Tips on Taking Down Christmas Decor

So now that the New Year has passed, you are probably getting ready to take down your Christmas tree. If you're on top of things, you most likely did this yesterday, but if you're like me and keep stalling because of how beautiful it is displayed in your home (and why ruin a good thing, right?) then perhaps a little help in the process will give you the motivation you need to get the job done. And trust me, these tips will help setting up the tree next year that much easier (only 357 more days til Christmas!) christmasblogcollage.jpg

1) Start with the ornaments.

This may seem like a no brainer, but after reading about my friend Kerrie forgetting to put lights on her tree before adding the ornaments, I just thought I'd clarify (I love you, Kerrie!) Remove ornaments from the tree and store them in a small box or container. I usually save the original boxes they came in and even a few leftover Christmas present boxes come in handy too! Mine are shatterproof, so they can be stored together without any problems. But if you have glass ornaments, I recommend using tissue or newspaper to wrap the ornaments up individually before storing.

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2) Remove the lights one at a time.

I use two sets of lights on our tree. It is very important to remove the lights one at a time the same way you put them on. Yanking or pulling them off all together will cause the wires to separate inside which results in broken lights (this is why lights stop working even when the bulbs seem to be fine!) After you take care to slowly remove them, you may be wondering how to fold up the scraggly things to store them safely. I found a great tip on YouTube that I'll share below!

DSC_0011.jpgWhat you will need: - a plastic bag (for each set of lights) - Christmas lights

1) Begin by holding your arm at a 90 degree angle and placing a plastic bag over your arm and elbow with the bag open and handles facing towards you.

2) Grab the end of one of the lights and start wrapping it around the outside of the bag, under your elbow and into your hand like you would power cords or a garden hose or anything like that. (Watch this video for a better visual)

3) Once you have them wrapped, take the bag slowly off your arm and lie it on a flat surface with handles facing up. Slowly pull the edges and center simultaneously until you have the lights contained (see image below) then tie the two ends of the bag to the center in a knot.

It should end up looking like this:

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3) Take down your tree.

If you have an artificial tree, this is the easy part. I start at the top and work my way down until all the branches are removed. Then I lay it in a box. Easy peasy. Now, this year we decided to get a real tree. And thanks to a great tip from my mom, this has proven to be less of a hassle than I imagined it would be! Place an old sheet or blanket on the floor beside your tree, unscrew the tree from the base and lay it down in the center of the sheet. Fold up the blanket around the tree to protect as many thistles as possible from falling all over your floor. Then, here comes the fun part... carry it out your door! Be ready to sweep and/or vacuum as soon as you're done.

That's it! I hope these few tips on how I take down my Christmas decorations were helpful to you. It's always nice to know your ornaments and lights were stored safely and will actually work next time you go to put them on your Christmas tree! :)

 

A social network for females.

I got an invitation to join Pinterest today! I had seen things around the web, but I wasn't exactly sure what it was all about. Turns out it's a nifty way to discover cute new things. I would say the biggest draws for this site would be the fashion, decorating and photography aspects (so when my husband leaned over and asked about it, I told him he probably wouldn't be interested). For now, my "feed" is filled with girl friends who are going crazy with their imaginations. I love it! I wonder if this is our first legitimately, all-exclusive, female social network? :) There are a few things that have already gotten me inspired.

                     Hipster Scarves

1. grab some cotton t-shirts you don’t wear anymore. larger sizes tend to work better as do non-ribbed shirts with no side seams. small logos on the shirts work fine, too. 2. grab a pair of fabric scissors if you have them, otherwise any scissors will do. 3. lay the shirt out on a flat table in front of you. 4. cut the hem off the bottom and put it aside. 5. cut the shirt into 1-1 1/2 ” horizontal strips all the way up to the armpit. 6. grab 3-4 shirt strips in both hands, and gently stretch them out. the strips will naturally curl into themselves. 7. once you have done this with many of the strips, it is time to get creative. try draping them, wrapping one end with excess fabric, combining colors, braiding them, attaching beads, pins, old jewelry, etc.

   Other Pinterest findings:

So what do you think? Are you addicted to Pinterest? Are you still awaiting an invite? Or do you find all of this just a tad too indulgent?

 

Spring Break? Check.

So, I guess I took a little "spring break" from blogging. Sorry about that! There were many times I sat down this past week to write a little post... but got distracted. But now I'm here to say... I had a WONDERFUL vacation! I am happy to report back that I accomplished everything on my Spring Break "to-do" list. I even managed to get a few more around-the-house activities done before I was whisked away on a mini-getaway with my love! It was wonderful. I've included a little picture recap for you guys to enjoy.

1. Get some sleep.

CHECK! I slept in til around 9:30 every morning. It was great. I didn't even set my alarm clock... I loved having the freedom of waking up to the sunlight peering through my bedroom window. I pondered taking a picture of myself in the morning when I first woke up, but I decided to spare you guys. :)

2. Decorate master bedroom/bathroom.

CHECK! I was so excited to get to work on our bedroom decor. First thing I did was make a headboard for our bed (as you can see on the right). I took an old canvas painting, stapled three layers of quilt batting onto it and then covered it with fabric. Then, I went out on a limb and sewed on four buttons. That was probably the hardest part. Getting the buttons even was a bit of a pain, but a yard stick helped out a ton. :) I added some decorative pillows... and ta-da! I got the blue/green theme I was going for. See below for a few more pictures.

Found this great shower curtain waded up on a shelf at TJ Maxx! I fell in love with the blue/green print and had to have it! Thankfully it was cheap. :)

A few close-ups.

3. Write a new song.

CHECK! I think I was most anxious to complete this one. I started writing down lyrics that came flooding to my mind at the beginning of the week. This song was a work in progress. I added to it daily and changed up the melody a few times. But the bridge was quite different... it came to me all at once. I think it's definitely the climatic point in the song, and the most meaningful to me, lyrically. I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me the inspiration to write again! I pray it continues. :)

A few other highlights...

Thanks for letting me share with you guys! I pray you all have a great rest of the week! Back to work we go... :)