Archive Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Week in Review | December 2-6

It was a wonderful first week of December and the bloggers are definitely in the Christmas spirit! Here’s some gems from the web this week…

Week in Review

  1. A Beautiful Mess made the most beautiful Balsa Wood Diamond Ornament. Download the template and make your own!
  2. Waiting on Martha was pretty Christmas crafty this week too! Two wreaths wired together and hung with bulky rope created a festive chandelier.
  3. Morgan from Style at Home blog shares my love of stocking stuffers and showed off this lovely gold wishbone bottle opener. Super cute! Even for a vegetarian!
  4. Another holiday crafter! Say Yes to Hoboken featured guest blogger Audrey’s homemade sugar scrub in cute colorful bottles. What a thoughtful holiday gift!
  5. Drooling over these Iced Gingersnaps from the Glitter Guide. The Glitter Guide is doing a virtual cookie swap this month. This recipe comes from the Big Girls Small Kitchen. I can only imagine the yummy recipes to come!

Trimming a Staircase

Sticking with our theme this week of our new staircase, I thought I’d show off some gorgeous banisters trimmed for the holidays. Our staircase is so new, I hate to cover it up! But I will show off some holiday decor I’ve added to our home next week. For now, here’s some inspiration for your staircase!

Garland is obviously the most traditional. I like the simplicity of greenery with maybe some white lights but check out these embellishments…

Snowflakes and Pearls


Chunky Rope and Starfish

Garland Coastal

Ribbon and Pom Poms


Or stockings! No mantel, no problem! Stockings on the stairs are a nice touch.


stockings on stairs via Habitually Chic


Frosty the Snowman!

No that’s not Jack Frost on our window, that’s frosted glass film! Our skinny window at the top of our staircase provides great light but it also provides a great view of our neighbors second floor windows. It also happens to be on route from the bathroom to our bedroom so in order to provide some privacy, we decided to frost it.


We used Gila Privacy Control Window Film. It comes in a variety of textures and colors in this long skinny roll.



I just measured the window and cut out the correct size of my pane. Then you simply remove the clear layer from the frosted, spray with water, and apply to the window with a credit card or squeegee to remove any bubbles.


The trick really is the wetness. On my first attempt I thought it would be wise to not wet it too much. Wouldn’t it lose it’s stickiness? So without much water, the film is VERY and I mean VERY sticky. And once it touches the glass, it will NOT budge. This made for several bubbles on my window. Not easy to tell from far away but up close it looks like raindrops on the window.


My second attempt (on the top half of the window) was much easier. I called on my assistant Jared for this one and honestly, it really is a two man job. I held the film, Jared removed the clear backing then sprayed the film LIBERALLY with water, and I applied to the window. This time, it was a breeze! The film was able to adhere to the window but still move around. I smoothed out all bubbles with a credit card and left it to dry. It’s absolutely perfect! We love the light it lets in but still giving us the privacy we need. Perfection!


Staircase Reveal

It was a bit of a renovating mad dash at the end there before the housewarming party but we did manage to get the last couple projects done in the nick of time! Our staircase was one of those projects. We have been living without a banister for several months now. No big deal for us but with 9 foot ceilings, it is a major safety issue not to have a railing.

If you remember, we kept those beautiful newels in tact but we also wanted to save the original spindles. They were beaten up but still good. So a lot of paint stripper plus new white pearl finish took care of those. Then my Dad worked geometric magic to make a new oak banister stained the same Jacobean finish as the rest of our floors and stair treads.



We love them. We may not have as many family photos up as the previous owner but we intend to fill this home with just as much love.


It Takes Hands to Build a House

But only hearts can build a home. This past Friday, there were many hearts in our home. Our housewarming party was very much a success. Good food, good friends- it took my breath away to see so many loved ones enjoying our home and all that we’ve put into it.

And speaking of what we put into it, the party itself was quite the feat. Almost 40 people responded to our “casual cocktail party” but this wasn’t exactly my first rodeo. Here’s an inside peek…

If there’s one thing that keeps me organized it’s lists. I had a good 5 lists going for this party: food, decor, shopping, hour-by-hour prep for day before and day of, and then an excel spreadsheet with all guests names, their addresses, their RSVP response, and a column for gifts to make thank you cards a breeze. Post-its are essential as well. The day before, I staged the party.


Chairs were set out throughout the dining and living rooms, the table protected by a white table cloth and my go-to kraft paper, and all platters were set with labeled post-its.


Then the morning of the party, I just made each platter and left the post-its on the table so I knew just where everything would fit just before the guests arrived.



It was a wonderful party. Jared and I feel truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. We’re looking forward to many many more parties in this house! Thanks for coming everyone!