STUFF YOUR STOCKINGS

I don't know about you guys, but stockings are one of my favorite parts of Christmas.  I love thinking of all the fun little gifts that I can put in Steve and the kids stockings.  It is our tradition to open all of our presents first and then while breakfast is cooking we go an open our stockings.  I don't know if it is because it is the last part of the Christmas gift opening experience or the mystery of not knowing what is inside, but it is just the absolute best. 

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GIFTS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

If you know me, you know that I am a certified Marshalls addict. I absolutely love the thrill of shopping high-quality finds and get so excited whenever I am able to snag a designer item at a discount. I love just strolling the aisles and waiting to see what surprises are going to jump off the racks or shelves at me.  What you might not realize is that I also love doing some of my holiday shopping at Marshalls too!  Whether you are looking for something for your family, your favorite four-legged friend, your office bestie, or the special guy in your life, there is always something for everyone. The best part is that you can shop for all of those people without breaking the bank.

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WHAT TO WEAR : HOLIDAYS WITH THE GIRLS

Today we are going to talk about the importance of carving out time for your girlfriends this holiday season, and any time throughout the year.  During the hustle and bustle of the holidays unfortunately it is sometimes our relationships that take a hit.  It can be so hard to squeeze in that date night with the hubby or time spent with your girlfriends.  These things are usually the first things that get scratched off the calendar when the schedule gets full. 

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OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTY ATTIRE

Who has a holiday office party they are attending?  Or the party of a spouse or significant other that they will be attending?  These events can be pretty stressful.  Lots of smiling and nodding and talking to people that you don't really know.  Luckily just because the event is stressful, doesn't mean that dressing for it has to be.  Luckily you have Landy to the rescue to help you with all your dressing needs for your office holiday function.  I will make sure you are the most stylish person at the party and will have the outfit that sets the bar for your office holiday party attire.

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A SIMPLE + MODERN CHRISTMAS

Simple and modern Christmas Decorations.

skirt (for 25% off use PRETTYTHINGS25)| top (marshalls) | shoes | earrings

Today is holiday home tour here at Living with Landyn and I am excited to share what I did this year.  Let me start with a little back story.  As you know, we are in the middle of a renovation right now and the attic space where I store all of my Christmas decorations happens to be right over the closet space that is getting renovated.  When the electricians were doing work in the attic they basically just threw everything in a big jumbled pile and left it that way.  Do not even get me started.  I literally can not find where any of my Christmas decorations are because it is such a mess.  Both Sandi (my mother-in-law) and I put our foot through the ceiling trying to find things and after that we basically just threw in the towel and gave up.

Landyn placing glass christmas tree on mantle

You are probably wondering why I am telling you all of this.  What it all boils down to is that the theme of this Christmas is simple.  I wanted a more simple Christmas this year, both in our decorations and how we approached the season and the renovation just helped me do that.  So less is more this year and I wanted to create a really beautiful, clean, simple, more modern Christmas look this season.  Everything is white and shades of gray with greenery providing my pop of color.  My inspiration piece was some white wood beaded garland that I saw at CB2 when they first released their holiday collection this year.

Landyn decorating tree.jpg

THE CHRISTMAS TREE


White flocked Christmas tree with white and silver ornaments, a modern christmas tree

I guess the theme of this year's holiday decor post is backstory, because I have another back story on the tree.  This year I got a wild hair and decided that I wanted a fake tree.  I know.  I am a maniac.  I also decided that since I wanted a really simple and modern feel to Christmas this year that I wanted a non-traditional tree.  I ended up ordering the Alpine Balsam Fir tree from Balsam Hill when they were having a big sale.  My love for a Charlie Brown Christmas tree runs deep, so I fell in love with it as soon as I got it out of the box.  The only problem is that I have three other people in my house that are not in love with the Charlie Brown style Christmas tree and they freaked out. 

Christmas Tree Down the Hall.jpg

Luckily, when I was stopping by my local tree stand to pick up some greenery I spied a beautiful flocked tree across the tree lot.  My local tree lot has real trees that they flock for you and set up in a stand.  You can even buy them with the lights already on them, if you want.  They are perfect because they are completely low maintenance, like a fake tree.  I don't have to water it, it doesn't shed, etc, but it still smells and looks like a real Christmas tree.  It is truly the best of both worlds. 

tree detail shot.jpg

Unfortunately they did not have a 9 foot flocked tree available at the lot, so I had to improvise.  I bought a 7 foot tree and when I got home I took a sturdy rattan basket and turned it upside down.  Since the tree was already in a stand, all I had to do was set the stand on the basket.  In order to hide the ugly tree stand, I got a yard of white fabric from JoAnn's and just wrapped it around the base of the tree.  Problem solved.

tree topper shot.jpg

I hit up Michaels with my 50% off coupons and literally bought them out of every size white glass ball ornament they had.  I wanted everything on this tree to be white and silver, so I also grabbed a couple packs of the large silver balls when I was at Homegoods.  I love doing large ornaments like these because they are great filler and make a huge impact.  You just want to make sure that you use an odd number when using larger ornaments.  I picked up the really modern wire star ornaments from World Market and called it a day.  I told you simple and modern was the theme this year.

white balls detail shot.jpg
flocked Christmas tree branches
Silver and White Ball ornaments on flocked Christmas Tree

THE MANTLE


Gray and White Modern Christmas Mantle

As I mentioned above, the white wood garland was my first inspiration piece for my Christmas decor.  The next thing I found were these awesome gray and white stockings by Sugar Paper at Target.  They came with blush and white pom-poms on them.  Obviously blush wasn't in my color scheme so I just cut off the blush pom-poms and left the white ones.  That is a good tip.  Don't be afraid to modify something you find if it is not exactly what you want it to be.  You don't have to settle for something you don't 100% love,  you just have to make it your own. 

Simple, moderns Christmas mantle with gray stockings

I actually broke with tradition on my mantle greenery and went with faux greenery this year.  I know, I know.  The greenery sprigs I found were just so realistic and pretty.  I just wired together several individual sprigs to make the garland.  I must admit, it is kind of nice not to have evergreen needles shedding everywhere.  I think since so much of the main floor is a constant mess because of construction this year, I just could not handle one more thing to clean up.

Pulled Back Mantle with Stockings.jpg

To anchor my simple, modern mantle, I found these awesome glass Christmas trees from CB2 and I knew that they would be absolutely perfect.  They really are a great example of the overall look that I am going for in my Christmas decorations this year.  They also are a good choice because you could leave them up through out the winter because they don't scream Christmas.  A good bang for your buck!  They come in four different sizes and three different finishes.  I would definitely check them out.

family room mantle from the side.jpg
Blanet at Mantle.jpg

THE KITCHEN


Kitchen Christmas Tree side angle.jpg

I always put a second tree in my kitchen.  It is our family gathering spot and the room we walk in when we come home, so I like it to feel festive too.  For years, I put my awesome flocked tree from Walmart in the kitchen.  This year since I had a real flocked tree in the family room, I convinced the family to let me keep my Charlie Brown tree and use it in the kitchen.  I will say that the family has warmed up to it some and says it looks better now that it is decorated.

White geometric ornament on aspen balsam fir, simple modern christmas decor

The kitchen tree is usually where we put all of our family and sentimental ornaments.  Since I wasn't able to get to any of those this year, I went ahead and continued the theme from the family room and used white glass ornaments.  Since the branches are really spread apart in this tree I did not want to use the traditional Christmas lights because you would really be able to see the wires.  I opted for the wired LED fairy lights on this tree and I love how it turned out.  I must admit I am completely obsessed with these lights.  You can use them for anything, mantles, tablescapes, I even used mine on the white logs in my family room fireplace.

clear glass ornaments on kitchen tree.jpg
Kitchen Mantle.jpg
stockings in kitchen side angle.jpg
kitchen mantle greenery.jpg

For the mantle in the kitchen, I wanted to keep a very similar look to what I did in the family room so I used the same gray stockings that I had in the family room in the kitchen.  I paired it with a faux fur stocking that I picked up at HomeGoods to give a little extra texture.  I also used the same glass Christmas trees and faux garland that I wired together.  You will notice that I also incorporated the twinkle lights into my garland.  I love the glow that it gives to the mantle.  The best part is that they are battery operated so they do not require any wires or plugs.  Perfect for mantles and tablescapes.

merry pillow in kitchen chair.jpg
glass trees and evergreen .jpg

AROUND THE HOUSE


Misteltoe.jpg
Wreaths on Door.jpg
Glass Christmas Tree on Cabinet.jpg

MY SIMPLE + MODERN CHRISTMAS DECOR


HOLIDAY GIFT WRAPPING

Wrapping the gifts is one of my favorite parts about Christmas.  I spend hours agonizing over the colors and theme for each years gifts. I usually start with an inspiration piece, whether that be my tree decorations, a specific roll of wrapping paper, a ribbon or a gift tag that has caught my eye.  This year I have gone very simple with my Christmas decorations, which you will be seeing tomorrow, with lots of white.  I decided that I wanted to stick with neutrals, big surprise, but bring a little contrast to the trees so I am incorporating a lot of grey and silver into my gift wrap. 

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CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS: A FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT

I get asked a lot of questions about various holiday traditions we have as a family.  I did a post last year about one of our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day traditions and today I am going to share another fun family tradition.  We love doing a family movie and game night with the kids.  We make a big palette on the floor and watch all of the seasonal TV specials and Christmas movies we can handle.

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ELF ON THE SHELF HOW-TO

Elf on the Shelf Feature.jpg

Do you have an Elf?  Do you wake up in a cold sweat the entire month of December because you forgot to move your Elf?  Are you dreading the day that your friend from the North Pole?  If you have answered yes to any of those questions, then this is the post for you.  I have been in the Elf game for a LONG time.  Some might say too long based on the age of the kids.  Those some would be me by the way.  If you remember, last year I gave you a round-up of all my Elf on the Shelf ideas from years past.  I don’t want to brag, but I consider myself a bit of an Elf expert.

After last year’s post, I got a lot of questions about how I make my Elf’s do certain things.  How do you position his arms, where did you find all of the props, how do you make things stick to him.  Today I am here to share all my secrets with you so you can make all of your kids Elf dreams come true.  My top 3 tricks are wiring the arms for poses that stick, glue dots to allow your Elf to hold things, and miniatures for your props.

How to wire an Elf on the Shelf's arm for positioning
how to use glue dots to position your elf

I thought it would be easier to show you how to do some of these things rather than trying to explain them to you, so I filmed a tutorial video on some of my tips and tricks.

As I said, I have been in the Elf game a long time and when I started they did not make all of the accoutrements that they make now.  My go-to sources for all of the props that I use are local craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby, Etsy, and then just regular retailers like Target.  If you are shopping at your local craft store, then hit up the dollhouse or miniatures section and you will find all kinds of awesome props.  I am going to source some awesome props and kits for your Elf, but if you really just want to not have to worry about anything, you HAVE to check out this Elf in the Shelf complete activity kit.


HOLIDAY DATE NIGHT IDEAS

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is really about to pick-up.   Between kids events, holiday parties, holiday shopping and just the normal stress of day-to-day life it is really hard to spend some quality time with your sweetie.  Date nights are a huge deal in our house and Steve and I really make a priority to try and carve out time for each other regardless of what time of year it is.

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CYBER MONDAY

Today marks the end of the shopping marathon known as Cyber Week.  I have rounded up all the best deals for you guys.  Take advantage of these sales and knock out a ton of your holiday shopping.  Also, I am going to be releasing a bunch of new gift guides today, so stay tuned for that and check back throughout the day.

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BLACK FRIDAY SALES ROUND-UP POST #1

On your mark, get set, SHOP!  Alright ladies, let's see if between the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales we can get the majority of our Christmas shopping done.  I have published some of my favorite gift guides (with more to come next week), so your lists should be all drawn up and ready to go.  I have scoured the web for all the best Black Friday deals and I am here to share them with you.  Are you excited?  I know I am!

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GIFTS FOR YOUR HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTEST

We are about to embark on the holiday hosting season and that means we are all going to be on the hunt for hostess gifts for all of the hostesses in our lives.  Today I want to share just a couple of tips that will help you when you are selecting your hostess gift.  These are just a few things I think about when I am trying to decide what to get my favorite hostesses. 

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2016 CHRISTMAS MORNING TRADITIONS

Today and Friday are going to be all about Christmas traditions over here at the Hutchinson residence.  I've had the opportunity to partner with Nordstrom (I know! I freaked out too!) sharing two of my favorite holiday traditions.  One is all about family and the sweet kiddos that make Christmas so special and Friday's is all about a tradition for mama and her girlfriends.

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2016 ELF ON THE SHELF IDEAS

Alright, all of my mamas that still have elfs in their houses, I am about to become your best friend.  Do you dread the day that Sparkles or Snickers or Ed Lewis, or whatever your sweet little elf's name is, descends on your house.  Do you wake up in a cold sweat at 3am because you realize your elf is still exactly where you left him for the past three nights.  Are you cursing the Elf On The Shelf tradition every night at 10 o'clock when you remember to move the elf, but the only creative idea you can come up with is to hang him upside down from the chandelier for the fifth time.  Well have no fear, because Landy the Elf Whisperer is here. 

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2016 HOLIDAY TABLESCAPE

Today, I am so excited to share with you my Christmas tablescape. You guys know I LOVE to decorate a table, but you also know that I love to keep it simple and relatively easy on myself.  That is why you will rarely see me doing elaborate floral arrangements or anything too over the top on my table. I want to make it something that I can do quickly, but still makes a really big impact.  And I want you guys to be able to emulate it in your own homes!

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