I finally found some daylight to take some pictures of the tree and presents, so even though it's after Christmas, I thought I'd still post it.  A little bit of Christmas after Christmas, is always good, right??? :)

Beach-themed tree this year.  The snowflakes are our stocking hangers :)

I purchased a cute little "M" for our tree!  Only a couple bucks at Hobby Lobby (have I mentioned how much I love that store??)
I found these ADORABLE Naughty or Nice Gift Tags through a blog and used them on all presents this year

Presents under the tree.
This year, I saw some inspiration for using craft paper as wrapping paper.  So the presents don't look cheap or boring, I added a section of wrapping paper to it and a bow or jute.  This was a WAY cheaper option than using wrapping paper.  I got rolls of craft paper for $1 each at the dollar store, then used hardly any wrapping paper.  I like this for two reasons: 1) craft paper is thicker and doesn't rip like the cheap, wrapping paper does, and 2) it was ridiculously cheaper than using all wrapping paper.

Here are additional inspirational pictures from Pinterest:

I think what I may do next year, is buy the nice, expensive wrapping paper to use like I did this year.  That way costs still stay down, but the presents are still beautified.  What do you guys think of this method?


DIY Christmas Wreath

Through one of the blogs that I read, I saw this AWESOME "S" hanging wreath, which can be purchased through etsy.com. 

Monogram Wreath 

I decided that I could easily make this myself, rather than paying $35 plus shipping.  So... see below for my directions on how I did it.

Products used:
-Cardboard "M"
-Natural Jute (or other twine-like material)
-Hot glue gun
-Black ribbon
Total Cost: $5-10.  All goods purchased from Hobby Lobby

First, I started wrapping the jute around the M.  I glued a piece to the backside to be sure it stayed in place, then just continued to wind around.  I'd glue pieces down every so often, just to be sure they didn't slide around too much. 

Below is the M once all the jute has been wrapped around it.  The way I wrapped it was in 4 different sections.  By doing it this way I could wrap and not worry about the direction I was going or strands overlapping in the tight areas.
After I was done with the jute, I had to figure out a way to hang it, of which I hot glued and stapled a ribbon to the backside (staples in case the glue doesn't hold well).
Then I added a couple of pearl beads to the front and wa-la, it's done and hanging with the wreath on the front door.  I thought it added a bit to the traditional wreath.  Plus the great thing is that how I designed it, I CAN hang it year-round if I want to.  Whoot!


It's Getting to be That Time of Year

Here it is, already December 6th.  Christmas is only 19 days away!!  That's less than 3 weeks, folks!!  I can't believe it!!  I haven't even decorated this year!  I've had zero desire to decorate the apartment.  I'm not sure if it's the lack of cold and snow, or if I'm just not ready for Christmas.

I have GREAT decorating ideas, actually!  The problem is that I have NO IDEA how to decorate the apartment.  Last year we hung a garland and put up our small tree, but I love all the little extras, and we have NO SPACE to put those "extras."  I miss having a fireplace SO MUCH!  That was the easiest decorating piece in an apartment.  I have no place to set any of my cute candle holders or any idea where to put all my cute holiday stuff... for any holiday, not just Christmas.

I even bought this super cute manger candle scene off the internet for $25, but I have NO IDEA where to put it. 
ADORABLE right?!  You can buy it at Dayspring

Plus the great thing about this is that the silhouette's come off so you can use the candles year round.  Oh, and they're LED candles that go inside the little frosted hurricanes. 

How exactly does you decorate your house when there is NO fireplace to set stuff on??  Someone, please help me with this!!  And let me also say that I am not completely opposed of some wall hanging stuff, but I don't want to just change out all my pictures on the wall to make it Christmas-y in my house.

I also came up with using my "Summer" decor for the winter so it didn't feel so stuffy.  I plan on using extra ornaments and sticking them in my big lantern to showcase... but again, not sure WHERE to put it.  I found a picture someplace, but can't seem to find it anywhere.... who knows maybe I'll come across it and add it later.  I have a hard time finding stuff in my blog reader since I subscribe to so many blogs.

Oh.. and here is a cute "wreath" or front door idea:

Love this!  Found on etsy.com

See isn't that ADORABLE??  I thought it'd be super cute if I hang it IN a wreath on the front door at Christmas time.  Once I get around to making it, I'll definitely post my instructions and pictures :)  Hrmm... I think I may have to head to Hobby Lobby tomorrow.  Have I ever mentioned how much I ADORE that store?!? :))) 

Well, now that I've semi-inspired myself, I suppose I can at least get the basics done: wreath made and hung on the front door, along with the "M" above, tree and garland set up.  That's a good start, right?  Right.