Recycling Pinecones and Faux Berries

So Christmas is over and you’re probably ready to clean up your holiday decor….or maybe you already have!

But before you throw out that Costco wreath….

…make sure you remove the faux berries and pine cones!

They are probably attached with some wire.  Simply untwist the wire from the back or grab some scissors and cut them off.

Then next year, when it’s time to decorate for Christmas, you’ll have a few extra pine cones and faux berries to help dress up your house! You’ll be amazed how many you will accumulate over the years!

I hope you all had a great holiday!


Merry Christmas!

It’s been a few good years since we last had family pictures taken.  So this fall, we scheduled a photo session with the very talented Shelby McMahon.

Her handiwork provided us with a great Christmas card this year!

Here are a two of my favorites…

And this next one was our Christmas card runner up.  It was my favorite but not the family favorite. So it landed itself on my blogs ‘about me‘ page instead.

Merry Christmas to you, my faithful readers! Thank you for making my first full year of blogging such a positive experience!


15 Minute Cinnamon Rolls

I came across this recipe years ago. And I recently realized I hadn’t made them for my family!  So today I tried it on our {picky} kiddos.  Thankfully, it was a complete success!  It was truly quick and simple…and delicious!

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

1 package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls  *  1/2 cube butter  *  1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon mixture  *  8 marshmallows

Melt the butter.  Unroll crescent rolls into 8 sections.  Dip the marshmallows into the melted butter. Roll the marshmallows in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place the marshmallow on the largest part of the crescent roll. Completely cover the marshmallow with the roll, pinching all of the edges together.   Put the rolls into a sprayed muffin tin. Heat the oven to 375 and bake for 9 minutes (or until gold brown).

Let cool and enjoy!


Snowflakes for Sandy Hook {and a Snowflake Tutorial}

When tragedy strikes, people want to be helpful.  They want to do something. Anything!

And other than praying, it doesn’t seem like there is much we can do for the families and friends of those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut.

But for those of us that are ‘doers’, here is something we CAN do!  Apparently, the students at Sandy Hook will be returning to a new school building after the holidays.  And parent volunteers are decorating the new school building with snowflakes.  As many snowflakes as possible.  They want the kids to walk into a winter wonderland.  And the parent volunteers are requesting that people contribute snowflakes to the school.

So today, I thought I’d share one of Martha Stewart’s snowflake tutorials.  And maybe you can send off a few of your creations to Sandy Hook.

This would be such an easy project to do with your kids over Christmas vacation! Even if you haven’t told them about the shooting, you can tell them you are making snowflakes for kids that are sad on the east coast.

Once your snowflake creations are complete, you can mail them to:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

And make sure they are sent by January 12th!

So get out that white printer paper and scissors and get to work! Let’s help make Sandy Hook a winter wonderland in January!


linking up to:

my uncommon slice of suburbia

My Front Porch

My Christmas house tour continues!

Today, let’s take a look at our front porch…

 As I looked at last years pictures of my front porch, I realized that this year doesn’t look all that different!  But there are a few slight differences, and that alone warrants new pictures!

I picked up the red toolbox a few years ago. Christmas is one of my favorite times of year to put it to use!

I cut some fresh greens off the bottom of our Christmas tree and some from our yard.  Then laid them in the toolbox and arranged a few pine cones and faux berries on top.

Gasp! Is that yet another lantern!?

The greenery was cut off the bottom of my Costco garland {that hangs around my front door}.  I wrapped it around  the lantern and twisted some wire around the ends to form the circle around the lantern.

I love pulling up to our house.  With the Christmas lights on the house, and our front porch decorated, it feels so festive!

Have a great weekend!

{to see more of my Christmas 2012 house tour, click here:  entry, mantel, vignettes}


linking up to:

a thoughtful place, home stories a to z

Christmas Around the House

Last week, I showed you my entry and the mantel, all decorated for Christmas.  Today I’d like to show you a few vignette’s around my house…

…the family room…

I bought that santa in Amish Country before we left the east coast. I love pulling it out every Christmas.

And oh dear…is that a lantern? {I mentioned last week that I may have a bit of a lantern obsession.}  I love the red color…It adds some color sitting in front of my lit branch arrangement.


What’s that? Another lantern?? It’s filled with small pine cones and faux red berries.  I also have my ‘joy to the world’ chalkboard and advent tree displayed in our kitchen.


We have the red bedding year round, but it’s even more season appropriate this time of year!

The Ikea wreaths are hanging from red Costco ribbon.

…dining room…

I love those little trees {also purchased at Ikea}.  Pinecones and faux holly brighten up the base of the trees.

And old books tied with striped ribbon {ribbon is from Michales}.

…powder room…

And I can’t help but leave you with one last lantern picture…

Thank you for taking a quick tour around my house!


linking up to:

southern hospitality,  savvy southern style,  a thoughtful place, at home in the northwest

Christmas Entry 2012

I always enjoy decorating the shelf in our entry. It’s much deeper than our mantel which gives me a lot more options when decorating!

Lately, I’ve left my old weathered window frame up there to hang wreaths from.  I change out the bow, depending on the season. Or the wreath if I have a season appropriate one.

Here is the view as you enter my house…

I didn’t realize that Elfy snuck into the picture below.  That sneaky little guy!

After decorating for Christmas this year, I realized I have an issue with lanterns…apparently I love them!  I counted 8 lanterns as I decorated. EIGHT! Doesn’t that seem a bit like overkill?! Maybe I need a lantern intervention. Even though it seemed like a lot, I did put all of them to use throughout my house and front porch….

The lanterns in my entry are filled with pine cones. The red bow at the top adds some needed color.

The cubbies are simple.  Very similar to my mantel….fresh greens from my yard with fake berries. And a candle for a little evening glow.

And on the bench sit a small collection of Christmas pillows. One of my favorites is the belted red santa pillow

I love how my entry ‘mantel’ turned out!  Very fresh and fun. Here’s one last look…


linking up to:

uncommon designs,  ten june, the lettered cottage, on sutton place, embracing change, its overflowing, home stories a to z, savvy southern style, a thoughtful place

Christmas Mantel 2012

We’re all decorated for Christmas in the Gilday household.  So today I’ll share my mantel with you. Over the next week or so, I’ll share the rest of our house.

It’s a fairly simple mantel this Christmas.

Remember the trees that I got on clearance last Christmas?  They made appearance on my mantel this year.  I love the height that they add.

And some fresh greens from my yard with pinecones and fake red berries are all laid at the base of the burlap wrapped trees….

Here are our hand knit stockings hanging from Pottery Barn stocking holders….

The stockings are stuffed with newspaper to give them some shape {which really threw my kids for a loop. They were sure that Santa paid us an early visit this year! Sorry to disappoint!} I also added some fresh greens sticking out of the top of the stockings…

I use a lot of fresh greens in my decorating. Click here for a more ideas about using fresh greens in your holiday decorating.

I’m happy with how my mantel turned out! I have more exciting holiday decor to show you later this week! So please come back!


linking up to:

the lettered cottage, ten june, uncommon designs, embracing change, its overflowing, home stories a to z, savvy southern style

Adding natural greenery to your home for a fresh holiday look

Lori from Lori May Interiors is here today with a guest post!  She has some great ideas for using fresh greenery in your holiday decor.  Welcome, Lori!

Hi all, I’m so glad to be back with you and Jen here at At Home in the Northwest. I know that many of you are right in the middle of holiday decorating. Today, I thought I would share some ways to add natural greenery to your holiday decor this year.

Let’s start with the outside of your home. What I really like about this entry is that it doesn’t feel holiday specific. You could easily leave this up throughout the winter. If the garland feels to Christmasy, then you could remove that and leave the wreath and planters. The evergreens in the planters can be used year round. Can’t you see pansies for the spring and impatiens for the summer around the outside edges of the planters? This a classic simple look that makes the most of the investment you make on the greenery by giving you an extended time to enjoy it!

This is a photo I’ve had on my Winter Pinterest board since last year. I love, love this sweet snowman and even though you can’t see the greenery around the garage doors, you get the idea. I love the whimsy of the snowman with the classic greenery.

As we enter the house, we come to the staircase. To be honest, I haven’t always been too keen on decorating our staircase. Most of the ideas I would see were too “fixed” or perfect for my taste, but this one is perfect in my book. The garland is not perfectly equal and drapes beautifully onto the floor. The ribbons add a laid back softness. You could use any color of ribbon or even cut up strips of burlap to make your own ribbons.

Here’s another option for the staircase that I thought was a great idea. You could probably take a nature walk with your dog or your children and collect enough materials to do this one for free. Add some leftover ornaments, ribbon and a bit of florist wire to keep it all together and you’ve got a wonderfully unique look.

I usually have the same issue with mantles that I do with staircases. I prefer a more laid back effortless look. (You can translate effortless to less work and I’m all about it!) This simple garland adds a fresh festive look to this space without being too overwhelming. I also love the small touches of natural elements on the stool and the top of the mantle. If you wanted to add some sparkle, you could easily add a strand of twinkly lights to the garland.

Here’s the mantle in our kitchen from last year. I filled mercury glass containers that I already had with nandina berries from our own bushes and added fresh pine garland from Walmart. Total cost under $10. I love how it turned out.

Another idea for your mantle that could take you into the new year. We should all use those beautiful pieces that we have put away in the cabinets. Get them out and put some greenery in them. What a wonderful way to add a fresh holiday look to your home! Once the holidays are over, remove the star and add a heart for Valentine’s, a clover for St. Patty’s Day and pastel ribbons for spring.

This is a great way to add natural greenery to everyday accessories in your home. I am in the process of designing a half bath for a client and we decided to add a red lantern to the space. Since it’s Christmas time, I’m adding a sprig of berries and greenery much like these above to add a festive look to the small space. You might not think about decorating the bathroom, but just this small touch is all that’s needed to add that festive touch to accessories that live in that space year round.

One of my absolute favorite pins of this year. What a great idea to hold all those beautiful holiday cards that we all receive. No reason to let them sit in a pile on the counter. I love that this garland is over the doorway to the kitchen. You can enjoy the amazing smell of the garland while looking at the cards from family and friends each time you pass through.

Here’s another great option for the kitchen that I’ve had in my files for a while. We will be doing something similar to this in our kitchen this year.

Don’t forget about magnolia leaves. If you are blessed to have one of these gorgeous trees in your yard (or your neighbor’s yard in my case) take advantage of it! I made this wreath and arrangement last year and it stayed beautiful for weeks.

As you can see, there are many different ways you can add natural greenery to your home for the holidays. Many of these ideas last well beyond December 25th!

Thanks again for having me today Jen! Happy Holidays everyone!!









My Personalized Doormat Project

It’s up and running!  Click here to view the feature of my $7 personalized doormat.

Thanks for all of your support and excitement about this project!


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