‘Tis the season for scoring stuff on Craigslist.
take the full holiday house tour here!
My goal this Christmas was to NOT ENTER THE CRAFT STORE. You know why? Because I have enough crap.
Also, because I have silently led us down the road to bankruptcy via Elvis’s cancer treatments and I am trying to remedy that now by not spending $19 on fake cranberry branches and assorted other crap that would have improved my tablescape.
I have kept my budget-minded thought process to myself though because the last thing I need is Paul knowing that we have reached a point where I am abandoning my commitment to wasting money on seasonal madness… which would definitely be his cue to conduct a throughout audit of our expenses.
So far, Paul has shocked me by never once asking what Elvis is costing us. This is a man who cuts open the toothpaste to be sure he gets it all, so I can only imagine the restraint involved in his not questioning what we are spending.
OR, alternately he DOES know and realizes the ugly predicament where he:
b— is compelled to suggest a budget for Elvis’s lifespan.
c— is never heard from again.
I really have no idea what will happen when it’s time to buy kitchen cabinets. Or appliances. Or do the kitchen floor. Probably something bad!
Fortunately for me, I’m excellent at ignoring the long-term reality in favor of something old and fancy. Especially if it comes in urn-form.
Are these the perfect substitute for my TRUE URN DESTINY that were ripped from my loving arms?
Were they a better deal?
Besides, I think we can all agree that Craigslist purchases are exempt from budgetary limitations because there will always be time to buy refrigerators… there will not always be time to buy smallish GFT’s.
Also exempt from budgetary limitations, apparently was Black Friday.
I re-routed my wise financial decisions to the holiday weekend/sale in the form of some truly outsized accessories which will either be horrendous or outstanding… I will probably need to submit them here for your admiration once they arrive because no one else will tell me they were a good idea.
I’m not sure if you can tell, but these are sugar pinecones and THEY ARE MASSIVE. Every single person who came for Thanksgiving was like– THOSE ARE REALLY BIG PINECONES.
Which is always the nicest compliment anyone can give me: to visit my home and remark on how GIANT something is… I don’t care if you like it or not; if you are struck by how unusually large it is, I am pleased.
To give you a better perspective, these are essentially CAT SIZED pinecones… it looks like Elvis is alarmed by the pinecone, but she is actually looking at Paul putting a box on the floor– there is nothing Elvis loves more than a good box party.
If you can find the pinecones in person, you can dig through the bin and get all the giantest ones. Otherwise, you’ll have to order them online and hope for the best.
I thought I needed some color in the greenery… so I bought pomegranates. But then I ate them.
So now I’m pretending that I intended a simple, forest-themed centerpiece.
Now let’s recap past Christmas holiday posts.
One of the first posts I ever wrote, How to Make a Bow… has been pinned over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND times… Proving that my mother taught me everything I need to know in life, including what the internet wants to read about.
My personal favorite Christmas post (maybe even ALL TIME favorite?) is the time I decided to sew roughly 96 yards (not a typo!) of fabric into fancy pillow bows.
Paul helped long enough to utterly destroy the project, then went to make a snack and started calling me Kim Jong-il.
Nothing says Christmas like 50 Disco balls.
Buying the disco balls:
The shiny-loving, raccoon-part of my brain demanded that I buy these and take them back to my den. I tried to leave, but it chattered insistently and clawed at my good sense.
Front porch in its full glory.
Huge DIY glitter snowflakes: they are super fast and easy IF YOU GET YOUR HUSBAND TO MAKE THEM.
Ok, now I have to go hit refresh on the UPS website to see when my new hat/earrings/necklace will arrive.
go see the rest of the holiday posts.
December 1, 2015 @ 10:29 am
LOL -you do make laugh you brighten up my day – I think we would get on well you sound like me – lol – Apart from that your house and christmas trimmings look beautiful – no matter how much it costs – lol and you do a GRAND job 🙂 Keep your posts coming 🙂
December 1, 2015 @ 10:31 am
I’m glad to hear about Elvis, I was afraid to ask. I think, if you can, do not worry about what Elvis is costing. We could have spent a lot of money on our cat ( finally, we FINALLY can afford to spend a lot at the vet and it did not matter) but the vet and I were heartbroken to agree that money could not help. Enjoy this time, when money can. We miss him every damn day.
Have you ever heard of wrapping just the box top? You use a heavy, good quality paper, and wrap the lid. Then you can make a bow, and attach it around the sides and tape the ribbon under the lid, if that is clear? Then you lift the lid and get your gift, and then instead of having some jumble of ugly white boxes under the tree, you have lovely wrapped gifts, you can also re-use them. My family has done it for years. Some presents this won’t work with, obviously but it works with quite a few.
December 1, 2015 @ 10:34 am
Paul isn’t asking about Elvis’ costs? He IS a saint, and you may never, ever, under any circumstances divorce him. Unless it’s to send him to me! 😉 Seriously, here’s hoping Elvis is doing well! Peace and blessings…
December 1, 2015 @ 10:37 am
Just so you don’t feel so bad about over-decorating your house, here’s a friend of mine and her house! Her motto is “why do, when you can over-do!”.
Click heret to see it in all its glory!
December 1, 2015 @ 2:17 pm
Oh my goodness! Those cupcakes! All those trees! I might have to swoon at the doorstep from that beautiful display of sugar! 🙂
December 1, 2015 @ 2:29 pm
If you’re in Baltimore, i might be able to score you an invite to this year’s soiree! It always benefits the Maryland SPCA!
December 1, 2015 @ 10:39 pm
Your friend has clearly won Christmas. The rest of us can just put the glitter down right now and concede. Yup, the cupcakes were just the opening wedge, followed by flowers and glitter everything.
Even a zillion disco balls can’t compete.
December 1, 2015 @ 10:44 am
Holy crap, those are the biggest pine cones I’ve ever seen, congratulations. You win.
December 1, 2015 @ 10:48 am
Hi so wow, yes…(why start a comment coherently when there are so many other options?) First I must comment on the pine cones. They are EXACTLY what I used 5 years ago for my sister’s very rustic and elegant wedding centerpieces. I LOVE them. The guests stole every last one from the reception. No lie. Secondly, I think we can all relate to the realities of budgeting. And I get why you still needed to get a few things for Christmas…this year I need a little Christmas, just like the song. I had a very rough November, you had a very rough year…a little sparkle and greenery can go a long way to mending the soul. Also, I’m flat-out copying your hand-tied branch idea. You saved me from what I sure would have been a disaster of making my own fresh garland out of some cuttings from the laurels. So thank you.
December 1, 2015 @ 10:59 am
Victoria — don’t worry for one minute how much you are spending for Elvis. She is no different than a child and we certainly wouldn’t say we will only spend this much on a child in order to provide the best quality of life possible. I had a little miniature schnauzer — Barklie — who developed oral cancer. My vet operated and removed the tumor and then she had many rounds of radiation. It was important during that time to make sure she had extra vitamins, especially C and she lived two more quality years — to the the age of 10 which is about the length of years for mini schauzers. It cost thousands of dollars between all the specialists and as a single person it had a pretty major impact on my finances, but I don’t regret one penny of it and neither will you. Elvis looks great and I bet you get several more years together.
December 1, 2015 @ 11:01 am
DISCO BALLS!!!!!! I love disco balls!! You have validated my obsession with them, especially when used for holiday decorating. I shall show my children this post and tell them to stop mocking me and my disco ball collection.
December 1, 2015 @ 11:04 am
Thanks for the mantle tip! I never thought of that simple fix to my mantle problem. I absolutely will do that project today. Okay, maybe I’ll get the wood today, and flash a big smile when my husband comes homes tonight.
And, yes! Tis the season on Craigslist. I just got a gorgeous $3,000 chandelier-of-my-dreams for $300. Never mind that I have to tear out an ugly, useless built-in. I’m as excited as a kid on Christmas morning!
Thanks again for the mantle tip!
December 1, 2015 @ 11:04 am
I. MUST. HAVE. SUGAR. PINECONES.
I have just abandoned anything on my list today to find these giant pinecones. They must be mine.
December 1, 2015 @ 12:21 pm
Had to comment on the Sugar Pine cone worship here. In the fall/winter (especially after a good wind) I can drive two miles from my house and fill up all the 30-gallon trash bags I want with the things – so the idea of buying them kills me. And yes, they are the size of a cat. As one post mentioned, the Coulter cones are also amazing (though a slightly different shape), but the Coulter trees grow at a slightly lower elevation than where I am, so it’s a bit longer drive, lol.
I know you’ll be asking just where this pine cone shangri-la is – it is Big Bear Lake, 6.750′ elevation in the San Bernardino Mountains. In Southern California. Who’d have thought, right?
A disclaimer – lest the Pine Cone Police jump on this – it is illegal to remove trees, vegetation or any of their by-products from National Forest land. And, inexplicably, all Sugar Pine trees grow on USFS land here. But…if a pine cone falls into my trash bag in the forest and there is no one there to see it – is it really stealing?
Keep up the good work, Victoria.
December 1, 2015 @ 1:13 pm
One of the few, and I mean VERY FEW, things I miss about living in SoCal was risking crippling fines and imprisonment to gather sugar pine cones off Federal land. (We had a cabin in Moonridge)
The irony of being punished for taking dead flotsam from land that ostensibly belongs to all of us still burns!
December 1, 2015 @ 11:22 am
I think your winter greens and pine-cones look better than anything else. Really sets off your fancy treasures.
Sticks from my yard, pine-cones from my pine trees, tiny white lights, winter scented jar candles and my Christmas Tree. (fake branches, but with a real wood tree trunk)
That is all I need.
But…it IS only December 1st…
December 1, 2015 @ 11:29 am
If you like sugar pinecones, look at coulter pine cones. They are the heaviest pine cone in the world. I hauled several of them back from California to Texas in my carryon.
December 1, 2015 @ 12:04 pm
Just when I think you cannot come up with anything else clever to write……..you DO!
Why did I doubt you?!
December 1, 2015 @ 12:09 pm
I just want to say how much I enjoy your posts. The part about Paul auditng your expenses, made me laugh right out loud….Yes, dear, be consistent, he won’t suspect a thing!! :} Enjoy the holidays!! Your house is just lovely!
December 1, 2015 @ 12:15 pm
Holy cow! Those ARE giant pine cones! You really scored on those!!! Elvis looks great!!!!!
Love all your decorations. Thanks for cheering me up this morning. It is rainy and gloomy where I live.
December 1, 2015 @ 12:47 pm
I, too, worry about budget with a cat cancer. It has already cost me half of my bathroom remodel funds. And while I am not happy about it, I would rather have him than a new bathroom.
At least Elvis has her hair! The ‘roids are making Chile go bald (not the chemo – weird, right?). And he did not have a lot to start with. Poor guy is hating winter right now! But otherwise is responding well to treatment! He is mostly back to his kitten like ways!
December 1, 2015 @ 1:18 pm
An amputation and chemo gave my golden two and half more wonderful years. Yes, she was a tripod….and five days after her surgery she knocked down the dog gate and made her way up a flight of stairs to resume her customary sleeping position next to my bed. It was all worth it to me and I am pretty certain it was worth it to her. My husband never asked or commented on the mammoth expense. He just loved her, too.
December 1, 2015 @ 1:25 pm
I stand as living testament to the fact the Smallish Fancy Things will ultimately get you in to more trouble over the long haul than GFTs. One loses track, especially when said SFTs are seasonal and are out of sight most of the year. You have been warned.
I use sugar pine cones for my tree toppers! The size is perfect, but the longer shape also lends itself nicely to the overall effect. I attach them with some gorgeous red velvet ribbon and it’s truly stunning.
With the addition of a bit of ribbon and such, the smaller ones make quite an elegant embellishment to a bottle of wine you might gift anyone with.
It is totally worth a trip to Lake Tahoe ( or Big Bear in Southern CA) to get some!
Paul knows how much your vet bills are, and is happy to spend it, no worries. He’s perfect like that.
December 1, 2015 @ 1:28 pm
Christmas at your house is beautiful as always. Thanks for the tip on the giant pinecones, I have been wanting some of those but had literally no idea where to find them, or what they were called! Also, did you see these pillows at Pier 1 this year?
They’re on my wishlist, and I totally think they stole the idea from you! Had to show you! LOL
December 1, 2015 @ 6:05 pm
See the pillows at pottery barn–old fashioned painted? pictures of santa etc.. With all the decorations we have collected in 56 years I just have to say a loud NO! to any more but Oh! how I would love to buy those pillows. They are like the scenes from the Christmas Cards I still remember from childhood. A very Merry Christmas to all of you and a prosperous New Year.
December 1, 2015 @ 1:44 pm
You know what, Elizabeth, nothing, absolutely nothing you find on CL or in a store or anywhere will ever have even a snowball’s chance in the deepest part of hell to compare to spending time with Elvis. You will remember this holiday not for stuff but for the memories you will have of her with you and Paul.
I lost my much beloved feline soulmate Persephone to cancer a lot of years ago and I treasure every one of those days between the diagnosis and her death. Christmas was in there, and she got lots of toys, but it was me she wanted to be with and she got her wish. Losing her in mid January almost killed me, but I had given her as much time and attention and love and laughter and fun as I could.
You do that for Elvis too, okay, because that is what will make this holiday season memorable for you. [[[[[HUGS]]]]]