5 Easy Tips for Simple Christmas Decor

Here’s some pics from my home last year (I’m a year late…shrug).

1. Use what you have

A guiding principle of simple is to leverage what you have on hand. For me it is fallen things in the yard (pinecones and branches). Beautiful paper (old calendars and last year’s holiday cards) plus some flea market finds (metal letters, pedistal dish).



2. Work with techniques you enjoy

I can’t say I’m great with origami or paper arts, but I absolutely love the simplicity of paper. I also love anyting I can clean up with a vacuum. Here’s a tree-folding technique I’ll probably do again this year. Looks great with newspaper or pages from an old book (that would otherwise be thrown away). Window displays at Anthropologie and Light by Coco have been big inspirations.

3. Falalalala Fragrance!

The natural kind. Here’s a pot of clipping from the garden center. So wonderfully smelly! Very inexpensive too ($4-6). Place in water, lasts for weeks.

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Love these colors! #holidaypalette

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4. Hang things from the ceiling

This mobile created from a branch, paper trees and thread is very light. The placement above the table gives it more visual emphasis.  Anything in your home that creates shadows and movement will change throughout the day. Such an easy way to add interest.

5. Fill your space with music

Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra, Jingle Bells


José Feliciano, Feliz Navidad


Lou Rawls

Shaking, it’s cooler than a stir

One of many things I learned as a result of stepping into Boston Shaker, Davis Square. First of all, bitters. Bitters are the joy and the flavor code to grasp for a truly remarkable cocktail experience.




Ginger beer. You either love it, hate it or like really really really really love it! I am that third category, which I hope is why I went way overboard and spent $16 on this highly recommended brand, Blenheim, from South Carolina. I’m sure it costs far less in it’s native land. But, if you’re a yankee and you want some spice, what are you gonna do? Oh. I just answered that. A true yankee would make her own. Sorry Dad.20121021-180038.jpg

And here’s the book that revealed to me why we might shake a cocktail vs. why we might stir. Home Bar Basics, By Dave Stolte. Appreciate this guide. It’s concise, informative, useful and rewarding. Dave Stolte, had an outstanding Manhattan last night. At this rate I’m headed for drinking at home on a fairly exclusive basis (unless it’s wine).20121021-180049.jpg20121021-180113.jpg

Barker and Mills cocktail cherries. Vanilla and bourbon. It’s dessert.20121021-180058.jpg

Lady in the shop, along with a familiar customer, made sure I understood to not only enjoy the cherries, but to use every last drop of the juice!20121021-180105.jpg

Now I just need to find a fun crowd, happy to sparsely sip. Most of us seem to know the glutinous glug. I’m a glutton. In this exact moment, I vow to explore the sip.


Fab, Faulty

I’ve posted before about Core and their 60%+ discounts and been very happy with the measurement-embossed cut boards I found at a great price.

Bu’uuuhhttt . . .

This latest shipment was bunk! I paid $28 for a $90 lazy-susan, moveable-partition chip’n’dip! And another $28 for a $70 platter. What a deal right? Nah. These things is crap. Chip’n’ dip has a gluey-splintery construction (photo doesn’t really show the mess, but you get the idea). Tiered plate has poor construction and really can’t be assembled to spec.

And I’m curious about safety . . . both radiate some real stink! Toxic varnish or glue odor. Whatever. Main point, I call BS on Core’s pricing. More product info on two-tiered plate and chip’n’dip on Amazon.

Reasonable results

Fab did step up and agree to take my items back. Ok Fab, I’m coming around again. I guess I’ve just been putting a lot of pressure on you to always amaze me.

Hey Baby! Baby shower

The Cupcakes
From Sweet, Harvard Sq. Boston Cream Pie, Red Velvet, Strawberry Shortcake, and special for summer Honey Lemon! (my favorite).

Photo by Liz Scully
Honey Lemon (left) . . . forever on my mind

The Lunch Tent
Festive Mexican party flags from Nomad. Weather tolerant. Reusable. Lots of bang for your party buck. Apparently I love my decor over my own personal vanity (cuz that’s me with the weirdo face int the blue pants).

Photo by Liz Scully

The Favors
Sugar and spice and everything nice! Flowers cut out from recycled calendar (Paper source). Button pin centers from Derby Farm (Arlington, MA). Polka-dot paper straw for a stem. Jar of honey (sugar) tied with cinnamon stick (spice).

Photo by Liz Scully

Let’s open gifts with some AC
Polka-Dot Paper and streamers set the mood.

Photo by Liz Scully

Some general party ideas . . .
1. Create your own tiered cake stand from kitchen items you have on hand. This one has a cake stand base, ruby-red platter, cylinder bud vase, oversized tea-cup saucer. All secured with painter’s tape (easy to remove). Just enough so a bump to the table won’t knock anything over.

2.Toothpick Flavor flags! Use any paper, toothpicks, a little double sided tape and rubber stamps. Make while watching TV. I was practical and stamped out the cake flavors. Sayings connected with the party theme or guest of honor are nice too.

3. Little wishes. Side boat of little paper flags for sending pre-bday wishes. Write a note, hang it on the string above the cake plate. Give to mom-to-be.
These two are also Liz Scully photos.

4. Drink labels. Is that my glass? Ahhh! It is my glass! These are silly bands with button labels (creating continuity with the favors). Unique, easy and thrifty drink labels.