a table runner from us with a monogram like the one above. I fell in love with the design. It just so happened that the table runner I made for the Todd Nest originally fit our old table but wasn't long enough for the new table (above) when it had the leaf insert. Obviously, I had no other choice but to make another table runner for the new table with the same monogram style I had made a few days before for a client, right?


The fall theme in our home this year is pretty simplistic. I bought a bundle of pumpkins from Hobby Lobby at 50% off. Half were the distressed orange and the other half were brown glitter-beaded pumpkins with gold glitter stems. 

But I was really set on having off-white pumpkins this year so I spray painted the orange ones with Valspar (Churchill Hotel Vanilla ) spray paint and covered the stem in a dark bronze glitter. Just what I had envisioned. 


For the centerpiece, I layered buckeyes from our yard on the bottom followed by baby acorns our neighbors helped us pick up and a tiny bronze pumpkin propped on top. 


Come back tomorrow to see the recipe my amazing chef-of-a-friend, Leah, helped me make!


What has been your fall decor inspiration this year?


Turquoise and Bison Hide : Moleskine Leather Journal Cover


Over the last few years, I have wanted so badly to make my own leather journal.

Fortunately, my brother's brother-in-law taught him how to make one. Ergo, for our Christmas present, Chase (my brother) helped us make my first leather journal.

We're all spending Christmas at my parents' this year. Chase and Jackie flew in from Las Vegas Wednesday and we drove in from Huntsville that night.

Mom, Jackie and I had glitter and cardstock scattered everywhere with our projects while Chase and JD took up the other side of the basement with bison hide and leather-working tools.

Very few moments are as special as seeing family gathered together, especially when it's your husband and brother (dad joined in later after he came home early from work to be with us).


In all fairness to JD, he made 98% of my journal while I was working on other Christmas presents and drinking coffee. 

Have I mentioned that my husband is rockin'??

Look at this beautiful bison hide journal they put together for me:

front on the right, back on the left


It took us a while to figure out what kind of clasp we wanted to do in the front. My only non-negotiable was the turquoise closure. Brown and turquoise are the Jitney signature colors.


Instead of making an actual journal with the super rugged and gorgeous paper, we ended up making a leather journal cover so that I can interchange all of my Moleskine journals. 



I stitched the flap for decorative purposes and styled the closure. Besides that, my sweet husband worked for several hours on making it perfect. 

There was so much selflessness poured into this creation (JD was pages-deep into a new zombie novel when I asked him to help me).

I am deeply thankful for priceless moments spent with my amazingly creative family. I could not ask for more this Christmas. 

What do you think of the journal cover?